December 2019 Dear Friends in Christ, The Catholic Foundation wishes you and your family a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas. We are so grateful for your generosity because our partnership has accomplished so much. By partnering with generous donors like you, The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida this year will distribute a record of more than $2 million, providing resources to improve the quality of life for thousands of children, youth, adults, families and vulnerable populations throughout the region. Your generosity is transforming lives in the Diocese of Orlando by supporting a host of services, including education, housing, food, medical and mental-health. Please click here to learn more. In this month’s newsletter, our content includes an Advent message from Pope Francis, photos of our Chairman, Tom Chandler, in the studio recording our Christmas message, information about Donor Advised Funds, a story about one of our staff members and homelessness, photos from our Evening of Gratitude, and links to follow us on social media. Thank you for your generosity throughout the year. God bless you! “Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that gathered at his right hand, they be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.” -Opening Prayer of the First Sunday of Advent
Message from Pope Francis on the first day of Advent
“Watch, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. – Mt 2442 “Keeping watch does not mean to have one’s eyes physically open, but to have one’s heart free and facing the right direction, ready to give and to serve. This is keeping watch! The slumber from which we must awaken is constituted of indifference, of vanity, of the inability to establish genuine human relationships, of the inability to take charge of our brother and sister who is alone, abandoned or ill. The expectation of Jesus who is coming must therefore translate into a commitment to vigilance. It is above all a question of wonder before God’s action, at his surprises, and of according him primacy. Vigilance also means, in a concrete sense, being attentive to our neighbor in difficulty, allowing oneself to be called upon by his needs, without waiting for him or her to ask us for help, but learning to foresee, to anticipate, as God always does with us.” -Pope Francis Angelus, Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 1 December 2019
On Behalf of The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, Merry Christmas!
Top Images: Chairman, Tom Chandler, recording The Catholic Foundation’s 2019 Christmas message. Bottom Image Left to Right: Riley Arnemann and Rafael Gerena, of The Catholic Foundation’s Communications team, with Tom. Please watch your email inbox next week to hear Tom’s Christmas message!
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter on the Meaning and Importance of the Nativity Scene
“Coming into this world, the son of God was laid in the place where animals feed. Hay became the first bed of the One who would reveal himself as “the bread come down from heaven” (Jn 6:41).” -Pope Francis
Pope Francis says that the nativity scene is “like a living Gospel rising up from the pages of sacred Scripture.” He encourages “the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares…it is my hope that this custom will never be lost and that, whenever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived.” Nativity scene displayed in The Catholic Foundation office.
2019 Evening of Gratitude Highlights
The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida welcomed more than 130 guests to the annual Evening of Gratitude with Bishop John Noonan held on December 4th at the Country Club of Orlando. The event recognizes Corpus Christi Society members who have made a generous gift of $10,000 or more to Our Catholic Appeal and the Vivos Christi Society members who have provided for the future of the Church by notifying us of a gift in their will or estate plans. At this year’s event Bishop Noonan inducted 9 new Corpus Christi Society members and 12 new Vivos Christi Society members.
Introducing DONOR ADVISED FUND!
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“We All Bleed Red”
From The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida George Garcia: Supporting the Community and Advocating for the Homeless
In the depths of homelessness, George has slept inside McDonald’s restaurants and behind shopping plazas. He has also fallen asleep at Central Florida parks, though not heavily, not the deep sleep that produces dreams, because his safety was in jeopardy when day turned to night. A graduate of Osceola High School in Kissimmee, George scraped by, working same-day and temp jobs, obscuring his homelessness from employers. At 19, he met his wife, Jary, and they were both homeless living independently from their families. George, now 25, has been married 5 years and has twin girls, age 4, with Jary. For 20 years, George was homeless or working his way through the system, accruing life lessons about street life and gaps in Central Florida’s housing system. Eventually, in 2016, George and Jary connected with Zebra Coalition, an organization that helps with homelessness. George and Jary moved to Orlando and Zebra Coalition provided them with temporary housing. While living there, George acquired a job at a call center for a bank and eventually moved into his own apartment. Click here to read full story.
This Year, The Catholic Foundation Earns 5 National Philanthropic Awards!
Meet Our New Staff Team Members
Your Philanthropic Journey
As you prayerfully consider your philanthropic journey, here are some news resources to assist you and your loved ones. Thank you for your generosity. God bless you! Timely Tips for End-of-Year Tax Planning IRA and 401(k) Contributions in 2020 Ten Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan How Seniors Can Get Free Legal Assistance