The Works of Mercy Trust
This past spring, the Bishop Joseph Ott Works of Mercy Trust Fund Board of Trustees issued grants to area non-profits whose staff and volunteers faithfully address needs in the Baton Rouge community with established effectiveness and dedication, and on May 19, Bishop Robert Muench personally presented the worthy organizations their grants. Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge is one of the deserving ministries the board is very pleased to support.
Rebuilding Together is a national organization of more than 200 affiliates—with over 125,000 projects valued at well over a billion dollars to date—and, in little more than a decade of operation, the local affiliate has invested more than $1,000,000 in the greater Baton Rouge community by completing more than 100 individual projects on behalf of seniors whose homes required updates and repair. Work continues throughout the year, but Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge volunteers take part in a National Rebuild Day on the last Friday of April each year. Visitors to the organization’s website can view photos of recent projects, learn how to make donations, volunteer time and skill, or learn how to receive assistance. Take a moment, and visit the Rebuilding Together Baton Rogue website, www.rebuildingtogetherbatonrouge.org. You’ll be encouraged to see so many gifted and compassionate volunteers at work.
THE STEWARD'S BOOKSHELF
for Reflection and Study
Please visit “The Steward’s Bookshelf”
for additional recommendations.
NATIONAL CATHOLIC NEWS
- Pope says synod is not parliament, but place to listen to Holy Spirit
- Fidelity, truth, love must guide church outreach to families, pope says
- On synod's eve, Vatican official declares his homosexuality
- People with disabilities 'welcomed, valued' during Pope Francis' visit
- Vatican says pope's meeting with Kentucky clerk is not endorsement
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Death, Taxes, Love and Forgiveness
From the Stewardship Today Archives,
Residents of Colonial Boston notoriously objected to a tax levied by the British crown on tea, standing with others throughout history that found high taxes unreasonable or unjust. Ancient Egyptians paid unreasonably heavy taxes on cooking oil, and Romans were among the first to require a sales tax. The ‘look’ of eighteenth century Russian culture likely changed a bit as the result of a tax on beards, and taxes on everything from windows to fireplaces to trees altered the landscape of several European countries in recent centuries....read more
CATHOLIC SAINTS ON STEWARDSHIP
The following is profound wisdom regarding good works, from the desk of St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), Spanish Carmelite and Doctor of the Church:
“God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with desire that men know of them.”
LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS
STEWARDSHIP: THE LOCAL PARISH
As was the case in the capital city just across the river, the growing Port Allen area was a valued part of the New Orleans Archdiocese in the mid-1920s when Holy Family Church was officially established as a Catholic parish. At the time, parishioners had celebrated the Eucharist in various mission chapels for generations: in Port Allen, but also in Lobdell and Grosse Tete. The Holy Family Parish website notes a new sanctuary was completed in 1928, and four years later, the congregation already totaled more than 1300 parishioners. Near the close of WWII, the Port Allen church opened Holy Family School, and forty years ago, dedicated the church building in which the still-growing congregation currently meets and ministers so well to the West Baton Rouge community.
The Parish mission statement is as gracious as it is clear: “Holy Family Parish is a loving, caring community of devoted and committed Catholic Christians. Our mission purpose is to spread and deepen the Kingdom of God among all people. Our aim is to carry out this mission through our strong tradition of faith and family, through a strong sacramental and liturgical life, through a total Catholic educational program, through a ministry to the social needs of the community, and through evangelization.” A new, easily downloadable “2015 Ministry Directory” brochure offers detailed descriptions of the many opportunities for service available through Holy Family ministries and programs. To download the brochure, view ministry photos, or simply learn about the wonderful Holy Family Catholic Church in Port Allen, please visit www.holyfamilychurchpa.org
STEWARDSHIP IN SCRIPTURE
“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.”
(Titus 2:11-14; New American Bible, Revised Edition)
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Designate Your Assets to Help Others
If you are looking for an easy way to support the Diocese of Baton Rouge, but can’t part with assets today, consider designating the diocese as the beneficiary of your retirement plan assets or insurance policies. When you support the diocese through a beneficiary designation, you can have peace of mind knowing that your plans can be altered at any time. Consider the following options:
Retirement plan assets make a tax-wise gift. If your children are the beneficiaries of your retirement plan assets, federal income taxes may erode up to 39.6 percent of the amount they receive from your plan. In contrast, the diocese is tax-exempt and eligible to receive the full amount. Life insurance is a low-cost way to provide a gift, as well. If you name the diocese as contingent beneficiary, the diocese will only benefit if your primary beneficiary predeceases you. Insurance annuities carry an income tax burden, making your named beneficiary responsible for paying the income tax due on the growth of your annuity. The tax burden makes these assets a popular choice to leave to the diocese because that can eliminate the tax bill on the portion received.
How to Name Us as Beneficiary
To name the diocese as beneficiary of any assets, contact your retirement plan administrator or insurance company for a change-of-beneficiary form. Decide what percentage you would like to give, and name the diocese, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form. Then return the form to your plan administrator or insurance company.
For More Information
Consulting an estate-planning attorney is a smart investment that can save you and your family money and heartache in the long run, too. Please seek legal advice before deciding how you will handle your estate plan.
For additional information concerning Diocese of Baton Rouge Planned Giving opportunities, please visit the “Plan My Legacy” page through the Office of Stewardship website: http://officeofstewardship.planmylegacy.org
Please Support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal
and Thirty Years of Vital Ministry
“Whatever our bodies may be doing, we should at the same time continually lift up our minds to God, which is the most acceptable form of prayer. For no matter which way we turn our steps, as long as our minds are turned to God, we clearly are not turned away from Him who is present everywhere.”
(St. Thomas More, 1478-1535, English Statesman and Catholic Martyr)
“God feeds the birds, and daily food is provided to the sparrows; and to creatures that have no sense of divine things, there is no lack of drink or food. Do you think that to a Christian—to a servant of the Lord—to someone given to good works—to someone who is dear to the Lord—anything will be lacking? Do you imagine that the one who feeds Christ is not himself fed by Christ, or that earthly things will be lacking to those to whom heavenly and divine things are given?”
(St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 200-258, North African Bishop and Martyr)