Helping Catholics Make

a Lasting Difference.

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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Creating a Legacy for Good

Bequests to a Parish Endowment Fund


Years ago, Peggy Harvey and her husband, Bernard, received a large insurance settlement after he was injured while doing iron work for the construction of a high rise in New York City. The accident left him totally disabled, and the Harveys moved to Vero Beach, Florida where they could access good care. In 2004, after 18 years of suffering, Bernard passed away.  


Peggy sought a summer home in a cooler locale and found Blairsville, a community elevated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, yet still close to her six children and 12 grandchildren. There she saw a German-style “Hansel and Gretel” house nestled on a beautiful lot along the banks of a mountain stream, just down the road from a church. Before making any final decisions, however, Peggy visited the church to make sure this would be a community where she could thrive. At St. Francis, she met Father Richard Wise, the pastor at the time, and felt a profound connection with his ministry right away.  


Peggy has lived in Blairsville for over 16 years and is a devoted parishioner of St. Francis. During her summer months there, she attends Mass every day, sings in the choir on Sundays, participates in Bible study, and goes to the Holy Hour each Monday night. “The parish is the center of my social life,” she says.  


One year, Peggy attended a seminar on the spirituality of dying and determining your end-of-life legacy. The discussion prompted a deep reflection on the profound love she had for her husband, and caused her to remember the settlement they had received from his accident. “My conscience was hurting because I wanted to do something with this money,” she said. She marveled at the seminar as an opportunity to honor Bernard and the suffering he endured during the last 18 years of his life. At last, she had found a good use for the money that had troubled her for so long. Peggy named the St. Francis of Assisi Endowment Fund at the Catholic Foundation as one of several beneficiaries of her trust. The bequest provided her with much needed comfort and will benefit the parish community at St. Francis forever.  


Leaving a Bequest