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Bishop announces fund for long-term support of works of mercy Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Citing a three-fold inspiration, Bishop Robert C. Morlino announced on Wednesday, Sept. 7, his plan to direct $500,000 in recent charitable bequests to provide the initial money for the establishment of a fund for works of mercy throughout the Diocese of Madison.

The fund, which will likely be called the “St. Mother Teresa Mercy Fund,” draws its first two inspirations from events of the last week: the canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata, and the announced partnership between Catholic Charities of Madison, Dane County, and others to open a day resource center for the homeless.

The third inspiration, the bishop said, was his desire to respond directly to a request from Pope Francis for each bishop to establish some kind of more permanent memorial to the Year of Mercy -- which will draw to a close in November.

Commenting on this motivation at the press conference last week, the bishop noted, “The work of the forthcoming day resource center, and the establishment of this fund to provide some support for it and for a number of works of mercy, I hope, would make Pope Francis very happy.”

“Perhaps most importantly,” the bishop added later, “providing a sustained means to carry out works of mercy -- aiding our neighbor in their bodily and spiritual needs -- is another avenue for undertaking precisely that to which we are called by our Lord Himself.”

The bishop indicated his hope that once established, the fund might attract consideration from those who have been particularly blessed financially, especially in terms of gifting through estate planning.

In fact, the initial investment in the fund comes from two recent unrestricted bequests left by members of the diocese. The first bequest is to come from the estate of Raymond Donlin and Veronica Maloney, a faithful couple from the Portage area, who quietly left substantial sums to a number of Church organizations. A second bequest is expected from the estate of the Rev. Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer, P.A., a priest of the diocese who marked 60 years of service to the local Church just prior to his death in early July.

“All the people of the diocese ‘lift hard,’ each and every year to bear part of the burden of our sisters and brothers in need,” the bishop said, referring to the various works undertaken not only by Catholic Charities, but at the parish level, through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Catholic Multicultural Center, the Apostolate to the Handicapped, St. Coletta’s, and so many other organizations, as well as to the Diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal, through which parishioners contribute some $3 million dollars annually -- a good portion of which goes to works of mercy.

“But there are some in our community who have the means to provide assistance to our sisters and brothers in need, in a very serious, substantial, and sustained way. While we are all called to give and to serve each and every day, this fund will provide the opportunity for a lasting legacy of charity -- even after someone leaves this life,” the bishop said.

Additional information will be available in coming weeks through The Catholic Diocese of Madison Foundation and the Diocese of Madison.

 
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