Author: Linda Corcoran
Nearly three dozen people joined the ranks of the Diocese of Cleveland Heritage Society during a recent Mass and recognition dinner at
St. Michael Parish in Independence. During the Mass, Bishop Edward Malesic thanked Heritage Society members for their generosity. Heritage Society members have made plans to leave some or all of their estate to their parish, Catholic Charities, Catholic Education, Priestly Formation, or another diocesan ministry.
Reflecting on the Gospel that told the apostles to pack nothing for their trip, the bishop said he doesn’t heed that advice. “I always pack too much stuff when I travel,” he quipped, wondering how Jesus would have packed and prepared for his travels.
The lesson in the Gospel is trust, the bishop said, explaining that our souls, faith, and accomplishments are all we need to take for our journey. “We need to trust God and what Jesus wants to accomplish through us,” he said.
After Mass, Rob Rogers, Catholic Community Foundation Board Chair, gave a brief history of the Catholic Community Foundation founded in 2000 by Bishop Pilla. He said it has become a model for other dioceses.
Bishop Malesic then went on to compare the Heritage Society and its mission to planting seeds in a partnership with God. In the spring, children may be gifted with seeds to plant. Those seeds eventually grow, much like the gifts given by Heritage Society members. The bishop said his 104-year-old father liked to garden, and some of the things he planted will live on after he is gone as a type of legacy.
“Every gift we get is transformed by God for the greater good,” Bishop Malesic said, using the Mass as another example. “The bread and wine are Jesus’ body and blood, which he shares with us. Give something to Jesus to work a miracle with. We don’t know how our legacy will affect the future, but we know it will live on.”
The bishop said he wouldn’t ask someone to do something he wouldn’t do himself, explaining he made a gift to the Church in his will. He thanked the Heritage Society members, noting many of the good works people do are behind the scenes and known only to them and God.