Building the church for Generations to Come
Faith starts in your heart — But if you plant it in the world around you…a miracle occurs. It grows and grows. It becomes the real brick and mortar that builds our Church. What you see today is the growing faith of generations who came before.
Are you planting the seeds that will outlive you?
The Calling Of Stewardship
As we age, our role in life changes. This is also true of our role in the Church. Younger people look to us for guidance and earned wisdom. As our journey has progressed, we have deepened our relationship with God, and, perhaps, more is expected of us. We are seen as examples; we are called to be leaders in our Church.
In retirement, we might find time to slow down and consider what we have been given. When we consider how far we have come, the relationships we have enjoyed with spouses, friends, and family, the blessings of our work and our faith, when we realize how God's hand has guided us through it all, we feel an overwhelming gratitude. That is where the true call of stewardship starts, the call to return to the Lord with increase. It begins with one simple acknowledgment: "Yes, Lord, I am grateful."
What Is The Fons Vitae Society?
In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, the symbol of water is frequently used to portray the mysterious flowing of God's love for us as we strive to serve Him and give Him glory.
It was in this sign that the Diocese of Brooklyn established the Fons Vitae Society. The word Fons is Latin and means a "Fountain" or "a source." The word Vitae means "of life." The Society Title, in English, is "the Fountain of Life Society."
Jesus established His Church as a living organism — "The Mystical Body." Its life (Vita) is spiritual and is sustained by Jesus. The source of the Church's life is the redeeming grace of Jesus, which flows through the whole body. The life that is the means through which Christ grows in society is sustained by a cellular composition of Diocese comprised of Parishes. Both of these elements in Christ's plans are needed.
The Fons Vitae Society was established to honor Christ as the real source of our everlasting life.
The Fons Vitae Society enables its members to thank God for all He has given us, both spiritual and material. It also allows us to continue to help, beyond our own physical life, the mission of the Mystical Body of Christ. Truly, it is the Fountain of Life for our Church and for us.
Truly, it is The Fountain of Life for our Church and for us.
A Charitable Gift Annuity — The Gift That Can Actually Raise Your Income
A popular and very effective way to include the Church in an estate plan is a simple bequest through a will or living trust. Another great way is the charitable gift annuity (CGA.) It provides guaranteed payments for life along with tax savings and other advantages. For investors who feel "locked in," because they own stock, which, if they sell, would trigger a large capital gains tax, the CGA can be an even more attractive alternative.
A primary benefit of the CGA is the generous income you (or you and your spouse or other beneficiary) will receive for life, guaranteed. There are substantial tax benefits as well. Most importantly, you will experience the joy that sharing brings, because at the end of your life the remaining funds will be transferred to the parish or ministry of your choice.
Planned Giving Opportunities
There are many ways to help ensure the financial future of our Church through a planned gift. Call to learn about available opportunities, such as:
• Gifts by Will or Living Trust
• Charitable Gift Annuities
• Pooled Income Fund
• Charitable Remainder Unitrusts
• Gifts of Appreciated Securities
• Life Insurance Gifts
• Charitable Lead Trusts
• Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets
The Grateful Recognition Of Your Church
Our ancestors built the Church in this country, often with the sweat of their brow, by donating their time and their talents in the trades. Their legacy endures today through the ministries carried out in the churches and schools they built. The Fons Vitae Society provides an opportunity for us to take our place beside our ancestors, to leave our mark, our legacy of faith. It is one way for us, like Brooklyn and Queens area Catholics of yesterday, to contribute to this great Church for generations to come.
The Society acknowledges the many members and friends of the Diocese of Brooklyn for their intention to remember the diocese, its parishes, schools, and special ministries or a combination, in their estate plans. The Diocese has arranged to honor and acknowledge members of the Fons Vitae Society in the following ways:
• A special Mass, celebrated by our Bishop, will be held annually to honor all members of the society both present and past. Upon conclusion of the Mass, there will be an opportunity to meet the Bishop of Brooklyn and receive his personal blessing.
• Your name will be listed on the Diocesan Web Site and recorded for history in the Society Honor Roll. This handsome book will be kept permanently in the St. James Cathedral - Basilica, and it will be carried in procession each year in the Mass for the Fons Vitae Society. Special prayers will be said for members who are sick or who have passed on in that year.
• You'll also receive a certificate adorned with the diocesan crest, signed by the Bishop of Brooklyn, a permanent token of your induction into this special society and recognition of your willingness to return blessings to God with increase.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: If I give to the Church today, how do I know I'll be able to support myself or my spouse in the future?
A: You'll need to plan your gift carefully, and we'll be glad to help you consider the options. The charitable gift annuity may be a solution for you, because payments are guaranteed for as long as you (or you and a second beneficiary) may live. A bequest can leave those assets that remain once both spouses have passed on.
Q: I have very special memories from my Catholic school days. I also feel devoted to my home parish. Can I designate my gift to my old school and my parish?
A: You can designate your gift for any parish, school or ministry of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Or, you can proportionately share your gift among several entities — it's entirely up to you!
Q: Regarding the charitable gift annuity, what if I need to recover my principal because of a family emergency?
A: Because of tax laws, once you set up an annuity, we have no legal way to refund it to you. There are other opportunities to leave a legacy of your faith that might make more sense for you. We would be happy to explain these and the other planned-giving opportunities.
While it is not required, members of the Fons Vitae Society are asked to complete a Testamentary Gift Intention form. The form provides an opportunity for the donor(s) to clearly express his/her/their intention(s), whether it be for a restricted or unrestricted purpose, to include the diocese, its parishes, schools, and special ministries or a combination, in their estate plan.
Click here to download a PDF brochures containing information about our Fon Vitae Society.
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The information on this site is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice.
For such advice, please consult an attorney, tax professional or investment professional.