“If It’s Not One thing, It’s Another”

This is one of the favorite expressions of a Franciscan that I lived with back in the 1980’s. He was always pleasant and talkative, even early in the morning when I had not yet had my morning coffee. We called him Fr. Jack even though that was not his real name, and I never knew why or how he acquired that name.

He had plenty reason not to be happy having served as the treasurer of our school that rarely had the funds to pay all the bills. After entering his office to tell him that some piece of equipment had been broken or some damage due to the carelessness of teens, he usually replied, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

His even keel attitude came from years of seeing good days and bad days, triumphs, and failures. But even more, his strength came from his strong faith in God as well as his belief that all will be good with time.

Our Franciscan missionaries must mutter the same phrase as Fr. Jack did, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” I thought of that recently when I received reports of an earthquake in the Philippines. All the friars were safe and none of our churches were damaged. Sadly, there was a loss of life, and many buildings were destroyed. Just six months before the earthquake, a typhoon passed through the same region and caused great destruction, even the loss of two churches and two Franciscan houses. It was months before electricity and water were restored. If it’s not one thing . . .

Franciscan missionaries throughout the world face these challenges every day. And they have an amazing ability to rise up to face the situation and move on. The Franciscans in Ukraine continue to welcome refugees from the war to sleep in the friary living rooms or basements. The friars in Poland continue to feed and house Ukrainians fleeing from the war. Stories about the loss of loved ones are shocking!

The Franciscans in the Philippines continue to travel to areas hit by typhoons and later earthquakes to provide food, medicine, clothing and building materials to those who are suffering.

In several countries torn apart by war, the Franciscans continue to celebrate Mass and the sacraments, as well as lead people in prayer. It is even too dangerous for us to name the countries where they serve.

Your generosity in supporting the work and mission of Franciscan missionaries tells me that you also know how to manage the ups and downs of life. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. May the Lord bless your kindness and compassion.

I share this Legacy of Hope newsletter with you because you are a faithful friend. Perhaps you will find some information here that can assist you with planning for your future. Your thoughtfulness today will ensure the ministry of Franciscan missionaries continues in the future. Together, let us care for the poor and those caught in challenging or life-threatening circumstances among us. Together, let us build hope.

The IRA and Charitable Giving – A Perfect Match!

This Year, Consider a Gift to Franciscan Missions

For many people, the end of the year is a time for making gifts – not only to family and friends but also to valued organizations such as Franciscan Missions. December is also your last chance to obtain charitable deductions you can claim next April.

As you plan your year-end giving, keep in mind that contributing cash is just one way to support Franciscan Missions and our priority to aid the poor. Consider the following tax-smart techniques to support Franciscan Missions before the end of the year.

Give appreciated securities

Although recent years have been good for stocks in general, more turmoil has been felt lately. Even with losses the last couple of months, many people have seen their investments grow significantly over the last few years and selling appreciated shares triggers taxation that can exceed 20 percent of the capital gain. By instead transferring the stocks directly to Franciscan Missions you avoid tax on the gain and receive a tax deduction for the full value of the stock. Thus, the value of your gift to us may far exceed its net cost to you.

Note: If you want to provide support for Franciscan Missions using securities worth less than you paid for them, you should sell them and contribute some or all the cash proceeds. You can then use the loss on the sale to offset other income.

Help Franciscan Missions — and yourself

You may hesitate to give an asset you depend on for income. Through a “life income gift” such as a charitable remainder trust, you can donate the asset and still receive payments, perhaps even increasing your cash flow. In return, you’ll obtain a current tax deduction. In addition, if you give appreciated property, you’ll reduce or delay capital gains taxation. And when the arrangement terminates, what remains from your gift benefits Franciscan Missions and our mission to care for the poor by providing important life sustaining things like shelter, building places of worship, supporting friars and empowering others to assist in these life changing gifts. 

Consider an “Charitable Rollover” Gift from Your IRA

If you are over age 70½ and have a traditional IRA, you can authorize the administrator to make a direct transfer of funds to Franciscan Missions. While you will not receive a tax deduction, any amount transferred (up to a total of $100,000) will not be added to your taxable income, as it would if you made a withdrawal. The gift amount can even count against your required minimum distribution, to the extent you have not already taken it for this year.

Start planning now

As always, your own advisors are in the best position to help you determine what would be most appropriate, whether now or in the new year. Remember, too: Franciscan Missions is available to work with you and your advisors at no cost whenever there may be a need to explore options or gather additional information.

Successful Wills, Successful Lives

The Legacy of Hope has a new, free booklet, Successful Wills, Successful Lives. Your will can be arranged to guarantee all the rewards without the burdens. This booklet highlights how you have an opportunity to ensure the distribution of your property will make a lasting expression of your life. We will be happy to send you Successful Wills, Successful Lives if you fill out our online form or call our Franciscan Missions office at (262) 649-8863. We look forward to hearing from you!

From the Mirror of Perfection, 93

“When the sweetest melody of spirit would bubble up in him, Francis would burst forth in joy, singing in French his own melodies about the Lord. And, at times he would pick up a stick from the ground, and laying it over his left arm, he would move another stick across it with his right hand like a bow. He imitated the movements of playing a fiddle, while singing. This whole ecstasy of joy would often end in tears, and his song of gladness would be dissolved in compassion for the passion of Christ.”

– Francis, Book of Pebbles by Julie Hanna

Meet Our Legacy of Hope Coordinator

Linda’s experience includes academic advancement and development, corporate and academic research, and extensive volunteerism within community based non-profit organizations.

“It’s important for me to do work that has a greater sense of purpose, as well as a positive impact upon our world and the environment in which we live. I’m proud of our mission’s work and the projects that we accomplish together here at the Franciscan Missions.”

She has a Bachelor’s in Business Organization & Management from North Park University, Chicago, IL and a Master’s in Information Science from the University of Illinois.

For more information about the Legacy of Hope or including Franciscan Missions in your estate plan, please contact Linda using our form or by calling (262) 534-5470.