SALT LAKE CITY — The Catholic Foundation of Utah is an important instrument of the Catholic Church in carrying out the mission of Christ in the state, Bishop Oscar A. Solis told donors gathered at two Gratitude Gatherings on Oct. 29.
CFU oversees endowments that have been established by individuals, families and organizations to provide income for the maintenance and growth of the local Church’s ministries.
“On behalf of the people of God in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, I wish you to accept our profoundest and deepest gratitude for your tremendous work in helping the mission of the Church through the Catholic Foundation of Utah,” the bishop said.
He urged those in attendance to follow the exhortation of Pope Francis to all disciples of Christ to build the kingdom of God and to proclaim the Savior.
“There is something beautiful, something inspiring and noble in generosity, in giving and sharing, because when you donate, when you give whatever you have in order to help the Church, you give Christ, you extend the love of Christ to others, to the mission and work of the Church,” Bishop Solis said. “That is why whatever we do, we are not just sowing good work, we are not pursuing philanthropy but we are doing charity because the work we do is founded in the love of Christ.”
“For this reason, please know how we value your generosity; your generosity is not only financial assistance; your generosity means the mission of our Church, the mission of Christ that we want to promote in every corner of the Church here in Utah,” he said. “… We could not say thank you enough in order to express our appreciation because everything that you share of your heart is being utilized, not only to carry out the mission of the Church, but to carry out the mission of Christ, which is a mission of love.”
Over the past 14 years, the endowments donated to the foundation have grown from $18 million to $46 million, said Foundation President Jenifer B. Gibbons, who spoke at the gatherings. Currently the foundation administers 220 endowments, income from which helps support diocesan seminarians, diocesan missions, parishes, Catholic schools, the Good Samaritan program and the work of Catholic Community Services, among other needs.
“Our gifts help now and even after we are gone,” Gibbons said. “It is important to remember each one of us can help; it is important to remember that no donation is too large or too small.” Gibbons then shared the experience of receiving $2 from a homeless man who wanted to support St. Joseph Parish.
Closing the gatherings, Father John Norman, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, a CFU trustee and chairman of the foundation’s stewardship and development committee, told of experiences he had had with donors while he was associated with Judge Memorial Catholic High School.
“So many institutions and our parishes benefit greatly from the generosity of so many people. In fact, many of you are here. … In many ways you are instruments of these stories,” helping others participate in donating to the foundation, he said.
“These are incredible stories that happen all around us with great frequency,” he said. “… Each story is a way of giving support to our institutions, providing them with an opportunity for the future.”
The first Gratitude Gathering on Oct. 29 took place at noon at St. Vincent de Paul Holy Family Hall, the other was that evening at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Gratitude Gatherings are annual events sponsored by the foundation to thank donors for their contributions.
Individuals, families and groups may donate to the Catholic Foundation of Utah in various ways; donations can be earmarked for a specific Catholic cause. For information, contact Executive Director Jennifer Carroll at 801-456-9306 or visit https://www.dioslc.org/ways-to-give/catholic-foundation-of-utah.