Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Last month, I gave an overview of all the amazing work the Lord has allowed us to accomplish over the past year and what we hope to continue to accomplish in the new year. This month, I want to announce a new initiative that could significantly contribute to our ability to continue being a clear voice for the Gospel for years to come.
We are launching the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society, which will enable our loyal supporters to continue their support after their deaths. Each year, a fair number of our supporters “move on” to the next stage of the mission, and when we are notified, we have a Mass said for each one of them. Periodically, we are notified also that a longtime supporter has remembered us in their will, and when that bequest arrives it always is experienced as an especially wonderful blessing. We want to extend this opportunity to everyone and so are establishing the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society for those who have decided to remember the mission of Renewal Ministries in their will or trust.
Why St. Catherine of Siena? She embodies our mission in many ways. She was deeply contemplative and deeply Charismatic. She communed continually with God in prayer and received amazing wisdom and insight from Him, and at the same time prophesied to the pope, cast out demons, healed the sick, and called many to repentance and a life of holiness.
She lived at a time of great crisis for the Church—with competing claimants to the papacy and the legitimate pope living in fear and subservient to the French political powers in Avignon, France. When she arrived in the papal court, she smelled the “stench of sin.” She even wrote passionately about the horror of homosexuality among the clergy and cowardly bishops who transferred offending clerics to other assignments without appropriate discipline. Her passion for the Lord and the renewal of the Church, combined with her deeply contemplative and Charismatic ministry, is inspiring to us. And so the name!
I would like to ask all of you, particularly those who are approaching—or in—retirement to consider naming Renewal Ministries in your final plans. You can leave a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or a percentage of what remains after your loved ones are taken care of. This can easily be arranged by adding a codicil to your will or an amendment to your trust. You may also wish to add Renewal Ministries as a charitable beneficiary when you update your will or trust, or by updating a beneficiary form for a life insurance policy, commercial annuity, retirement plan, etc. We have some good Catholic estate lawyers here in Ann Arbor who are friends of Renewal Ministries who can advise you how to do this if you need such help. All you need to do is include wording like this in your will:
If you live in the United States: I give and bequeath to Renewal Ministries Inc., 230 Collingwood, Suite 250, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, Tax ID 38-2385975, the sum of $__________ (or % of residual estate) for its general uses and purposes.
If you live in Canada: I give and bequeath to Catholic Renewal Ministries Inc., 331 Evans Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M8Z 1K2, Registration No. 12374-0243-RR0001, the sum of $__________ (or % of residual estate) for its general uses and purposes.
When you name Renewal Ministries, you should include either our US or Canadian address, legal name, and Tax ID number (depending on where you live) so there won’t be confusion with other similar non-profit organizations.
When considering such donations, people sometimes ask me about Renewal Ministries’ longevity. Our goal isn’t to go on forever, but to go on as long as the Lord gives us strength, capable colleagues, and sufficient financial support. In that regard, things are looking very promising.
The Lord has provided us with a good range of ages in the leadership of Renewal Ministries, and even if one of us was no longer here, the remaining team and new people the Lord may add to it would be able to carry on quite effectively. My own father lived until he was ninety two—active and alert to the day he died—and I have no plans to retire, as I don’t consider this a job, but a mission, and I have as much energy and zeal for the Gospel as ever. Peter Herbeck is sixteen years younger than me, and Pete Burak is considerably younger than Peter—so succession is looking good as well.
Plus, we have two excellent boards, one for the US and one for Canada, with very capable people and truly excellent Episcopal advisors, Archbishop Robert Carlson, of St. Louis, and Cardinal Thomas Collins, of Toronto. In the extreme eventuality that Renewal Ministries didn’t have the leadership to continue, the board would transfer any assets to similar ministries that would clearly fulfill important aspects of Renewal Ministries’ mission.
If you have any questions about signing up for the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society, feel free to contact our Director of Mission Advancement John Recznik, at 734-662-1730 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website, at www.RenewalMinistries.net/plannedgiving.
Anyone who decides to remember us in their will or trust will receive a plaque of recognition and gratitude, as well as a picture of St. Catherine and a complimentary set of my CD album on St. Catherine’s life and teaching.
Thank you for considering this important new initiative as we enter 2019.
Your brother in Christ,