We face a happy problem. The good news is that after many years of declining numbers of priestly vocations, we now see a turnaround and an increase in the number of men who are exploring and answering the call of Jesus to serve as priests. Our problem is that this is a major financial challenge for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend because of the cost to provide a college education for our seminarians. As you know, the cost of college education can reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since our priests receive only a modest salary after ordination, it is imperative that the diocese be able to offer financial assistance to educate our future priests.
Currently there are several sources of revenue that provide the resources needed for the education and formation of the seminarians of the diocese: the Annual Bishop's Appeal, the Pentecost annual collection for seminarian support, and the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education. Based on the rising cost of education, the present number of seminarians and the projected increase in the number of our seminarians, we seek to increase the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education endowment.
The Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education is a permanent endowment fund established to provide income for the education of seminarians for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. This fund is part of the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana. The interest generated by this fund will be used each year for support of our seminarians. Since the principal is never touched, this endowment fund is truly a "gift that keeps on giving."
What is the cost to educate a priest? The cost is comparable to a college degree per seminarian per year. This cost includes tuition, room and board, travel expenses, and a modest stipend for parish assignment.
How does the diocese pay for this? The diocese pays through three separate sources coming from the Annual Bishop's Appeal, the annual Pentecost collection, and the interest paid by the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education.
Why don't the seminarians pay their own way? Some families do contribute to the education of our seminarians. But most seminarians and their families cannot afford the full cost of their education. When these young men become priests, their priestly salary will not be enough to pay off large college loans. Also, we must be competitive with other dioceses and religious orders that pay for all educational costs.
Why establish an endowment instead of outright gifts? Endowments ensure that the principal is not spent, therefore the income is there every year and can be relied upon in planning for seminarian budgets. In the interest of the donor, it assures that the gift will continue to give and the blessings will continue to flow long after the tax benefit is received.
What is the best way to give to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education? Families of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend are asked to discern bequests, charitable gift annuities, and other planned giving methods that will provide new funds to be added to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education.
OPPORTUNITIES OF GIVING FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Bequest: Please remember the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education in your will. Leaving a bequest to the Church is the most common planned gift, in fact, it is estimated that 85 percent of planned gifts are bequests. To leave a gift to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education, share the following bequest language with your attorney:
Unrestricted Bequest: "I give The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc., P.O. Box 390, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801, the greater of $___________ (dollars) or ________% (percent) of my estate for the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education.
Residual Bequest: "I give (all) or _______ % (percent) of the residue of my estate to The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc., P.O. Box 390, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801, for the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education.â€
Contingent Bequest: "Contingent upon __________, I give to Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education the greater of $____ (dollars) or _____ % (percent) of my estate. I direct this sum, or percent, to be paid to The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc., P.O. Box 390, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801.â€
Gifts of Stocks or Other Securities: Gifts of stocks, mutual funds, securities, or other assets are ways to make a significant contribution at a reduced cost to you. Federal tax laws allow a charitable deduction for the full market value of securities on the date of your gift. Please consult your tax advisor on the tax treatment, as this may vary from individual to individual.
Gifts of Real Property: Real property can be given as an outright gift or by bequest.
Charitable Gift Annuity: Under the terms of a gift annuity, you may make a charitable gift of cash or other property. You and your spouse, if you desire, then receive a fixed payment for life. The frequency and rate of payments are determined at the time the gift annuity is funded. The payments continue, regardless of how long you and/or other recipients live. At the death of the final recipient, the remainder of the gift reverts to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education.
Charitable Lead Trusts: You may transfer assets, usually cash or securities, to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education. During a term specified in the trust, the trustee (the diocese) invests the assets of the lead trust. Each year, the trustee (the diocese) pays a fixed percentage of the trust's current value to the endowment. The value of the annual pay-out (to the donor) corresponds with the value of the trust each year. At the end of the trust's term, usually between 10 and 20 years, the accumulated assets are returned to you or another designated party.
Other Deferred Gifts: There are many other ways to make significant gifts to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education through the use of deferred or planned gifts. These vehicles are allowed by law and offer tax benefits, to you, the donor. The Church benefits with significant financial support for our seminarian education.
Cash Gifts: Donations made to the fund will continue to support our vocations forever. Your cash gift to the Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education is tax deductible. Donations may be sent to Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education:
Saint John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
915 S. Clinton Street
P. O. Box 390
Fort Wayne, IN 46801
If you wish to establish a pledge payment, or for more information contact us at email@example.com or call us at (574) 258-6571 in Mishawaka.
Word of thanksgiving: Your gift will help beyond measure. Thank you for your support of our seminarians and, ultimately, our priests. Our parishes need their leadership and spiritual guidance. Our communities need these holy men so that the life of Christ remains an influence in our society; our world needs them to be committed to what is good and holy so that we can see beyond the limits of this intensely secular world.
Please support our priests with your prayers Certainly there is a great financial need; however, our greatest need is for your daily prayer for our priests and seminarians. Pray most especially for the increase of priestly vocations and ask for the intercession of our beloved Saint John Paul II for the increase of vocations throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Saint John Paul II, pray for the increase of priestly vocations throughout our diocese!