Primarily, the Catholic Foundation is defined by the generosity of our donors and organizational fund holders. But while we are, in fact, no greater than any one person who seeks to share his or her blessings, in the aggregate, we can, as a community foundation, become more. Joining together and unifying as a Catholic community in and through the Foundation, we combine our blessings and resources, increase our capacity to grow philanthropy to serve and support our parishes, schools, and Catholic ministries, which positively impacts our West Michigan community and beyond. As new funds accrue to grow our endowment, we all enhance our collective ability to realize the promise of our founders: to be a sustaining resource of generosity for meeting the needs of our Catholic community for all time.
The Current Impact of Your Catholic Generosity
The Kandra Family Endowment Fund, in memory of John and Mary Kandra and Frank and Agnes Kandra
Back in 1989, John Kandra Sr. wanted to begin the tradition of a family golf outing since all six of his children played golf. His hope was to create an annual event that would always bring his children together, even after he passed away. Today, John would be happy to see the family golf outing is still going strong. But what might surprise him is the reason why.
“We can continue to support those individual causes which are important to us, but in a more streamlined way and with a better plan in place. And, more importantly, it will continue to be carried forward beyond our lifetime.” – Patrick Mullally
Made in God’s image and likeness is a common refrain in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body teachings, an inspiring reminder that we are all beloved children of God. To instill this fundamental belief in the hearts and minds of children, a collaboration between multiple parties brought Theology of the Body lessons to all K-5 classrooms throughout the diocese.
Rev. Ernest J. Bernott
May 10, 1922 – May 13, 2020
Prior to his passing, Father Bernott made plans to share his generous heart through charitable bequests, gifts made as part of a will or trust. He was intentional about leaving a legacy that would continue to honor his family and Catholic values beyond his lifetime. Father Bernott’s estate created or contributed to five different endowments with the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan. His life and legacy provides a beautiful example of one who received God’s gifts gracefully, nurtured them responsibly, and shared them generously.
Daniel Rangel’s voice can be heard above his third-grade classmates every morning as they recite the ¡Sí, Se Puede pledge at San Juan Diego Academy:
“I am a student at San Juan Diego Academy. I am faithful, responsible, respectful, and dependable. I will succeed in school. I will graduate from high school, and I will go to college. ¡Sí, Se Puede! (Yes We Can!)”
Why is Daniel so confident when he recites the pledge? The family has a history of faith and success.
In September 2019, Deacon Noah Thelen was looking forward to a much-anticipated year at Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. His seminarian class would be spending two months in the Holy Land and partaking in a canonical retreat in preparation for their ordinations to become transitional deacons. Despite the challenges of 2020, Deacon Thelen was reaffirmed in his discernment, trusting God’s holy providence would lead him closer to becoming a priest.