It is beautiful tradition of the Church to give a memorial gift in honor of a loved one who has died. These donations – like large gifts to provide for a stained glass windows, or the gift of a few dollars to provide for a poinsettia to decorate the sanctuary at Christmas – are wonderful gifts freely given to God’s Church. In our parish, memorials may be given in honor of the deceased to benefit the mission of the church in several ways:
· General Memorials: These are the most common memorials and are used to support the work of our parish.
· Fr. Feeney Scholarship Fund: Started in Fall 2019, this fund helps to provide tuition assistance to students from St. Matthew parish attending our parish grade school. Families receiving the award sign a “covenant” expressing their commitment to live out their Catholic faith and to be active members of St. Matthew Parish.
· St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Endowment for Catholic Education: This endowment is administered by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria for the long-term support of St. Matthew School. Annual proceeds from the endowment are used for tuition assistance, faculty salaries, curriculum development or other enhancements.
· Named Scholarship or Endowment: Working with the finance office of the diocese, families may also establish funds or endowments to provide tuition assistance for St. Matthew students at our grade school or the High School of St. Thomas More. As these are specialized memorials, please contact Msgr. Deptula for more information.
· Tree Memorials: Our parish is blessed with a “park like” setting of beautiful lawns, flower beds, and trees. Over recent years, we have lost several trees to age or illness. We are committed to planting a few new trees every fall to maintain the natural beauty of our campus. Some trees can be memorialized with small plaques. Tree memorials begin at $500.
· Sanctuary Needs: A very ancient way to remember a deceased loved one is to provide for the needs of Divine Worship. As of Fall 2019, memorials would be accepted to provide a parish Sunday chalice and ciborium (currently the priests use their own chalices. The parish does not own any solemn vessels). This memorial for a chalice or ciborium would start at $10,000. Smaller memorials ($500-1000) would provide for Mass vestments for our priests and deacons or other sanctuary furnishings. Every spring and winter, parishioners generously provide for Easter and Christmas flowers in memory of their deceased loved ones.
If you wish to give a memorial for any of the above, please carefully indicate this with your donation or in the obituary of your loved ones. Unspecified memorial gifts will be considered a general memorial. Msgr. Deptula works very carefully to respect the intention of each donor and to give proper recognition.
*Special Note: Statue for the Parish Center Circle Drive: The original plans for the parish center included a statue in the island in front of the parish center. Recently a few families who have had a long time interest in this statue have donated memorials for this future statue. We are not actvely soliciting donations for this project at this time since the budget and timeline have not been worked out. The money that has already been given for this future project has been carefully recorded in our financial records. More information to come!
Gifts to the parish are gifts to God. They are freely given and entrusted to the stewardship of our pastor. Flowers fade. Even trees die. Vestments become threadbare. Paintings fade. Statues may be moved. But the love expressed for the dead, the graces given by supporting the mission of our church, and the gratitude of our parishioners endure forever.