25 Years: From A Seed to A Bountiful Harvest

“But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” – Matthew 13:23

More than 25 years ago, Bishop Robert Banks, Donald Long Sr., and Cindi Brawner planted a seed in northeastern Wisconsin.  It was with humble beginnings and deep faith that the seed was sown all those years ago.  Thanks to the generosity of families like yours, we have seen great fruit and brought Jesus to thousands of people.

Throughout our history, the Catholic Foundation has encouraged stewardship and generosity by providing a faith-based avenue for giving. Our friends support us because of our Catholic values – it’s what makes us different from other local community foundations. We are eternally grateful to the families whose gifts we extend to others.  Catholics recognize the impact we have in the community and in our parishes.

So many parishes, schools, and ministries in our Diocese have benefitted thanks to the planting of that seed.  The Foundation has grown to more than 350 funds, endowments, and donor advised funds.  We help families leave a legacy that supports the mission of the Church, and it is a great honor to partner with so many generous people who are eager to share Christ’s love.  This is one of the most important services the Foundation provides.

As our graces grew, another important role for the Foundation became supporting all diocesan-wide fundraising.  This includes the Bishop’s Appeal, Raising Vocations Collection, World Mission Services Collections, capital campaigns, and working closely with families interested in remembering the Church in their estate plans.  We further the mission of the Church in northeastern Wisconsin thanks to your generosity.

Your legacy leaves a lasting impact.  Thanks to you, children receive a faith formation that puts Jesus at the center.  Members of our Diocese attend Entrust Retreats and disciple those they encounter.  This shares Jesus with more people every day.  Because of you, Catholic Charities continues to provide mental health, marriage, and financial counseling to those most in need of Jesus’ love.  All of this and more is thanks to families like yours who have supported the Foundation since we were founded in 1997.


These first 25 years have been a blessing, and it is our honor to partner with you in leaving your legacy to benefit the Church.  The success of the Catholic Foundation is because of friends like you who love the Church and want to see more people discover Jesus in their lives. Thank you for helping us nurture that first seed.  Together, we will continue to bear a great harvest for our Diocese and the future of the Church.

Bishop Banks said it best: “I envisioned a Catholic Foundation that would be a place for families to remember the Church in their will.  The Foundation has been a tremendous success.  God bless all those who support the work of the Church through the Catholic Foundation.”

It is thanks to you that we support and further the mission of the Church.  In all that we do, the Catholic Foundation is faithful to sharing Jesus with more people.  That mission could not be accomplished without families like yours.  May God bless you, and thank you for helping the Catholic Foundation bear great fruits these last 25 years.  Here’s to another 25 years of prosperity and partnership with generous families like yours!

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