Meet Our Donors
Christopher Caolong Nguyen Endowment Fund
Christopher CaoLong Nguyen was born to a loving Catholic family in Marietta on December 22, 2017 along with his twin brother Alexander. His parents, Thao and Long, were thrilled to bring two beautiful boys into their family which was already blessed with two older sisters and an older brother. The older children adored their new baby brothers.
Christopher, like his brother Alexander, was a very happy baby, and filled everyone with joy, smiles and laughter when they carried him. Christopher was called home to God at only five months old on the morning of June 8, 2018.
On the day after, mom Thao heard Christopher speak to her in her heart. She knew that Christopher was asking her to help children in some unique way. Christopher’s family and friends considered ways to carry out his wishes. A dear friend of the Nguyen family suggested creating an endowment fund at the Catholic Foundation in Christopher’s name so that his legacy would live on forever.
Through discussions with the staff at the Foundation, the Nguyens learned about a very deserving non-profit organization – Chris 180, based in Atlanta. Chris 180’s mission is to serve children in need by “healing children, strengthening families, and building community.” The name Chris 180 represents the non-profit’s commitment to helping those they serve change directions and change their lives. The Nguyens and their friends thought that this organization was the perfect beneficiary for the fund, and the non-profit’s name was especially fitting – a “God moment.”
The Nguyens, their family and friends created the Christopher CaoLong Nguyen Endowment Fund with a gift of $5,000. When the fund reaches $25,000, it will provide distributions to Chris 180 that will benefit this important ministry both now and in the future.
The loss of this precious life continues to inspire the family and friends of the Nguyens to continue to serve and support the most fragile among us.
Cleaning Out the Attic Leads to a Charitable Gift Annuity
While cleaning out their home in late 2013, Christ the King parishioners Jim and Jo Appleby had quite a pleasant surprise. They came across an insurance policy that had been purchased by Jim’s parents at his birth in the 1930s. Purchased originally for just $15, more than eight decades later, they would find the value of that policy had grown to nearly $88,000. The Applebys wanted to use the funds to honor the Church, a source of support and peace all their lives. However, the idea of extra income wasn’t something they could just dismiss. A friend told them about the charitable gift annuities program at The Catholic Foundation. The charitable gift annuities available through The Catholic Foundation exceeded the Applebys expectations. The couple was able to donate the entire sum, receive a quarterly income partially tax-free, and accrue just over $41,000 in tax deductions. The money from the insurance policy will eventually benefit three separate organizations’ endowments at The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia for Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, the Cathedral of Christ the King, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Georgia. It started as a $15 insurance policy for an infant boy more than 80 years ago. Now it will provide an additional quarterly income for the couple who discovered it and continue supporting the Catholic tradition in Atlanta for generations.
The St. Pius X Class of ’71 / Doll deGolian Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund
The St. Pius X Class of ’71 / Doll deGolian Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund was established in 2007 by friends and family of Doll deGolian Sullivan, a fellow classmate who died of cancer, and members of the St. Pius X Class of 1971. The Fund offers tuition assistance to St. Pius X Catholic School for scholarships, especially to incoming freshmen. The Fund currently has two student recipients, a freshman and a senior, and hopes to offer 50 percent tuition grants to a new student each year. Students who are eligible for the award are those who exemplify high academic performance, are involved with the school through extracurricular activities, and come from families with multiple children. Doll deGolian Sullivan came from a family of 14 children, all of whom attended Catholic schools.
The Late Monsignor O’Connor Honors The Catholic Foundation
Monsignor Daniel O’Connor remembered The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia in his will with a $110,000 gift “to be used at [The Catholic Foundation’s] discretion.” The Monsignor Daniel J. O’Connor Endowment Fund will help to support the work of our Foundation and continue what Msgr. O’Connor devoted his entire priesthood to accomplishing: reaching out to his fellow Catholics. In his five decades of priesthood, Msgr. O’Connor was often in leadership at archdiocesan offices and in parishes where difficult changes were taking place – and in those circumstances he was a gifted leader, friends say. 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. 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. Late in life, Msgr. O’Connor vested and celebrated Mass every day in his home until several weeks before his death when weakness caused him to have to do so sitting down, which was a great loss. Sister Valentina, a Sister of Mercy who worked alongside Msgr. O’Connor, recalls him as “a wonderful teacher. In his homilies, he taught the people. 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.”
The Djuric Family
Nick Djuric, a parishioner at the Cathedral of Christ the King, knew he wanted to create a fund someday to honor Bishop Saint Nicholas (Sveti Nikola), his family’s patron saint. Nick was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox Church and his family has relied on the saint’s intercession for unfailing help. “After our family escaped injury when a large tree fell on our house in 2015 – a close call for which we credited the intercession of St. Nicholas – I decided that day had arrived,” Nick said.
He added, “The Catholic Foundation embraced our idea for a donor-advised fund that would convert to an endowment fund at our death, and they made it effortless for us to create and fund the Sveti Nikola Fund when we were ready.”
Through the Sveti Nikola Fund, Nick and his wife Michelle plan to benefit a variety of ecclesiastical, charitable, and educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Atlanta that are important to their family. Then, with a supplemental gift from their estate at their death, the fund will continue to benefit those institutions long into the future.
“We hope that, both now and in the future, the fund will be a reminder to our children of their parents and their Catholic faith.” – Nick Djuric
A legacy for good, in memory of Bernard Harvey
Years ago, Peggy Harvey and her husband 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, he 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 and felt a profound connection with his ministry right away. Today, Peggy has lived in Blairsville for 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. She recently completed a quilt made from Indonesian fabric for the parish fair. “The parish is the center of my social life,” she says. A little over a year ago, 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 donation provided her with much needed comfort. That money now builds a legacy for good.
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, Rev. John Kieran and his brother, (the late) Rev. 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” to support the mission and operations of the Foundation. Fr. John said he knew that it would be invested well by trustworthy, knowledgeable people. In other words: “Give it to God, and let it be.” 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. He even contributed some of his own money to start the parish endowment fund. A few years later, when the two brothers were looking for a way to benefit the Church in North Georgia, they decided to establish 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.” Fr. John said his parents made great sacrifices in the face of many struggles for their children and sent all to college who wanted to go. 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 condo will be invested in the fund, per the bequest in Fr. John’s will. Fr. Richard Kieran died in November 2016, but his legacy will live 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.”
David James Gojdics
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, Mr. Gojdics was especially interested in the vital work of soup kitchens. He had already volunteered at Open Door, when he happened to attend Mass at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and learned about St. Francis Table. As a volunteer for St. Francis Table, David Gojdics would arrive at the Shrine in downtown Atlanta early on Saturday mornings. He was committed to this soup kitchen ministry where volunteers prepare food for 300-500 homeless and hungry people every Saturday. At 10:00 a.m., Mr. Gojdics and his fellow volunteers would welcome the hungry into the Shrine, serve them food, and talk with them. Gojdics’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 others. 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.” Before retirement, Mr. Gojdics had held the position of Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management for Emory University. It’s probably fair to say that David Gojdics understood budget analysis and cost projections better than most. Likely he knew the amount of donations that would be needed to keep St. Francis Table running year after year. Maybe that’s why he decided to help out. Mr. Gojdics’ commitment to this ministry sparked his interest in making sure that the cause he cared so much for during his life would continue to be supported 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. In 2016, after his death from brain cancer at age 74, his estate completed this generous 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 and, “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.”