by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The theme of the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas’ Deo Gratias annual meeting and awards dinner on Nov. 30 was: “I will raise the cup of salvation” (Ps 116:13).
“I really like that verse, but I really like the verse before it, ‘How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me,” said Bill Maloney, the foundation’s executive director. “It’s a great way to start the day by reciting that prayer.”
Like Psalm 116, the spirit of the event, held in the Keleher Conference Center at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas, was of thanks and gratitude.
The CFNEK, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides distributions and grants to parishes, schools and institutions through the formation of endowments, donor advised funds, charitable gift annuities and membership in the Catholic Legacy Society.
The event featured Maloney giving a review of the past year for the CFNEK, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann presenting the annual Deo Gratias awards.
The flame-shaped glass awards are given each year to an outstanding Catholic institution and a distinguished Catholic family active in planned giving and endowments.
This year the honorees were Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish and School in Topeka, and John and Claudia Caton, members of St. Ann Parish in Prairie Village.
Most Pure Heart pastor, Father Nathan Haverland, accompanied by some parish staff, accepted the award on behalf of the parish and school. Most Pure Heart of Mary established an endowment fund in 1990 with the CFNEK. Its school scholarship fund was established in 2019 by combining six smaller funds. Today, the parish and school hold eight endowment funds with CFNEK.
Honorees John and Claudia Caton were praised by Archbishop Naumann for involvement in their parish and devotion to their marriage and family life.
“John assisted in the development of St. Ann Parish’s stewardship committee and planned giving committee and established the first parish endowment fund of the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, so St. Ann’s was our pioneer of parish endowments,” said Archbishop Naumann. “John was the driver on that.”
“John’s been instrumental,” he added, “in the establishment of several endowment funds for vocations, including two endowment funds for the Serra Club.”
In his remarks, Maloney said the CFNEK established an envisioning team to chart the foundation’s future course. It hired CCS Fundraising Consultants to make a gift-planning study and they were very encouraged by the discovery of “off-the-charts potential for legacy and non-cash gifts to the archdiocese.”
“Based on those results, CCS created a roadmap for the Catholic foundation to help us grow our gift-planning effort,” said Maloney. “Archbishop Naumann, along with the Catholic Foundation board, embraced these findings and approved a substantial investment in the future of the Catholic Foundation.”
In its annual report distributed at the event, Maloney reported: “Our assets now total over $130 million. This is due to a bounce back in the investment market and to the addition of $18.4 million in new deposits. Most importantly, we distributed over $6.2 million to the parishes, schools and ministries of the archdiocese.”
The CFNEK fund balance has 60 parish funds, 80 Catholic education funds, 22 cemetery funds, nine priests and religious vocations funds, 14 human services funds (including Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas) and seven others. Additionally, there are 43 donor-advised funds and eight charitable gift annuities. During the last fiscal year, the foundation grew to 243 funds under management.