The call to give: Investing in Catholic education

One of the great metaphors of the Bible is “the journey.” From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is full of people on the move: from Abraham to the Promised Land and Paul and the apostles – after the resurrection – all over the Roman Empire.

It makes sense that the concept of “the journey” would be so central to Scripture. We make sense of our lives by understanding them as journeys, as the unfolding stories of who we are and what good we want to do in the world.

You might say that charitable giving for Craig Anderson has also been a journey.

“Several years ago, I began to discern that I should make a donation to support priestly formation,” he shares. “I then began to realize the importance of our Catholic schools as a feeder for our seminaries.”

Anderson learned about the Champions of Catholic Education Tuition Assistance Fund, administered by the Catholic Foundation. The fund provides tuition assistance for families wanting to send their school-aged children to Catholic schools and who, without financial assistance, would be unable to do so.

While almost all schools offer some type of financial assistance, those resources do not meet the need of all students who request aid.

The Champions of Catholic Education Fund exists to help fill that gap and make Catholic education more accessible and available to students.

Established in 2015, the fund is already deeply impacting students and their families, including Joseph Kelley, a senior at Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell, and his younger brother, Christopher, a freshman.  Joseph’s older sister Mary attends Southeastern Louisiana University, and younger sisters Angela and Elizabeth attend Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Tuition for the four younger Kelley siblings exceeds $27,000 – for just one year.

“The Champions Scholarship allows my brother and me to fully participate in the Pope John Paul community,” says Joseph.

While both brothers are on the honor roll and take honors classes, they are also members of Liturgy Team, Catholic Athletes for Christ, and Sanctity of Life – student-led, faith-based clubs at PJP.

This faith engagement extends to their parish life at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, where Joseph and Christopher are altar servers and Eagle Scouts.

“The Champions Scholarship allows us to fully participate in our school and community,” Christopher says. “It inspires us to give back.”

By supporting the Champions of Catholic Education Tuition Assistance Fund, Anderson could respond to the call to fund access to Catholic education.

But what about his desire to support priestly formation? And how could he support both to make an impact?

A charitable gift annuity with the Catholic Foundation was the solution.

Charitable gift annuities allow donors to do good and do well for themselves.  They are especially beneficial for those nearing or in retirement because they provide stable, regular income for life.  Donors like Anderson receive an income-tax deduction for the gift portion of their annuity, and a portion of the fixed payments are also tax-free.

Another benefit – if gifting appreciated stock to establish a charitable gift annuity – is the avoidance of paying capital gains taxes, which many donors will need to consider with the passage of the 2018 Tax Bill. Donors can select as many beneficiary organizations as they would like.

“A charitable gift annuity is a win-win,” says Anderson.  “In addition to receiving a life income, I can provide generous support for both St. Joseph Seminary College and the Champions of Catholic Education Fund.”

Because of Anderson’s support, and that of other donors to the Champions fund, children can have access to the values of a Catholic education and, for some, the call to consecrated life. The journey to ordained priesthood can begin long before they enter the seminary.

No matter where you are in your life journey, you can leave a legacy that will support Catholic education, priestly formation or any philanthropic passion you may have.

Contact Josephine Everly at or 596-3031 to learn about the many ways a charitable gift annuity can leave a lasting impact.

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