MemberMAGAZINE Catholic Financial Life
Inside this issue:
2013 Fraternalist of the Year Winner — Lisa Mick Employer-Provided Life Insurance — Is It Enough?
President’s Message Throughout this Year of Faith, as declared by Pope Benedict XVI to take place from October 11, 2012, to November 24, 2013, we are asked to bear effective witness of our faith, inspiring others to do likewise. Part of our being a Catholic fraternal benefit society is helping people feel financially secure and inspiring them to be generous with their time, talent and treasure.
2013 Fraternalist of the Year Lisa Mick with Catholic Financial Life Board Member Mike Stivoric, Senior Vice President John Borgen, and President Bill O’Toole.
Catholic values in action. “Our Lord taught us how to pray. He taught us how to serve. He taught us how to love. Our job is to live a life reflecting God’s love by showing kindness to others.”
2 Catholic Financial Life Fall 2013
Warren Buffet is quoted as saying, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Featured on our cover are member and community volunteers planting trees as a part of their JOIN HANDS DAY activity, a national day of volunteerism in May. Chapter members across the country generously gave of their time doing a variety of projects. You can read about their efforts on pages 22-23. In this issue you’ll meet members whose faith journey has given them the strength to act. Their dedication to helping others bears strong witness to the ability of one person to make a positive difference in the lives of many. Their journeys have been unique, their commitment to serve relentless. Life itself is a journey, and we are called to guide our children. Catholic Financial Life continues to be a strong supporter of Catholic education, providing over $250,000 in scholarships each year. The demand for assistance grows every year. We’re asking for your support through a donation to our Foundation, which provides the funding for our scholarship program. Our Lord taught us how to pray. He taught us how to serve. He taught us how to love. Our job is to live a life reflecting God’s love by showing kindness to others.
William R. O’Toole, Jr. President and CEO firstname.lastname@example.org 800-927-2547
Fall 2013, Volume 4, Issue 3
MemberMAGAZINE Catholic Financial Life
Features 5 Foundation Appeal
22 JOIN HANDS DAY 2013
How you can help students on their faith journey
Chapters participate in national day of fraternalism
12 Making an Impact
Joe Gadbois makes a positive mark on the fraternal benefit system
14 Summer Events
From baseball to cream puffs, members turn out for summer fun
DEPARTMENTS 4 A Message From Our Spiritual Director 6
It’s All About ME (Member Experience): Read members stories about retreats and pilgrimages Life is Good: How one couple provided a path of faith to children
10 Living the Catholic Life: An Extraordinary Volunteer! Lisa Mick named 2013 Fraternalist of the Year
About the cover
Board of Directors Executive Officers William R. O’Toole, Jr., Pleasant Prairie, Wis. President and Chief Executive Officer Allan G. Lorge, Cedarburg, Wis. Secretary, Treasurer and Executive Vice President Elected Directors Mary Baker, Wauwatosa, Wis. Carla C. Breunig, Menomonee Falls, Wis. Robert Dippold, Maria Stein, Ohio William C. Dreyer, New Berlin, Wis. Dennis Kabat, New Holstein, Wis. John Kenawell, St. Louis, Mo. Patrick J. Murphy, Milwaukee, Wis. Paul B. Pinsonnault, North Attleboro, Mass. David Singer, Kenosha, Wis. Michael Stivoric, Pewaukee, Wis. Thomas VanHimbergen, Shorewood, Wis. Arthur Wigchers, Brookfield, Wis. Appointed Directors Donald W. Layden, Jr., Milwaukee, Wis. Jay Mack, Hartland, Wis. Spiritual Director Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, Milwaukee, Wis.
Magazine Team Executive Editor: Lee Berg Editor: Kari Lueneberg Contributing Writer: Kris Sobczak Contact: 800-278-6573 Catholic Financial Life Magazine is the official publication of Catholic Financial Life, 1100 West Wells Street, P.O. Box 3211, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3211. Published three times a year.
13 A Teachable Moment: Employer-Provided Life Insurance — Is It Enough?
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Catholic Financial Life Magazine, Catholic Financial Life, 1100 W. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Phone: 414-273-6266 or 800-927-2547.
16 Serving God by Serving Others: Members Giving Back
Copyright © 2013 Catholic Financial Life. All rights reserved.
Members of the David Schultz family and Kiwanis Club; chapter officers Julie and Todd McMahon from 278, Paris, and Dan Braun from 202, Racine; and Catholic Financial Life Advisor Karen Willkomm-Stiles with Agency Manager Jim Schaefer, during the planting of a tree at the K-cabin in David’s memory.
Our Mission: Catholic Financial Life, a faith-based membership organization, puts Catholic values in action by serving God through serving others, providing financial security, and enhancing quality of life. catholicknights.org | 3
A MESSAGE from our Spiritual Director
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Throughout the Year of Faith we were asked to deepen our relationship with Christ and His Church and to joyfully proclaim the Gospel to others. While the Year of Faith will soon come to a close, our responsibility to share our faith continues. This is especially true for those actively involved in the faith formation of our young people. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, the theme of which was “Make disciples of all nations.” It was an amazing sight! Young people from throughout the world boldly and publicly professing their faith, united in their Catholic identity. There was a time when our identity as Catholics permeated every facet of life. In today’s increasingly secularized world, the development of one’s Catholic identity becomes even more important. As God is removed from the equation of everyday life for many people, Catholic schools stand as custodians of our future Church.
“Our Catholic education gives us the vision and understanding that we live our lives FOR Jesus and WITH Jesus, who commands us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”
I am proud to say that I am a product of Catholic education, from grammar to graduate school. I remember how we wore our uniforms — blue shirts, dark blue pants and clip-on ties. We walked side by side and prayed daily before and after every class. The dedicated sisters sacrificed much to provide an education that would last a lifetime. They shared with me a Catholic vision and demanded personal excellence. Today our support for Catholic education becomes even more critical. Catholic schools must be competitive with their public and private counterparts in academic areas, often with fewer financial resources at their disposal. Catholic Financial Life recognizes the importance of a Catholic education and over the years has provided a substantial amount of scholarship funding to students attending Catholic schools. This year, your organization will also serve as a supporting sponsor for the “Soles for Catholic Education Walk” taking place in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. If you live in the Milwaukee area, I invite you to join with thousands of other Catholic school students, parents, teachers and alumni as we walk together in support of Catholic schools. Children who attend a Catholic school learn from the greatest teacher of all time —Jesus Christ. Our Catholic education gives us the vision and understanding that we live our lives FOR Jesus and WITH Jesus, who commands us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Alive in faith,
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki Archbishop of Milwaukee 4 Catholic Financial Life Fall 2013
Catholic Financial Life Foundation Appeal Beneficiaries of your generosity Last year 1,251 students and their families received $260,500 in scholarships to attend Catholic grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities. However, due to limited resources, many deserving and worthy students were not able to receive foundation scholarships. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Catholic Financial Life Foundation to make the educational dreams of students like Abe and Hannah, Kayla Ann and Brooke, Matthew, Blanca and Susan a reality. There is a donation envelope found in the centerfold of this magazine. We are very grateful for your continued support.
“Our family wishes to send a huge THANK YOU to your company for helping with the cost of Abraham’s Catholic school tuition! With a family of seven, private education costs can be a tough addition to an already stressed budget but is definitely the most beneficial expenditure we make next to our basic needs. THANKS!” – Steve & Beth, Abe, Abbey, Evelyn, Sadie and Simeon
“Thank you for your generous financial support towards my higher education. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.”
– Kayla Ann
“I really appreciate that you recognize students for service hours. I really enjoy volunteering and I will continue my service when I enter high school in the fall.”
“I have been involved in numerous clubs and extracurricular activities, including being an officer in our cancer awareness group. It is support like yours that allows me to stay involved in great activities at a great school like Notre Dame.” – Matthew
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“Thank you for supporting me as I go on to college and continue to serve and live out my faith and the values I hold. As I move on to UW-Madison, I plan to continue to find ways to express my faith.”
It’s all about ME ... Member Experience
Members Share Their Stories About Pilgrimages and Retreats A High School Retreat Marilynn Pyron, Wauwatosa, Wis.
It was the fall of 1963 and Thanksgiving was less than a week away. The weekend prior to the holiday was slated as a spiritual retreat for me. Such retreats were a graduation requirement for all seniors at my all-girl, Catholic high school. The idea of a silent retreat, however, didn’t bode well for a group of teenage girls. No phones, no television, no radio, no music! For an entire weekend! This was not going to be a fun “sleepover.” Holy Hill, located about 25 miles north of Milwaukee, is a magnificent shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The site draws many tourists, busloads of people on pilgrimages, and hundreds of people who come to pray for their individual intentions. Its three spires can be seen for miles, a most awe-inspiring scene.
altar and vigil lights give special honor to Mary. An assortment of crutches and canes are on display by the rear walls, giving witness to the miracles and cures granted through Our Lady’s intercession. The Stations of the Cross are also one of the important sights at Holy Hill. Ascending up the hill, each station is a separate grotto with life-sized statues depicting the passion and death of Christ. As the weekend for my retreat neared, a horrible turn of events occurred. On Friday, November 22, the unimaginable happened. During the last class of the day, an hour before dismissal, we heard over the intercom the breaking news that President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas. We were asked to pray in silence. Shock, disbelief and sadness overcame everyone. There was also fear because we didn’t know why our president was killed or who had done this act. How could such a thing happen? And so on my retreat, for the next two days, I spent many hours in the church just sitting and reflecting. I realized that in time of trouble or sadness, the best place to be is near to God.
On my previous visits to Holy Hill, I was always drawn to the Marion Shrine, a room off the main church. Its beautiful
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I remember the pall that overcame us all; there was no need to remind us to be silent. I remember this retreat as a time when I begged God to protect our country and our families. I prayed for our future, so tenuous at that time.
That weekend retreat was exactly 50 years ago. How glad I was for the opportunity to be close to Our Lord and Savior especially during that particular weekend. That weekend I learned that the Lord is always there for us, especially in time of difficulty and sorrow. He comforts us and reassures us that we are not alone.
Oh Happy Day! Kenneth Kehoe, San Francisco, Calif.
Over the years, retreats have been like stepping stones to heaven for me. Many of the most life-changing spiritual events of my life have occurred either while on a retreat, or as a direct result of having participated in one. When one removes oneself from the usual day-to-day concerns and activities, it becomes possible to listen more clearly to the Holy Spirit. One of the greatest things that occurred on a retreat was my being convinced of our Lord’s love for me, in spite of my many imperfections. Oh happy day! Another was when the walls that protected my inner self (that I thought was mine alone) cracked and came tumbling down, thus allowing the Lord to be in the very center of my being. My life was transformed.
Walk to Mary John Kuiken, Wausau, Wis.
The Green Bay Area Catholic Education System (GRACE), in collaboration with the Diocese of Green Bay, the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, the Norbertines of St. Norbert Abby, and Relevant Radio, organized the first “Walk to Mary” held on May 3, 2013.
My wife, Jody, and I joined 500 others on a 21-mile walking pilgrimage from the National Shrine of St. Joseph at the St. Norbert Abby in De Pere, Wis., to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wis. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is the only approved Marian apparition site in North America and is a place everyone should visit. The walk was organized by GRACE because at the core of Catholic education is the realization that life itself is a pilgrimage and we are called to prepare children for their journey in the world. The Lord blessed all 500 who walked together along the Fox River and the shores of Green Bay out into the beautiful Wisconsin farmland with perfect weather.
people who walked, visited, sang and shared their faith. We not only were able to meet and visit with other walkers, but also with people along the route. It was a great day for us and a very different way to share our faith with others during this Year of Faith. The “new evangelization” the Church is calling us to was alive and well at this pilgrimage. We ended our journey, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, and Bishop Ricken of the Green Bay Diocese was there to congratulate each walker and give us a memento of the event. Then we all joined Bishop Ricken and three other priests, who participated in the walk, for Mass at the chapel located on the grounds of the shrine. It was the perfect ending to a marvelous day.
People of all ages participated in the walk, including a large number of families with children, some in strollers. It was a beautiful day with a festive group of
Find the Radiant Cross We have hidden black and white versions of the “Radiant Cross” icon — like the one you see on this page — somewhere in this publication. Members who correctly identify the location of at least one of the five Radiant Cross icons hidden in this issue will be eligible for a drawing to receive $25. Please note: the Radiant Cross featured on this page does not count. Submit your entry by Dec. 1, 2013. Visit our website and click on the Fall Member Magazine link or mail your entry to: Member Magazine, Catholic Financial Life, 1100 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53233. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, and the location of the Radiant Cross. The winner of our summer issue Radiant Cross activity was Coreen Koenig.
Share Your Story … About a Lenten Tradition The next issue of Member Magazine is due out next spring and we’re asking members to share their Lenten traditions and experiences. How do you observe Lent and what does the experience teach you? How does your Lenten journey renew or deepen your faith? Share your story and a picture (if available). If chosen for publication in our magazine, you will receive $25. Entries must be received by Jan. 1, 2014. Visit our website and click on the Fall Member Magazine link or mail your entry to Member Magazine, Catholic Financial Life, 1100 West Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number.
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LIFE IS GOOD
Under Their Wings Long-Time Members Spend a Lifetime Opening Their Home and Hearts to Children in Need Like many young newlyweds, Carol and Rollie VandenLangenberg, of De Pere, Wis., dreamed of filling their home with the sound of children’s laughter. But when they discovered they were unable to have children, they decided to take a different path, becoming adoptive parents to a son and daughter and foster parents to 17 children. Now, married 65 years, they look back on their journey, from the laughter and good times to the challenges and tragedies, and know their faith and love have carried them through. An aunt once told them, “Some children are born from you and some children are born for you.” With their big hearts and open arms, Carol and Rollie were always ready to welcome children in need of a home. Married only two years, they were running their family farm and raising five children, ages seven to 12. It was difficult to make ends meet, but Carol and Rollie, resourceful and hard working, with an extra measure of good humor, always seemed to manage. “We had no washer and no dryer, but I do remember having a very large pile of socks on the table,” Carol laughed. “The
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kids had to dig theirs from the pile because it was hard for me to know which socks belonged to which kids.” Everyone blended into a family in their five-bedroom house and farm just outside Green Bay. Some foster children stayed for a few months, but many stayed for years. There was plenty to do on their farm, where the family tended to cows, pigs and horses. There was space to run and play and people who listened and cared. The VandenLangenbergs formally added to their family when they adopted an infant daughter, Luann, in 1954, and a son, Mike, who arrived as a baby a week before Christmas 1957. Even though they had adopted two children, they continued to be a foster family. “A week before Christmas 1958, a car drove into the yard late in the afternoon,” Carol recalled. “Two caseworkers, each holding a child, came to our door. They told us the children’s mother had died in a car accident and they needed a home for the kids, just one and two years old.” The
children stayed with Carol and Rollie for four months until the kids’ relatives adopted them. While newborns always added more joy to the household, getting attached to them was bittersweet. “It wasn’t hard taking them, it was hard giving them up,” Rollie explained. With such a big family, it wasn’t possible to do many activities away from home. Imaginative and resourceful, Rollie, Carol and the kids, built a 24’ x 60’ swimming pool in their yard, mixing and pouring all the cement themselves. “I think it was one of the greatest things we did,” Rollie laughed. “The kids had the most fun trying to stand on a big tractor tire tube they’d float in the water. All the kids learned to swim. One Sunday, we came home from church to find all the neighbors waiting for us because they wanted to go in the pool. Those were good days.” Entwining the lives of so many foster children into their lives wasn’t always easy, but Carol and Rollie tried to meet each day and situation with fortitude and
faith. They brought the kids to church and worked to instill strong values. Life has, at times, been difficult. Their son, Mike, died just two weeks before his 18th birthday, after a tragic farm accident. As some of the foster children grew into adulthood, they made choices with their lives that were difficult for Carol and Rollie to watch. They loved them as much as they could but sometimes had to let go. Looking back over a lifetime of love and service, Carol, 84, and Rollie, 86, have a well-earned yet humble perspective. “The children were our most important accomplishment,” Rollie surmised. “We made a point of being there to listen to the children,” Carol said. “They’ve always got something to tell you. Don’t ignore it or pass it by. They wanted to be with people they could trust. When we took them in, we knew we had to be there to love them.”
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“The experience made us much stronger,” Rollie added. “Having these children and knowing we were the ones who could be there for them meant so much. They needed us, but we needed them. They gave us a lot of love.” These days, the demands of caring for a big family have been replaced by tending to their home on a beautiful spread of land near Green Bay, with a vista that reaches toward the valley of the Fox River. Mostly, they take care of each other. The years of their shared experiences have honed a natural rhythm in their communication, making it easy to finish each other’s sentences. They begin each day by saying the rosary together and are thankful their faith has given them the strength they’ve needed to weather life’s storms. They are grateful for the good times, both in the past and in the present, as they continue to live for their faith, their family and their love for each other.
Leaders at Home and in Their Chapter When Carol VandenLangenberg bought her first Catholic Knights life insurance policy at age 17, she had no idea the company would become such an important part of her life. “About 1960, we started attending the meetings and becoming involved,” Carol remembered. She recently retired after serving as the secretary/treasurer of Chapter 21, Green Bay, Wis., for 30 years. Rollie, a trustee for about 15 years, recently became chapter president. “My biggest goal in being secretary was to try to get everyone to participate, but that’s not always an easy thing to do,” she said. Carol’s powerfully positive smile, combined with the patience, dedication and organizational skills she developed in her years as a mother of a large family, have been a strong asset to her chapter. “I’ve worked with a lot of really nice people,” Carol reminisced, her favorite chapter memory involved the picnics in the 1960s. “We’d get 500-600 people. Everyone helped and it was a lot of fun.”
Living the Catholic Life
An Extraordinary Volunteer Wisconsin Dynamo Honored for Her Fraternal Enthusiasm and Dedication “I’m just an average person who likes to do good things,” explained Lisa Mick, president of Chapter 19, Fond du Lac, Wis. While she’s turned “doing good things” into an art form, “average” is certainly not a word that would come to mind of anyone who knows her. More fitting would be “energizer,” “motivator,” “organizer” and “extraordinary.” According to the American Fraternal Alliance, the words “Fraternalist of the Year” best encompass who she is and what she stands for. In September, the organization honored her on the national stage at its 2013 Annual Meeting in 10 Catholic Financial Life Fall 2013
Hollywood, Fla., for her efforts to reach out to those in need and inspire others to become involved. “I appreciated that Catholic Financial Life nominated me for the award, but I never in a million years thought I’d be chosen,” Lisa said. “I immediately started crying when I got the good news.” Not one to seek applause, she appreciates a pat on the back but doesn’t expect recognition. At age 43, Lisa imagines there are people who have been volunteering a lot longer than she has and admits she was shocked and humbled by the honor. However, both Catholic Financial Life and the American Fraternal Alliance have recognized her unique talents and the light and energy she radiates.
“I do it for the purity of the volunteering,” she said. “I’d love to have a job where I could volunteer or organize volunteers full time. I’ve run several large fundraisers, and I’m good at organizing people and asking for donations. It just works with my personality.” “Lisa is a wonderful example of a person who truly embodies Catholic Financial Life’s values of faith, integrity, respect, passion, authenticity, innovation and family,” according to Bill O’Toole, president and CEO. “She’s young and has a wonderful ability to inspire and unite others — especially kids — to rally around an important cause. We are honored to have her among our membership.” Lisa and her husband, James, live in Fond du Lac and have two sons, Thomas, 17,
Lisa Mick is a consummate volunteer — so much so that she tattooed the word “no” on her left hand last fall as a humorous and visual reminder that it was okay to say it from time to time. When the “o” faded due to the demands of her landscaping job, she laughed. “There’s just so much need and so few people willing to step in to help,” she said.
and Connor, 14. A small-business owner, she has run Lisa’s Landscape Maintenance for about 14 years. A Catholic Financial Life member for two decades, she said it wasn’t until her sons were born that she began attending the organization’s events and taking advantage of the helpful benefits offered. Thomas received his first Catholic Financial Life scholarship as a gradeschooler.
and expanded her chapter’s scholarship program. Last year 22 students received scholarships, and awards have totaled more than $62,000 in the last 12 years.
“One of the chapter officers saw me at an event and told me I’d make a good vice president,” she remembered, describing how she started her involvement. “I decided to give it a try.” After serving as chapter vice president for four years, she stepped up to the role of chapter president in 2005.
To give scholarship recipients additional ways to fulfill their service hours, Lisa facilitates the chapter’s involvement with Free SPIRIT Riders, an organization that uses horse therapy for mentally and physically disabled youth and adults. Assisting with the organization’s Ridea-Thon provides a way for student volunteers to make a positive impact in their community.
Along the way, she has strengthened
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“We require scholarship recipients to help with the fundraising, including candy bar and coupon book sales, brat fries and farmers markets,” she explained. “It helps get the kids and their parents involved.”
Always open to trying new ideas, Lisa is the catalyst behind Chapter 19’s successful Soup du Jour event, which started in 2010 as a fundraiser for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP). “I thought we should try it and see what we could do,” she said. “If it failed, we’d do something different.” In 2013, the event, held at Holy Family Parish in Fond du Lac, raised $7,000, including $3,500 in Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life. Seven chapters now unite to host the spring event, with profits spread among several local SVdP councils. Energized by making an impact, Lisa is on the board of directors of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and assists with the Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour. She also developed and hosts an event
called “Shakin’ the Shack,” featuring a band, auctions and raffles, raising almost $20,000 in its seven-year run to help community members in need. With her scholarship fundraising abilities, she was tapped in 2012 to join the Catholic Financial Life Foundation Board, which raises funds for academic scholarships. She served for three years on the Fraternal Leaders Advisory Group and is a three-time delegate to the Triennial Convention. In 2012, she was chair of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees changes to the society’s bylaws.
“I kind of forget sometimes that Catholic Financial Life is a business,” Lisa said. “I mostly see the fraternal side. It’s fascinating to see how a good business is run. I’ve had outstanding opportunities to learn, and I appreciate that Catholic Financial Life allows me to try new things.”
jobs, finding the right spot where they will excel. They want to feel useful and be part of something bigger than themselves. Their time and effort is so valuable to society. Imagine how much better the world would be if everyone — kids and adults — just did a little piece.”
Lisa strives to be open to new opportunities and experiences and enjoys encouraging others to do the same.
With her infectious energy and enthusiasm, Lisa continues to push herself to excel as a volunteer. “I love to feel needed and I’ve always felt needed with Catholic Financial Life,” she said. “My involvement gives me a purpose and an opportunity to be part of the bigger picture.”
“I especially love to get kids involved,” she explained. “They’re critical to the survival of the chapters. I find it helps to match their skills and interests to
Making an Impact
Joe Gadbois Makes a Positive Mark on the Fraternal System From the smallest chapter to the national fraternal stage, Joe Gadbois, FLMI, FIC, vice president of fraternal outreach, is a positive, passionate presence that embodies the spirit of fraternalism. He recently concluded a yearlong term as chair of the board of directors of the American Fraternal Alliance, which promotes and supports the missions of 75 fraternal benefit societies throughout the United States and Canada. A board member since 2007, his board chairmanship is a highlight of an almost 40-year career devoted to fraternal organizations and causes. A natural communicator, Joe earned his master’s degree in journalism, with a major in advertising, from Northwestern University. In 1977, he was hired to create the communications department at Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a fraternal for Catholic Americans of French decent that was based in Woonsocket, R.I. When the society merged with Catholic Family in 1991, he became a leader within the society’s fraternal network, ultimately becoming vice president of fraternal services and corporate marketing.
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When the society blended with Catholic Knights in 2010, he was chosen to lead fraternal outreach for the new Catholic Financial Life. According to Joe, his strategy for working with our chapter leaders is simple. “Communicate regularly and give people the tools to do their jobs,” he said. “Most of all, be honest.” “Joe devotes an incredible amount of time and energy to be with and serve our members,” said Bill O’Toole, president and CEO. “He has a gift for energizing and motivating the leaders within our almost 200 chapters, inspiring and encouraging them to make a positive difference. On the national level, it has been rewarding to watch him lead the American Fraternal Alliance. Through his experience and dedication, he really understands the challenges and opportunities ahead, making him a strong advocate for the fraternal system.”
A Teachable Moment
Employer-Provided Life Insurance
Is It Enough? They thought they were set. Jeff had life insurance through work, which he and his wife, Patti, thought would be enough to take care of their needs if Jeff passed away. Unfortunately, shortly after Jeff died, Patti learned his employer-provided coverage ended when he became too ill to work. When Jeff left work on permanent disability, he opted to continue his health and dental insurance benefits under COBRA provisions offered through his employer. But Jeff and Patti did not realize that life insurance benefits are not covered under COBRA. When Jeff left employment, his group life insurance benefits ended.
Some life insurance benefits offered through an employer provide a conversion option to those leaving employment. Jeff’s benefits did not. When conversion options are offered, an employee may be shocked to learn that the cost to continue coverage can be hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, often making this option unaffordable at a time when an employee may need it most. If Jeff had tried to
By Karen Willkomm-Stiles purchase life insurance from another company after leaving employment, he most likely would have been denied coverage because his disability was related to a life-threatening illness. Jeff and Patti had two young children, as well as a mortgage and other bills. Patti had not been employed since the oldest child was born. Although she would receive survivor benefits from Social Security for her family, it would not be enough to provide for all their needs. Patti had to sell their home, move in with her parents, work part time, and go to school to learn new skills that would hopefully allow her to obtain a sustainable job to support her family. Although she was grateful for the support of her parents, this was not the plan she and Jeff would have wanted for her and their children. Jeff and Patti’s story is not uncommon. Many people believe life insurance offered through work is sufficient. But often people don’t know how much coverage they have, what will happen if they leave employment, or how to provide for their families if they lose this coverage or learn that the coverage offered is not enough to provide for their loved ones. Some believe they will be offered enough life insurance coverage from a future employer or that they will be able to purchase coverage later. However, some employers are scaling back on employee benefits, eliminating group life insurance benefits. Also, as people age, the cost to purchase coverage increases. It might also be difficult to find a company that will issue coverage if a person has one or more
“Don’t assume the coverage through an employer will be there – and will be enough – to provide for your family’s needs at a time when it is needed most.” health conditions that place him or her at a higher mortality risk. Don’t assume the coverage through an employer will be there — and will be enough — to provide for your family’s needs at a time when it is needed most. Employer group life plans can change, and it’s important to know how much coverage you have and what happens to it when you leave employment. The best way to protect your loved ones is to meet with a qualified life insurance agent, on a regular basis, who can help you review your evolving needs and assist you in purchasing coverage that will always be there. Rising wages, higher mortgages, debts and other financial obligations, as well as retirement planning, can present a need for additional or different types of coverage. If you are the parent or grandparent of adult children, talk to them about the importance of having life insurance outside of work. Encourage them to purchase it at a young age. Parents and grandparents are often the first people young adults turn to for advice and help when a crisis strikes. Your words of wisdom could play a big role in protecting your loved ones. Karen Willkomm-Stiles, FIC, LUTCF
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Hitting the Road: Summertime Fun With Catholic Financial Life This past summer was filled with fun events for Catholic Financial Life members and their families alike. From baseball games to a family campout, families could enjoy a variety of affordable events. Take a look at some highlights from this summer’s events, and remember that it’s never too soon to start thinking about next year!
members in New England got the chance to see the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Portland Sea Dogs in action. Whether it was at McCoy Stadium, Fox Cities Stadium or Miller Park, members and their families got the chance to kick back, relax and watch a ballgame and receive a free gift compliments of Catholic Financial Life.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Zoofari at Milwaukee County Zoo
Nearly 2,700 members and their families enjoyed America’s pastime this summer, both at the major and minor league levels, through outings organized by Catholic Financial Life. Members in Wisconsin could attend a Milwaukee Brewers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers or a Madison Mallards baseball game, while
The annual Zoofari event at the Milwaukee County Zoo attracted over 2,700 members and their families. With a chance for the whole family to get up close and personal with animals from all over the world, and added attractions on the grounds, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Members enjoyed
free parking, refreshments and snacks throughout their visit. The event was sponsored by Chapter 306, Milwaukee SE, Wis., in collaboration with other area chapters.
Wisconsin State Fair With fall on the horizon, many Wisconsinites converge on West Allis, Wis., for the better part of two weeks in August for the annual State Fair. From homegrown dairy products and livestock to almost anything you could desire deep-fried and placed on a stick, the State Fair is a celebration of all things Wisconsin. Catholic Financial Life offered members discounted admission and a hospitality tent, giving nearly 1,600 members and their families a place to relax and visit. Raffle prizes were given away, as well as free beverages and cream puffs — the fair’s signature treat.
Campout Down Under The longest-running of Catholic Financial Life’s summer fun events is our annual campout in Columbus, Wis. The campout carries a different theme every year, putting a unique twist on members’ camping experience. This year’s theme was the “Campout Down Under,” adding
an Australian flare to the event. During the jam-packed weekend, 237 members took part in piñatas, a parade, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, a horseshoe tournament, and much more. Families also had the chance to enjoy the water park adjacent to the campsite. Visit the magazine link on our website to watch some campout fun.
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Bay Beach Amusement Park Over 600 members gathered at the nation’s ninth-oldest continuously operating amusement park, located in Green Bay, Wis. Members enjoyed a day filled with old-fashioned fun, including food, bumper cars, boats, a ferris wheel, a giant slide and helicopters, to name a few of the many attractions — most costing only 25 or 50 cents to ride! The event was organized by the Green Bay Agency and Chapter 307, Eaton, Wis., for members in northeast Wisconsin.
Serving god by serving Others
Members Giving Back “We are carriers of God’s love and whoever you are, you can become one also.” –Mother Teresa
Members of Chapter WI52, Milwaukee, Wis., volunteered at the Divine Mercy Parish Good Friday Fish Fry. The chapter raised $750 from the event, and Catholic Financial Life also provided $750 in Match Funds for the parish. Pictured are Advisor Deborah Hecker, and Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Bruce Bultman presenting the Match Fund check to Father Bob Betz of Divine Mercy Parish during its Hospitality Sunday celebration.
Chapter 139, Casco, Wis., contributed $1,000 in Match Funds to Holy Trinity School’s pizza sale. Over 2,600 pizzas were made and sold by the group. Pictured are: Felix and Mary Ann Wery, Holy Trinity School Association members Jill Naze, Joy Kruze, Patty Wery, and Char Duckart, Chapter President Carol Cravillion, Advisor Joe Steiner, and Cheryl Bellin.
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Erin Urness, son of Karen and Blaise Mahoney, receives a $1,000 scholarship check from Catholic Financial Life Advisor Matt Tomlinson to help with his studies at Franciscan University. Erin has been a member of Chapter 929, St. Raphael the Archangel since 2010.
Rosie Swere, president of Chapter 157, Hilbert, Wis., presents Father Mike Betley with a check for $1,000. The funds were raised at a spaghetti supper and matched by Catholic Financial Life. The proceeds will benefit St. Mary Parish.
Chapter 21, Green Bay, Wis., raised over $1,300, including $500 in Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life, from their boohya fundraiser. The event included a bake sale and raffles. Volunteers started cooking 85 gallons of boohya at 5:30 a.m.
Chapter ND01, Rugby, N.D., presented a check for $500 to the Pierce County Food Pantry. Pictured (L to R): Bob Dahlen, manager of Leeverâ€™s Foods; Chelbie Bohl, Chapter ND01 board member; and Vonnie Degenstein, Pierce County Food Pantry.
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Wisconsin Chapters 31, Port Washington; 70, Belgium; and 164 Dacada held their annual picnic in Port Washington. Volunteers from all three chapters helped make this cookout special for members. This was a chance for many generations of members to interact with each other. Pictured (L to R): Former Chapter 70 Vice President Lamont Lukens, Mike Cyner and Tom Bichler.
Chapter 274, Rubicon, Wis., held a brat fry benefiting the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Washington County. Shown are: chapter officers Fred Multhauf, Darlene Hefter, Bonnie Thomas, Mary Multhauf and Roxanne Ksioszk with Tom, Ashley and Abigail Ksioszk, and Advisor Joe Oâ€™Leske.
A total of $8,100 was raised by Chapter 34, Cassville, Wis., at a fish fry to benefit St. Mary Parish. Catholic Financial Life provided $1,000 in Match Funds. Volunteers from the chapter took part in every aspect of the event, preparing fish, selling raffle tickets, and serving over 700 attendees.
Serving god by serving Others
3 1. Chapter 234, Loyal, Wis., held a breakfast buffet to benefit the Holy Name Society. Chapter members served parishioners and their families a hearty breakfast, raising over $1,000. Catholic Financial Life provided $1,000 in Match Funds. Pictured (L to R): Chapter Secretary/Treasurer June Noeldner, Chapter President Marilyn Hinker, Connie Walter and her daughters Becca and Lucy. 2. Members of Chapter 39, Hudson, Wis., participated in a walk for Multiple Sclerosis this past May. With $250 in Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life, the chapter raised a total of $1,025 to fight MS. Pictured is the team of walkers representing Chapter 39, led by Advisor Dominic Rutledge.
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4 3. Chapter 279, Hartford/St. Lawrence, Wis., held a fundraiser for Larry and Carol Beistle who had extensive fire damage to their home. A total of $7,372 was raised, including $1,000 in Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life. Pictured are Chapter Trustees Annette Krebs, Betty Backhaus, and Dianne Kratz; Larry and Carol Beistle; Chapter President Dan Fellenz, Secretary/Treasurer Rita Fellenz, Membership Coordinator Don Beine and Vice President Karen Beine. 4. Members of Chapter N002, Woonsocket, R.I., broke out the costumes and beads for their Children’s Mardi Gras as part of a partnership with the Northern Rhode Island Council for the Arts. The event featured a costume contest and other New Orleans-themed activities.
5 5. Chapter WI40, Turtle Lake, Wis., along with local Knights of Columbus councils, held a fundraiser to help with a member’s medical bills. The event included both live and silent auctions, a bake sale and a dinner. The event also featured an appearance from Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Terrell Manning, who signed autographs and took photos with those in attendance. Pictured are Bruce Richter, Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Bev Austinson and Mary Richter.
3 1. There are few things in life better than a good home-cooked meal, especially the one our volunteers served to patrons at the bean supper sponsored by Chapter N413, Sainte Croix/ Lewiston, Maine. Pictured (L to R): Chapter PR Coordinator Jeannine Gagne, Chapter President Jean Gastonguay, Chapter Secretary Mercedes Gastonguay, and Chapter Treasurer Marthe Bissonnette. 2. Chapter 40, Waukesha, Wis., held a benefit for the Steven Barron Jr. Fund. The event, which featured music, food, raffles and more, raised over $7,500 for Steven, including Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life. Pictured (L to R): Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Tammy Gaszak, Steven Barron, Steven Barron Jr., Monica Barron, Rick Gaszak, and Chapter Trustee Janet Sam.
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4 3. Branch 564, Hallettsville, Texas, sponsored the Sacred Heart Catholic School Marathon for Catholic Education. Members walked in the marathon and donated a total of $1,000 to the school, which included $500 of Match Funds from Catholic Financial Life. Pictured (L to R): Doris Fenner, Chapter President Kathleen Steinocher and Sister Emiliana Grafe. 4. The students of St. Thomas More Parish, along with Chapter 705, Dubuque, Iowa, raised a total of $1,500 from a pancake breakfast fundraiser. The volunteers served over 250 hungry parishioners a delicious breakfast following Sunday church services. The proceeds from this event are being used to send students to a National Catholic Youth Conference.
5. Ann Pennekamp, secretary/treasurer of Chapter 42, Tennyson, Wis., presents a check for $695 to Sister Elizabeth Dunn and Fr. Richard Leffler of St. Andrew Thomas Parish. The chapter raised the funds from ornament sales for their â€œMemory Tree.â€? The tree is placed in St. Andrew Thomas Church during the holiday season, and parishioners can purchase an ornament in remembrance of a loved one. Following the holidays, they can take their ornaments home for future celebrations.
Serving god by serving Others
1 1. Adult and youth members of Chapter 132, Shawano, Wis., took time out from their weekend to play bingo with residents of the Evergreen Care Center.
Chapter WI24, Durand, Wis., held a pancake and sausage breakfast with help from the community for two young men entering the priesthood. Volunteers were able to raise $500 for each of the young men.
20â€‚ Catholic Financial Life Fall 2013
5 2. Over 80 local families were served ice cream by members of Chapter 58, Ripon, Wis., as part of their ice cream social. The volunteers, assisted by a local 4-H group, provided treats that helped families cool off on the hot summer day. The chapter also made a Year of Faith banner for Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. 3. Chapter WI33, Plum City/Arkansaw, Wis., provided flowers for students celebrating their First Communion. The flowers were presented to the Virgin Mary at the ceremony held on Motherâ€™s Day. Pictured (L to R): Bryce Mark, Gabriel Helms, Grace Hinrichs, Carter Benson and Allyson Fleishauer.
Help Us Keep Your Records Up to Date Insurance regulations make it critical to verify your records and make sure your information is complete and up to date. For example, many states now require that life insurance proceeds be turned over to the state if no beneficiary can be identified. Complete and accurate records allow us to process life insurance claims quickly, deliver on our promise to members, and provide funds to beneficiaries at a time when they may need it most. It is also important to make sure that your contact information (mailing address, phone numbers and email), social security number and beneficiary designations are current. If you receive a letter from us requesting this information, it is very important that you respond at your earliest convenience. Better yet, give us a call at (800) 927-2547. Our member service representatives are available to assist you.
How to Connect With Catholic Financial Life n Call (800) 927-2547 to speak with a member service representative n Email: email@example.com n Visit our website: www.catholicfinanciallife.org n Subscribe for member e-news: catholicfinanciallife.org n Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicFinancialLife n Follow us on Twitter: @CathFinLife n Read our Blog: blog.catholicfinanciallife.org n Read our Member Magazine electronically or in print n Volunteer with your local chapter Scan this code with your smart phone to visit our blog, sign up for e-news, “Like” us on Facebook and more!
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Are your parents listed as your beneficiaries? Are they still living? Are “children of the insured” listed as your beneficiary? Have they gotten married or changed their names?
Did you know ... 40 percent of Americans don’t have any life insurance coverage, and over 50 million don’t feel they have enough coverage? For a quick estimate of how much life insurance you should have, visit catholicfinanciallife.org/tools and use our free calculators. The best way to make sure you have adequate coverage is to contact your Catholic Financial Life Advisor for a financial needs analysis. Call your advisor today!
JOIN HANDS DAY
Cabin Founders Remembered It was a bittersweet moment as Karen Stiles, a financial advisor with Catholic Financial Life, broke ground to plant a tree in remembrance of David Schultz as a part of a JOIN HANDS DAY event. The same gold shovel, painted by David, was used to break ground on a handicapped-accessible cabin project he spearheaded four years earlier. David passed away in 2009. David had a dream to include people with disabilities in the outdoor experience. Through perseverance and tremendous community support, his dream to offer an accessible cabin in the Richard Bong Recreation Area became a reality on April 12, 2008. Wisconsin Chapters 151, Kenosha; 175, Burlington; 202, Racine; and 278, Paris were major contributors to the original project. The tree planting ceremony was a part of a multi-chapter JOIN HANDS DAY event. The day’s activities also included spreading mulch in the children’s play area and cleaning the beach at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area.
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JOIN HANDS DAY 2013 On JOIN HANDS DAY 2013 Catholic Financial Life chapters rallied members to partner with community volunteers with the goal of making life a little better for others. Following is a list of participating chapters: Chapter Activity WI09, Chilton, Wis. Worked at St. Vincent de Paul Society store to resell toys, clean shelves, etc. WI16, Green Bay, Wis. Priced clothes for St. Vincent de Paul Society store WI17, Greenwood/Loyal, Wis. Cleaned St. Mary Cemetery WI19, Rock River-Jefferson, Wis. Hosted bingo at Sylvan’s Crossings WI21, Kendall, Wis. Cleaned the Kendall Bike Trail flower gardens WI22, Kenosha, Wis. Helped an elderly man clean his apartment WI37, Stratford/Rozellville, Wis. Organized a project for kindergarteners to make cards for the elderly WI39, Tisch Mills, Wis. Cleaned a cemetery WI43, West Bend, Wis. Delivered roses to residents of Samaritan Health Center WI48, Chippewa Falls, Wis. Cleaned buildings and animal cages around Irvine Park WI60, Fond du Lac, Wis. Cleaned interior of New Beginnings House 6, Appleton, Wis. Hosted a Healthy Kids Day at the Kimberly YMCA 11, Wisconsin Rapids/Stevens Point, Wis. Hosted bingo at Whispering Pines Home and Renaissance Assisted Living 23, Phillips, Wis. Cleaned a cemetery 33, Wausau, Wis. Served lunch at the Salvation Army 40, Waukesha, Wis. Picked up garbage along the roadside 64, Kaukauna, Wis. Hosted bingo party at Kindred Hearts Home 86, Francis Creek, Wis. Cleaned and raked the grounds at St. Anne Parish 88, Madison, Wis. Helped set up/clean up tables and serve food at Immaculate Heart of Mary School’s Hispanic Heritage Festival 109, St. Nazianz, Wis. Helped clean the church for Easter 118, Charlesburg, Wis. Hosted bingo party at Chilton Care Center 121, Lancaster, Wis. Hosted bingo party at Living Center 132, Shawano, Wis. Worked with members of a 4-H club to clean and rake the lawn at the Waukechon Town Hall 141, Jefferson, Wis. Teamed with St. Vincent de Paul Society in Jefferson to help with a variety of tasks 151, Kenosha, Wis. Spread mulch in children’s play area, cleaned the beach and planted three trees at Bong Recreational Area 157, Hilbert, Wis. Planted six trees 175, Burlington, Wis. Spread mulch in children’s play area, cleaned the beach and planted three trees at Bong Recreational Area 178, Waterford, Wis. Cleaned the grounds at a church 180, Maplewood, Wis. Sponsored bingo party at Algoma’s Long-Term Care nursing facility 194, Charlestown, Wis. Cleaned the park, the cemetery and museum at St. Martin Heritage Park 195, Bakerville, Wis. Hosted bingo party at Marshfield Living Center 202, Racine, Wis. Spread mulch in children’s play area, cleaned the beach and planted three trees at Bong Recreational Area 216, Milwaukee NW, Wis. Planted bushes at St Margaret Mary School 223, St. Anna, Wis. Planted grass on the church grounds and cemetery 258, Denmark, Wis. Planted a pear tree in St. James Cemetery 261, Cross Plains, Wis. Hosted bingo party at a nursing home 265, Auburndale, Wis. Made flower baskets for retired residents 266, New Holstein, Wis. Cleaned Ledge Park 271, Darboy, Wis. Cleaned Holy Angels Cemetery 272, Lake Country, Wis. Picked up litter along the highway 278, Paris, Wis. Spread mulch in children’s play area, cleaned the beach and planted three trees at Bong Recreational Area 279, Hartford/St. Lawrence, Wis. Shopped, bagged and delivered goodies to the residents of Autumn Oaks Assisted Living and Respite 294, Kimberly, Wis. Hosted Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA 296, Mount Horeb, Wis. Hosted bingo event at Ingleside Nursing Home 306, Milwaukee SE, Wis. Picked up garbage on the grounds at Hales Corners Park 307, Eaton, Wis. Picked up debris and planted flowers as a park beautification project for Earth Day 317, Crivitz/Coleman, Wis. Completed spring yard work for a fellow member 318, Mequon/Cedarburg, Wis. Visited residents of Cedar Springs Health & Rehabilitation Center 1010, Subiaco, Ark. Trimmed trees and burned brush on church grounds 1038, St. Louis, Mo. Disposed of damaged American flags. Stars from the flags were used to commemorate veterans 1181, Jefferson City, Mo. Stocked shelves, filled orders and carried out supplies for clients N278, Boucher-Bridgewater, Maine Unloaded trucks and sorted food at the St Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry
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Apply by March 31 for
Catholic elementary school, Catholic high school & college scholarships available Your membership in Catholic Financial Life gives you access to special memberonly benefits like our scholarship programs.
Apply Online It’s easy to apply online. Scholarship applications are located on our website catholicfinanciallife.org in the “Account Access” section.
2) Complete the online registration form and click “Create Account.”
Please note that you will need to log on using the student’s name who is applying for the scholarship.
3) You will receive a verification email from Catholic Financial Life.
Members are eligible to apply for a number of scholarship programs.1 The deadline for applications is March 31, 2014. n Catholic elementary school $200 scholarships (renewable annually) are available for students entering grades 1-8. n Catholic high school $500 scholarships (renewable annually) are available for students entering grades 9-12. n College scholarships for $500 (two-year institutions) and $1,000 (four-year institutions) are one-time awards and are not renewable.
If more than one student is applying, a separate registration and login is required for each applicant.
To Register 1) Click on the “Register Here” link.
4) Once you receive the email, click on the verification link contained in the email. You may then proceed to your account access and apply for benefits.
Need help? If you have any questions or problems logging into your account access, please call (800) 927-2547 during regular business hours.
A set amount of money is available on an annual basis for scholarships. Eligibility for a benefit does not guarantee receipt of a benefit. All benefits are noncontractual and may be discontinued or modified by Catholic Financial Life at any time.