Helping Catholics Make

a Lasting Difference.

Deacon Mike and Ruth Jones Family Fund 

A Legacy for St. Pius X Catholic High School 

 

When Ruth Jones passed away in 2019, Deacon Mike and his family wanted to establish a legacy in his wife and their mother’s honor. They quickly realized that St. Pius X Catholic High School, an institution so important to their family’s history, would be the ideal place to honor Ruth.  

 

Mike and Ruth were both educated at Catholic high schools and wanted a Catholic education for their children. As parishioners at Holy Cross, St. Pius was the closet choice. They enrolled their oldest son, Michael, there in 1970. “To say that sending our children [to St. Pius] was a sacrifice might be an understatement,” said Mike, “but it was worth the twenty-two tuition years.” Geography may have landed them at Pius, but the people and community are what kept them involved there. 

 

Mike became active in the athletic association because the children were involved in soccer, football, cheerleading, and basketball. Ruth participated in other activities that helped with their children’s classroom performance. Together, they attended lots of social and athletic activities and became close with fellow Pius parents. Their children also made lifelong friends while at Pius, “friends still among their closest friends now. The bond is so strong that it withstood both distance and time” as they graduated and started their adult lives, Mike noted. The legacy continued with their grandchildren, as five of them also attended Pius.  

 

In addition to new friendships, Ruth and Mike also grew in faith influenced by the people they came to know at St. Pius. Mike was ordained a deacon in 1987 and Ruth became a certified Spiritual Director a few years later. These vocations allowed them to continue to share their faith with other people in the church. 

 

Mike said that he hopes this scholarship will assist other families with tuition so they too can experience the love, faith, and support of the St. Pius community. He prays for “insight and wisdom for the parents considering St. Pius for their children. Their decision is a big one and hopefully they will pray to the Holy Spirit to guide them to the correct decision.” He hopes that while at Pius, the scholarship recipients and their families will experience the family, faith, and service traditions of the school, and that they embrace those traditions in their own lives.  

 

Jenn Sedlack, Director of Advancement at St. Pius, shared “It’s heartwarming when long-standing Pius families like the Jones’ step up to ensure other families get to call Pius ‘home’ too.” The scholarship fund will be held at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, a trusted partner of St. Pius, to grow in perpetuity.  

 

Established in 2019, the Deacon Mike and Ruth Jones Family Fund honors the mother of this family, Ruth Jones, as well as their children who have died: Michael Kevin ’72, David Roy ’79, and their infant daughter, Kay Marie. This fund also recognizes their other children and grandchildren who were well prepared by their education at St. Pius X: Dianne ’75, Danny ’80, Robert ’83, and Nancy ’84. Five of their fifteen grandchildren also attended St. Pius X: Michael ’00, Matthew ’02, and Callie ’05 Ulm, and Hannah ’16 and Brennen Jones. 

Brother Priests Create a Lasting Legacy

Father John C. Kieran and Father Richard A. Kieran Endowment Fund

 

It’s no secret that our priests give freely of their time and talent. But did you know that we have priests who also give generously of their treasure? In 2016, Irish-born priests, Father John Kieran and his brother, (the late) Father Richard Kieran created the Father John C. Kieran and Father Richard A. Kieran Endowment Fund. The fund will benefit the Catholic Foundation, and in turn, our local Catholic community. Fr. John said his brother wanted their gifts to help the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia “with no strings attached.” He also said that he knew their gifts would be invested well by trustworthy, knowledgeable people in order to best support the mission and operations of the foundation. 

 

This wasn’t Fr. John’s first collaboration with the Catholic Foundation. As pastor of St. Pius X parish in Conyers, Fr. John became one of the first pastors to establish a parish endowment fund with the Catholic Foundation. Once he learned about the Catholic Foundation, Fr. John immediately saw the value of the Foundation’s work in supporting the long-term financial needs of parishes.  

 

Years after Fr. John helped start the endowment fund at St. Pius, the two brothers were looking for a way to benefit the Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. They decided to turn back to the foundation they knew well to create a fund named for their family. “We had great parents, so I want the Kieran name to be remembered in gratitude for their hard work in parenting us.” A founding donation of $25,000 was provided by Fr. Richard to create the Father John C. Kieran and Father Richard A. Kieran Endowment Fund. Fr. John’s gift to the endowment will be realized after he passes. Proceeds from the sale of his condominium will be invested in the fund, per the bequest in Fr. John’s will. Fr. Richard Kieran died in November 2016, but his legacy lives on in the fund that the brothers created. Fr. John’s hope for the future of the endowment is that “it continues to grow and realistically helps parishes.”  

 

If you would like to honor Father John C. Kieran or remember Father Richard A. Kieran with a gift to their fund, please donate below.  

 

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Leaving a Gift in Your Will

The Monsignor Daniel J. O’Connor Endowment Fund 

 

Monsignor Daniel O’Connor devoted his entire priesthood to reaching out to his fellow Catholics. In his will, he remembered the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia with a $110,000 gift “to be used at [the Catholic Foundation’s] discretion.” With the majority of this gift, the Foundation established the Monsignor Daniel J. O’Connor Endowment Fund to support the work of our Foundation and continue to reach out to Catholics in the way Msgr. O’Connor did. 

Before entering the seminary, Msgr. O’Connor enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1951 at the time of the Korean War. He was sent to Germany, where he served as a radio operator. After ordination, he took a commission in 1964 as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve and served until February 1992 when he retired with the rank of colonel. In his five decades of priesthood, Msgr. O’Connor was often in leadership in archdiocesan offices and parishes where difficult changes were taking place. Perhaps shaped by his training in the U.S. Army, he brought stability to times of transition while trusting those around him to do what he asked of them. His commitment to his Catholic faith was apparent even late in his life as Msgr. O’Connor vested and celebrated Mass every day in his home until only weeks before his death. Sister Valentina, a Sister of Mercy who worked alongside Msgr. O’Connor, recalls him as “a wonderful teacher. In his homilies, he went into the history and the background of the readings, what the Scriptures were really saying,” she said. “The people loved him, absolutely loved him.”  

Join us in honoring Monsignor O’Connor and supporting the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia by donating to the Monsignor Daniel J. O’Connor Endowment Fund.

Quotes from a story by Gretchen Keiser, The Georgia Bulletin, June 24, 2010 

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