Skip to main content

Why support (or start) an endowment for a rural Catholic church?

exterior of chorch

“Rural parishes face many challenges: there’s little economic development, so young people settle elsewhere, and older people move to larger communities to be closer to healthcare or family. Churches struggle to maintain the same level of support from year to year, let alone increase it to match inflation. And the church buildings are aging, needing maintenance and repair.

To ensure we can support the churches that have played such an important part in their communities, the best solution is to create reliable, growing income from endowments. I recommend that all rural Catholic churches start endowments without delay. I was thrilled when some of my parishioners started the Immaculate Conception Greatest Needs Endowment!”

— Father Rob Oswald, Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish Forsyth, Montana

We love hearing about the reasons our donors have for wanting to see their Catholic communities thrive. Many of them encourage their fellow parishioners to also take ownership for the parish’s future—just what Father Pete talks about on the opposite page.

Don’t just take it from us. Here’s what a couple who recently created an endowment for their parish, Immaculate Conception in Forsyth, as well as their pastor, had to say. We can’t wait to see what happens once this endowment has grown enough to start yielding distributions each year!

“When we decided to start an endowment for our church, the most important thing that came to our minds was that this was OUR hometown church. We were married in this church in 1983. Our children were baptized and received their first Sacraments in this church, and more than likely our funerals will be in this church.

We decided to give a small monthly amount, which was very doable for us. On its own, our monthly donation would take forever to reach $10,000 (the minimum balance required before the parish can receive distributions), but someone just needed to start the endowment!

Once others see there is an endowment for Immaculate Conception, maybe they will feel it in their hearts to give, knowing they would also be supporting the future of their hometown parish.

We hope it will be easier for our little hometown church to survive and thrive in the future, because of the little offering we give today.”
— Dave and Diane Wyrick

And that’s not all! Several other endowments have recently been created by donors to help meet the greatest needs of their local Catholic churches forever:

  • Holy Trinity Greatest Needs Endowment (Centerville)
  • St. Margaret Greatest Needs Endowment (Clyde Park)
  • St. Theresa Greatest Needs Endowment (Lambert)
  • St. William Greatest Needs Endowment (Gardiner)

Does the church you grew up in already have an endowment with the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana? Find out by visiting our endowments page.

It’s easy to give online, or you can always mail your donation to PO Box 1345, Great Falls, MT 59403. Make your check out to the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana and be sure to note the endowment you wish to support—or start—on the memo line! Questions? Reach out to Judy Held, Foundation President, at 406-315-1765 or [email protected].