Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 16, 2009
WCR Letters to the Editor
Society honours, thanks donors for gifts
Thank you for your recent coverage of the Archbishop Joseph MacNeil Society, which is part of The Foundation of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College's Planned Giving Program (WCR, Oct. 19).
As stated in your article, donations made through planned gifts leave a legacy of the importance of faith in the lives of these benefactors. The Catholic Church in Western Canada is the true recipient of their generosity, as their gifts help secure the seminary and college for future generations.
However, to describe the Archbishop Joseph MacNeil Society as a "little club" does not do justice to its function. Through the society, we both honour and thank persons who have arranged for future gifts.
Membership continues in perpetuity, and there are no fees attached.
Archbishop Emeritus Joseph MacNeil presents certificates of membership at the annual luncheon. All members are remembered at special society Masses celebrated four times annually, and with permission, their names are placed on the special recognition wall.
We believe the Archbishop Joseph MacNeil Society is a meaningful way of expressing our gratitude to these special donors. Nine per cent of all Canadian wills now include a charitable bequest.
We encourage any readers who have included or are planning to include a bequest to the seminary/college/foundation, the Priests Retirement Fund, or the needs of the Archdiocese of Edmonton to get in touch with us. It would truly be an honour to welcome them into the Society next fall.
Planned Giving Coordinator
The Foundation of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College
A warm hello works wonders at church
On Feb. 1, a dear friend and I attended a service at a Christian Reformed church for a couple's daughter's christening.
I was very surprised how many people there noticed we were visitors (including the pastor) and came up to welcome us. All of these people were extremely friendly.
But when we came to Catholic Mass in the ensuing weeks and months, people almost bolt out of the door to their cars.
I now go alone to Mass and have trouble trying to meet anyone new. The ones I have talked to seem to not want any part of talking to me.
Come on folks! Just say "hello" to someone new every weekend. You won't believe how easy it is to do, plus you never know whom you might meet.
New seminary is needed, but not at any cost
The archdiocesan office has advised its members that it has a shortfall of some $15 million to complete the new seminary. The office is simply asking its members to ante up the money.
There is no explanation advanced to the members as to the reason for this enormous shortfall.
As a member who is supportive of the seminary, I question the rationale of the request to cover this shortfall.
One would think the stewards in the office properly prepared a financial plan prior to embarking on this undertaking.
The office has very strict guidelines regarding the spending of monies by the parishes, even when the parishioners fully fund it themselves, for their parish church.
The enormous shortfall created by the office stands in sharp contrast.
I recall when completing the Edmonton cathedral in 1962 (from the basement up), the $2.5-million budget did not include for the two bell towers framing the main entrance. There was no money for them and therefore temporary wall capping was installed to allow for future completion.
Today, the capping is still in place.
The fact that the city, province and federal government have contributed is, of course, commendable. But one must not lose track of the fact that all those institutions have but one source of collecting and that is the taxpayer.
That same taxpayer is experiencing a depression, facing layoffs, loss of homes, etc., not unlike 1928 when the work on St. Joseph's Cathedral was brought to a halt.
A new seminary is needed, but not at any cost. The cost for this rather nominal size of building, and excluding the land, should be reasonable, not $60 million plus.
Perhaps the stewards in the office have a perfectly acceptable answer for this shortfall. We shall await the same.
Letter to the Editor - 12/14/09
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