Reflecting a life dedicated to serving God

St. Mark Catholic Foundation Endowment Fund Image

Growing up in Rochester, New York, Mark was the youngest of eight children in a large family deeply rooted in Catholicism. His early immersion in the faith began after being baptized at three weeks old. When Mark was 5, his sister joined the Sisters of St. Joseph and dedicated 73 years to serving the Church. When Mark was 10, his second oldest brother was ordained a Catholic priest and served until his untimely death eight years later. When Mark turned 13, he entered the seminary himself. After separating from Catholicism to serve as a Protestant Minister for 12 years, Mark’s love for the Catholic Church reignited, leading him back home to his reconciliation in 2000. Today, Mark actively participates in his parish community. He performs various roles, devotedly opening the church doors each morning, Mark is a daily communicant, lector, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and assistant weekday sacristan.

Inspired by the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, Mark aspires to focus on spiritual growth by prioritizing his relationship with God and the promise of eternity over material possessions. He lives modestly in a one-bedroom apartment furnished with a single bed and two chairs. Rejecting materialism, he forgoes owning an entertainment system and relies solely on a smartphone gifted to him. Mark has generously donated up to 30 gallons of blood to save lives, showcasing his selfless nature rooted in a profound commitment to serving God. His selfless actions are driven by a profound dedication to serving God, without personal expectations of a worldly award, and entrusting everything to build the Kingdom of God.

Mark’s unwavering commitment to his faith and passion for giving led him to pursue his philanthropic aspirations with The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida. Through the expertise of the Foundation, Mark established an endowment as a means of contributing to charitable endeavors aligned with his Catholic beliefs. The Fund is named in honor of Mark’s patron saints: St. Mark the Evangelist, author of the second Gospel; St. Mark I, Pope and Martyr; and St. Mark the Ascetic. Mark’s aspirations and the lives of these three great saints closely align with the vision of The Catholic Foundation – to impact lives and promote the Gospel, which builds the Kingdom of God.

Mark envisions a legacy that generates a perpetual income stream to support the operations of The Catholic Foundation so it can continue its charitable initiatives, serving the spiritual and corporal needs of the community, as well as its work to provide philanthropic guidance to donors and the Catholic parishes, schools and ministries throughout the Diocese of Orlando. The St. Mark endowment will fulfill that vision.

He hopes that through his endowment, he can depart this world with virtually no possessions, much like St. Francis, who embodied the essence of the Surrender Novena’s refrain: “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you: take care of everything.” Mark’s faith and generosity reflects a life dedicated to serving God.

If you are interested in establishing a new endowment fund to support your favorite diocesan parish, school or ministry, please contact Madelyn Weed, CFRE, CAP at (407) 246-7188.

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