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Remember the Church in your will

Regular people just like you remember the Church in their estate planning, and you can too.

The Church has received many generous bequests from a number of estates over the years. Many Catholics have determined that they wish to provide for the Church through a gift from their estate. Yet many people just don't consider charitable giving when deciding how to make best use of their hard-earned earthly assets.

So, how would it work if someone desired to make a gift to the Church in his or her will?

Instead of using a fictitious example, let's talk about a real-life case. In 1992, three sisters – Edith, Katherine and Margaret Erker – having lived in east Wichita for a number of years and belonging to the Church of the Magdalen Parish, walked into their attorney's office and drafted a document that accounted for how their assets would be disposed of upon their death. None of the sisters had ever married or had children.

But they had witnessed the many good and charitable works of several diocesan programs over the years. As they drafted a will with their attorney, the sisters designated gifts to several charitable entities: their home parish (Church of the Magdalen), the Holy Family Special Needs Foundation (formerly known as the Holy Family Center), The Spiritual Life Center, Priests Retirement Center and to support the continuation of the St. Vincent De Paul ministries throughout the Diocese. Two of the sisters also designated a portion of their estate to two local universities.

When the last of the sisters died in April 2004, the intent, which they had established 13 years earlier, was enacted. Their estate, valued at a very generous amount*, began to pay out. And because of the foresight and vision from three sisters, each of these ministries has been able to rest easier knowing that these gifts will ensure the continued growth of their programs and services.

Edith, Katherine and Margaret were stewards while on this earth. They gave of their time, talent and treasure. And now, after they have been called to a life with Christ, the accumulation of their earthly treasure will provide a lifetime of benefit to many in the Diocese.

In living the life of stewardship, we give 10% of our treasure back to the Lord. Why not consider a gift in our will of 10% to the Church?

For confidential information on how to go about naming your parish or a diocesan entity in your will, contact Mike Wescott, Director of Development and Planned Giving at 316-269-3915 or e-mail him at wescottm@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org

*It is the policy of the Diocese of Wichita to not publicly disclose the amount of estate gifts unless given permission by the donor or family of the donor.

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The Catholic Diocese of Wichita was erected in 1887 from the Diocese of Leavenworth. The document establishing the Wichita diocese was issued by Pope Leo XIII. At that time there were 16 priests in charge of churches, and 23 churches attended as missions and nine parochial schools.

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As the second largest school system in Sedgwick County and the ninth largest in Kansas, the 39 Catholic schools of the Diocese of Wichita serve nearly 11,000 students in both urban and rural areas. What distinguishes Catholic schools is our mission to form disciples of Jesus Christ. This formation is fostered daily by teachers, prayer, worship, infusion of religious values into curriculum and activities, and apostolic service.

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The mission of the Office of Faith Formation is to provide resources, training, policy guidance and oversight for catechetical, missionary and youth ministries for children, youth and young adults ages preschool through college in parishes and institutions throughout the diocese in a non-school setting.

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Responding to Christ’s call to feed the hungry.

The Lord’s Diner, an office of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, provides a meal seven days a week, 365 days a year. The mission is achieved in a spirit of compassion and respect through cooperative efforts with people of all faiths, businesses and organizations in the community by gifts of time, talent and treasure.

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