Friends for Life: Tom and Celine Clouse
Little did Tom Clouse realize when he entered St. Fidelis Seminary as a young teenager that his relationship with
the Capuchin Friars would continue for the rest of his life.
Tom first learned of the Friars when his older brother entered St. Fidelis, which was run by the Capuchins. It wasn’t long thereafter that Tom followed suit. Tom was studying to
be a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the seminary was his home throughout high school and continued on through junior college. Although Tom ultimately decided the priesthood wasn’t his calling, the positive impact the Capuchins had on him was extraordinary, and the formation he received remains a part of who he is to this very day.
Along the way Tom met his wife, Celine, and she, too, learned to appreciate all that the Friars stand for. Both became convinced that they wanted to do something special to support these good men. They decided to create a charitable gift annuity, a tool that allows them to make a gift to the Capuchins while at the same time create an income stream for themselves. This income not only makes payments to the Clouses for the rest of their lives, it also makes them, as members of the Capuchin Heritage Circle, partners with the Friars forever.
Tom mentioned that he was familiar with the gift annuity programs of other organizations, and he liked the fact that our program did not call for the huge financial commitment others require to participate. In addition, to quote Tom, “I have to admit that, while the program should be viewed primarily as a donation, the tax breaks that we received and will continue to receive are a great help at tax time!”
The Clouses encourage anyone with a desire to help the Capuchins continue their good work and ministry to look into the gift annuity program. And as for the Capuchin Friars, they feel so very blessed – and grateful – to have Tom and Celine as part of their family.
A Friend of the Friars: Martha Novelly
In February of 1976, at the end of a job interview at the Capuchin high school seminary, St. Fidelis, I was invited to make a visit to the chapel. How could I have known that the visit would change my life forever?
As the principal and I walked toward the chapel, I was a bit preoccupied with concerns about the low salary. But my visit to the chapel that afternoon cemented my decision to accept the job at St. Fidelis when I heard some 100 male voices singing “I am the Bread of Life.” The words of Jesus reminding us to “not worry about what to eat or drink” spoke directly to me.
I knew God was calling me then to work with the Capuchins of St. Fidelis – many of whom have become lifelong friends.
Sadly, the seminary closed in 1980, but my relationship with the Capuchins didn’t end there. After a year of teaching in a public school, I was hired by IBM and moved to Pittsburgh, living across the river from the Capuchins’ motherhouse in Lawrenceville. I was able to join the friars often to celebrate professions and ordinations or mourn with them when a friar completed his earthly journey.
As my financial circumstances improved, I began to send donations to the Province each year. In July of 1999, these men “officially” became my brothers when they invited me to become an affiliate of the Province of St. Augustine. Being more closely tied to their mission and dedicated to promoting their charism, I decided it was time to formalize plans to leave the bulk of my estate to the friars by listing them in my will and as beneficiaries for other financial
instruments, once resources were set aside for my own care. It is comforting to know that the friars will use the funds to educate Capuchin seminarians and care for sick
and elderly friars with whom I had worked and supported for many of their years in active ministry.
I believe the good work we began in the last years of St. Fidelis continues through not only my support but that of many others. I encourage everyone whose life has been touched by even one Capuchin friar to consider making plans to remember the Capuchins in their own plans so that future generations of friars may follow more closely the life of St. Francis and love those most in need. As the Peace Prayer assures us, “it is in giving that we receive.” Your reward will be great in heaven!
A Friend of the Friars: Cecilia Walsh
“About 40 years ago, I met my first Capuchin Friar, and my life has been enriched a
thousand-fold since then. During the years when the Capuchins were in ministry at
St. Martin’s in Baltimore, and then as the parish evolved into what is now Transfiguration Parish, the Friars showed us all what being a Christian, a Catholic, a disciple, really meant.
“The friendships I formed with the many Friars who served there are ones that I treasure.
Their commitment to the poor, their genuine love of each person they served, their fidelity
to the charism of St. Francis, the humility and unselfishness with which they served – all of these served to strengthen and affirm my own ministry.
“Knowing the works and ministries of the Friars throughout the world, I wanted to be some part of that. Since I could not physically be part of these beautiful endeavors, I knew that my financial contributions would assist the Friars, and would help to ensure that these works continue. The annuity program was especially appealing. Being of limited finances, an annuity provided me the opportunity to make a more substantial contribution, while at the same time providing me with future income in my retirement.
“My ties to the Capuchin Friars are intangible and unbreakable, and knowing I am prayed for by my Franciscan friends gives me much happiness and peace. The gift of my annuities is a gift of gratitude. Though I am not anticipating it at any time soon, at my death the remaining funds from these annuities will remain with the Capuchins – a last thank-you to a community of Franciscans worthy of the name.”
Friends of the Friars
Inspiration is often a two-way street. So it was with Rose and Tony Molinaro and the Capuchin Franciscan Friars. Rose and Tony are parishioners of St. Joseph Church in York,
Pennsylvania, and they were there to welcome the Capuchins when they first arrived in 1979. Their first impressions of these Capuchins inspired them deeply and made a lasting imprint on their lives. They were struck by the simple lifestyle of the Franciscans and the untiring, devoted service they gave to their flock. The Molinaros could see that “Franciscan” was much more than a name to them: St. Francis’ spirit was alive in these priests.
Since that first meeting more than 36 years ago, the Capuchin Franciscans have also been inspired by Rose and Tony and by their generosity. Over the years, the Molinaros have created four gift annuities to support our ministries. Through their participation in our gift annuity program, the Molinaros have added an important piece to their retirement plan: the income they receive helps supplement other sources of income. They are also happy to know that one day what remains will support the Capuchins’ life-saving work.
When asked if they would encourage others to become gift annuitants, Rose and Tony remarked, “For those who have had similar gratifying experiences with the friars, we encourage them to investigate the benefits of becoming gift annuitants. It may well help them both spiritually as well as financially!”
The Capuchins couldn’t be more grateful for the sacrifices Rose and Tony Molinaro have made on our behalf. We have been truly blessed by their friendship.
A Friend of the Friars
Judy Price and her husband, Harry, attended a Marriage Encounter weekend in 1978. Little did they know that this weekend would not only strengthen their marriage, it would also provide the spark for a 36-year friendship with the Capuchin friars. Following that weekend retreat, they were asked to be a leader couple, and the priest who was a co-director with them was a Capuchin.
It didn’t take long for the Prices to fall in love with the friars and their way of life. Judy and Harry were drawn to the joy and simplicity of the friars’ lives and how welcoming they always were. Whenever they visited the friary, the Prices always felt at home.
Sadly, Harry passed away in 1999 after a battle with cancer. About a year after Harry died, Judy learned about gift annuities from a friend. The idea appealed to her because it helped to support the three goals that she and Harry had for their retirement years: to have an adequate income, to be able to help their children and to continue to tithe. When she learned that the Capuchins had a gift annuity program, there was no doubt that she would support our program. The interest rates and tax advantages were attractive and the
income would help her to continue to meet her three retirement goals.
When asked if she would encourage others to create a gift annuity, Judy stated, “At first I was somewhat fearful that I would run out of money if I invested a lot of our savings in gift annuities, but that fear quickly vanished. Because of the sizable income the annuity provides, I have even been able to be generous with my family. I think Harry would be proud of me!
“I’ve never had one regret about the decision to invest in the Capuchin gift annuity program and pray that my children will consider doing the same in the future.”.
Meet a Good Friend of the Friars
One evening, as Shirley Macaron was watching EWTN, she saw one of our most famous friars on the television screen: Father Angelus Shaughnessy, OFM Cap. Father Angelus was a “regular” on EWTN at the time and was a close friend to the station’s founder, Mother Angelica. Shirley’s introduction to the Capuchin Franciscan Friars that evening has blossomed into a friendship that has lasted many years.
Soon after seeing Father Angelus on the television, Shirley became a donor to the friars by establishing her first gift annuity with us. She has since gone on to create 14 more! When asked why she finds the friars’ gift annuity program so attractive, Shirley replied, “It’s an easy and smart way to give and then also to get a little something back. My goal is to continue to save up and create an annuity each year for as long as I live.” Shirley also remarked that the generous tax deduction she receives helps put a little extra in her own pocket rather than sending some of her hard-earned dollars to the government.
When asked if she would encourage others to participate in the friars’ gift annuity program, Shirley remarked that she would recommend the program to anyone who wants to help the friars and do some good for themselves at the same time. She also appreciates knowing that when she passes away, whatever is left in her annuities will go to support the work of the friars both here and abroad.
Many years ago, Father Angelus Shaughnessy shared an inspiring message of love, compassion and grace that touched Shirley Macaron’s heart. She thinks the friars’ work with the poor and underprivileged is a true outreach of Christ’s love. The friars couldn’t be more grateful to Shirley as they partner with her in bringing Christ’s love to all of those in need.
Kathryn “Kay” Madigan has been a friend of the Capuchin Friars since the 1950s, when she visited St. Fidelis Seminary with her family. There was something special about that visit, and the feeling has stuck with her through all these years, fueling a life-long relationship with the friars.
Even though Kay now lives in Florida, she still has a soft spot in her heart for the friars, and more importantly, she has a deep admiration for all that they do on behalf of the downtrodden throughout the world. Just recently, one of our Capuchin Friars preached a retreat in her home parish, and Kay remarked that “it brought a little bit of home to me.”
Kay believes so strongly in our work that she has created several charitable gift annuities with our province, both to support our work long into the future and also to provide her with some extra income in her retirement years. She recently said, “I look for and depend on that annuity check, and when I find it in the mail, it is truly ‘money from heaven.’”
Kay encourages our friends to seriously consider supporting the friars in this way. A charitable gift annuity is truly a win-win relationship, giving peace of mind to those who need a regular income stream for the rest of their lives and offering a vote of confidence in the Capuchins and their holy work. Kay mentioned that her annuity check is “money from heaven.” The Capuchin Friars happen to believe that Kay’s friendship is also “heaven sent.”
Joanne Yeager’s Gift Annuities Support Seminarians
For Joanne Yeager, the Capuchin Friars are like family to her. The Yeager and Capuchin connection spans decades, dating back to when Joanne’s mother supported the Friars. Joanne has always been touched by the personal and supportive way her prayer intentions have been received. This has engendered a loyalty in Joanne that inspired her to take the next step in her relationship with the Capuchins.
Joanne has created several gift annuities to support Capuchin seminarians. She is pleased that through this gift arrangement she can help both the Friars and herself, as the gift annuity payments help support her income for the rest of her life. Her gift annuity check is something she can count on no matter what is happening with the economy.
Recently, Joanne had the opportunity to speak with one of our seminarians. She was genuinely touched as she heard him speak of the depth of his commitment to serve the Lord. This conversation further confirmed that her gifts were a sound investment in her own future and that of our Church.
In concluding, Joanne remarked that every time she supports the Friars, something good comes her way. For the Friars, the relationship with Joanne Yeager has been a two-way street: her friendship has been a true and constant blessing.
“God Will Not Be Outdone in Generosity”
Barbara Keane has known the Capuchin Franciscan Friars for most of her life. Their warmth, their humility and their deep
spirituality have made a lasting impression over the years. A few years back, she met some of the seminarians at a Friars dinner. Their conversation further confirmed Barbara’s impressions about how happy these men are in their chosen life’s work.
Although a native of Pittsburgh, Barbara loves the friars’ world vision. Be it their missionary work in Papua New Guinea, the care they provide to the poor through their hospital in Mexico, or countless other projects, she is touched by the friars’ dedication to the Lord, wherever He may lead.
Some time ago, Barbara created a charitable gift annuity with the province. She did so for two reasons: her gift helps the friars reach out to those in need while also providing her with a steady income for life (along with a charitable tax deduction). She feels a gift annuity is a way to give in which everyone benefits.
Barbara’s kindness to the Capuchin Franciscan Friars is a way to put her faith into action, and, to quote her, “Growing up, I was always told that God will not be outdone in generosity.” We couldn’t be more grateful for Barbara’s loyal friendship over the years.
A Friend of the Friars – The Capuchin Heritage Circle
From the day she was born, Anna Marie Michael was blessed to have Capuchin Friars in her life. Her uncle and her cousin were friars, her childhood home parish was run by the Friars, and even today she works side by side with a Capuchin serving at a nursing home in Maryland. To say the Friars have had an impact on Anna Marie’s life would be an understatement. But that impact goes two ways: the Friars also have been deeply blessed to call Anna Marie a friend.
Anna Marie loves what the Friars represent by the way they live lives of poverty, chastity and obedience. And she is very devoted to St. Francis: three years ago she took the trip of a lifetime to travel to Assisi. It’s a trip she will never forget.
A few years ago Anna Marie received an inheritance, and she wanted to share part of that inheritance with her lifelong friends. After considering all her options, she used some of that money to create a charitable gift annuity with the Capuchin Friars. She appreciates the quarterly payments she receives, feeling like she gets a little present every few months. More importantly, she is motivated by the fact that her gift annuity will ultimately serve to educate the friars of tomorrow so that they can carry on the Capuchin legacy of caring and compassion. Both Anna Marie and the Capuchins benefit greatly from her gift annuity.
As a gift annuitant, Anna Marie is a member of the Capuchin Heritage Circle, and enjoys the many spiritual benefits that are offered to the Circle’s members. If you have remembered the Capuchin Friars in your estate plans, please let us know. It would be our honor to enroll you in the Heritage Circle as well.