FALL RIVER — “I never felt home until I joined Christ the King Parish,” shared parishioner and legacy gift donor Stella Citrano. “When it came time to prepare a will, I knew it was important to help the diocese foster Spiritual growth among all its flock. What better way to honor my relationship with my parish by choice than to help them continue their fellowship with a gift.” 

Mr. and Mrs. Boutin, parishioners at St. Ann’s in Raynham, express a similar sentiment about their intention to make a planned gift: “As we have been able to, we’ve increased our weekly gifts over time for our parish as well as our annual pledges to the diocese through the Catholic Appeal. We have also arranged through our will to bequeath a donation to St. Ann’s Church in Raynham to be used to continue the good works within our community that drew us to appreciate this parish. We are not wealthy individuals. We give what we can when we can. It’s simply that we feel our faith has been important to us over the years and would like to see it continue for generations to come.”

The “Anima Christi” Legacy Society exists to help parishioners across the Diocese of Fall River make a planned gift to the ministry of their choosing and recognize this extraordinary act. “It has been humbling to hear from donors such as Stella and the Boutins about their stories and their reasons for leaving such a generous, beautiful, and thoughtful gift to the Diocese of Fall River, its ministries, and parishes,” shared Miriam Finn Sherman, CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (CFSEMA). 

CFSEMA is coordinating the “Anima Christi” Legacy Society for the diocese, serving as a one-stop-shop for donors, the presbyterate, and any diocesan entity receiving a planned gift. 

Sherman continued, “Part of launching the ‘Anima Christi’ Legacy Society is also about educating the diocese’s donors and parishioners about the many avenues available to make a gift, as well as the benefits that may be available in doing so.” For example, an IRA can be taxed up to 70 percent if passed on to heirs, but there is no tax when it is used to make a charitable gift. A life insurance policy can be donated and the donor receives an income tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy. Giving appreciated stock can also be beneficial. Donors receive an immediate income tax deduction for the fair market value of the securities on the date of transfer and do not need to pay capital gains tax on the transfer when the stock is sold. These many avenues, and more, are available for making a gift today as well as for the future.   

Bishop da Cunha will celebrate the first “Anima Christi” Legacy Society Induction Mass on October 30 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. The Mass will formally welcome new members into the Society, as well as induct members posthumously, and will be followed by a reception with Bishop da Cunha. 

For those inspired by the Soul of Christ to leave a legacy of faith, more information about becoming a member of the “Anima Christi” Legacy Society can be found by visiting https://www.catholicfoundationsema.org/anima-christi-legacy-society/, emailing info@catholicfoundationsema.org, or calling Director of Major Gifts and Grants, Shawna Erickson, at 508-658-2661.