Helping Catholics Make

a Lasting Difference.

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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Soup Kitchen Ministry

St. Francis Table Endowment Fund  

 

Like many retirees, David Gojdics chose to use his free time to help others. A member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain for more than 20 years, David was especially interested in the vital work of soup kitchens. He had already volunteered with Open Door Community , when he happened to attend Mass at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and learned about St. Francis Table. He soon got involved and committed to this soup kitchen ministry where volunteers prepare food for 300-500 homeless and hungry people every Saturday.  

 

As a volunteer for St. Francis Table, David Gojdics would arrive at the Shrine in downtown Atlanta early on Saturday mornings. At 10:00 a.m., David and his fellow volunteers would welcome the hungry into the Shrine, serve them food, and talk with them. David’s son Brad described his father as an intellectual person – quiet, friendly, but not very outgoing. Yet, he opened himself up to the homeless, serving alongside them. Monsignor Henry Gracz, pastor of the Shrine, remembers David Gojdics and his commitment to the ministry. “St. Francis Table requires a core of steady volunteers, and people like David and about ten people around him were so regular that it allowed the Table to offer the great hospitality that it is known for – the service to the needy and the hungry.” 

 

David’s commitment to St. Francis Table inspired him to find a way to continue supporting the ministry after he died. In 2014, David Gojdics created a permanent endowment fund at the Catholic Foundation for St. Francis Table with a gift of $25,000. At that time, he was recognized as a member of the Deo Gratias Society. He also decided to create a lasting legacy for this critical ministry, by including a generous bequest in his will. In 2016, after his death from brain cancer at age 74, his estate completed his gift with a contribution of $161,871 towards the permanent endowment for St. Francis Table. Going forward, this gift will generate thousands of dollars annually to help feed hungry Atlantans.  

 

This one volunteer’s legacy gift will impact the poor and underserved for many years to come. His son Brad, who was very close to his father, said he was proud of his dad’s gift to St. Francis Table: “I’m glad to see something good will come out of it.” Speaking of David Gojdics, Monsignor Gratz said, “It is that openness of heart, and the services and resources that he left behind that were such a great gift.” 

 

If you too would like to provide lasting help to feed the homeless in Atlanta, please consider a gift to the St. Francis Table Endowment Fund, the John W. Shadix Endowment Fund, or the St. Marianne Cope Fund for the Homeless. 

 

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