How does one pass on the legacy of faith to future generations? This question is at the heart of the Legacy Ministry, an initiative spearheaded by the Rev. Msgr. James Gaston, pastor at Mother of Sorrows Church in Murrysville. The Legacy Ministry will provide resources, support and education for parishioners in their own estate planning and in supporting the Mother of Sorrows Church.
"The Catholic Faith is part of the legacy that has been handed to us from the beginning," Msgr. Gaston explains. "The perennial mission of the Church is to transmit the faith, as part of our legacy to future generations."
A new way to do this is by making a planned gift to the parish's endowment. Such estate gifts are financially prudent for parishioners themselves, and they are also tremendously important in laying a foundation for the future of the Church.
"We chose the name 'Legacy Ministry' because it is a spiritual activity, not a mere money grab," Msgr. Gaston says. "Ministry is something we do in the name of Christ for each other."
The Legacy Ministry will host four annual sessions on issues related to planned giving. The goal is to build up the Church's parish endowment over time through the generosity of parishioners. Msgr. Gaston plans to be a part of this effort as well as the pastor.
"He's constantly thinking about how to provide for the Church of the future," says Joseph DiMario, director of planned giving, Diocese of Greensburg. "We cannot rest on our laurels."