The Serra Foundation of Canada
The Serra Foundation of Canada was founded in 2002 to assist Serra in Canada to fulfill its objectives of fostering and promoting vocations in the Catholic Church in Canada by funding programs that bring more "fellow laborers with Christ" to His harvest. Since 2002 the Foundation has funded numerous programs for the formation and training of priests and consecrated religious.
Serra International is not a fundraising organization. Its primary methods are prayer and action. The Foundation's role is to support and complement those methods, not to eclipse them. Nevertheless, the importance of the Foundation's role has never been greater.
Objectives and Purposes of the Serra Foundation of Canada
- To fund programs that foster and promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood of the Catholic Church in Canada as a particular vocation to service, and to support priests in their sacred ministry; and
- To fund programs of formation for men and women in consecrated religious life in the Catholic Church in Canada; and
- To enhance the recognition of Serra International and Serra in Canada as the lay apostolate for vocations in the Catholic Church.
The Role of the Serra Foundation of Canada
The Serra Foundation of Canada is a vehicle for channeling the generosity of Serrans and others to help promote vocations through donations the Foundation:
- Enhances and strengthens awareness of the Serra vocations apostolate in Canada and throughout the world.
- Funds projects that have a successful history of fostering and promoting vocations in Canada.
What The Serra Foundation of Canada Has Funded:
Since its inception the Serra Foundation of Canada has made grants for seminarian assistance, Serra House, National Vocations Director's Association (Canada), Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission for Priests etc.
In addition the Serra Foundation of Canada makes an annual grant to the Serra International Foundation of an amount equal to 10% of the total annual grants made by the Serra Foundation of Canada to assist Serra in its global apostolate for vocations.
Summary of Grant Applications Approved in 2011 ($23,000):
- Toronto Downtown Serra Club (Bedolfe Foundation) for vocations projects $11,000
- Serra International Foundation $1,000 to fund international vocations
- Catholic Missions in Canada $1,500 support training of seminarians for Canadian Mission Dioceses.
- St. Augustine’s Seminary, Toronto $1,500 for Annual Year-end Retreat for Seminarians
- St. Peter’s Seminary, London $1,500 for 6 week Summer Spiritual Program for Seminarians.
- St. Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton $1,500 for January Retreat for Seminarians
- Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Toronto $1,500 for Seminarian Retreat
- National Association of Vocation & Formation Directors $2,000 for their conference in Calgary.
- Christ the King Seminary, Mission, B.C. $1,500 for Seminarian Retreat
The Serra Foundation of Canada receives many more worthy requests than it is able to fund. The number of projects that are able to given financial support depends to a large extent on the generosity of others.
How The Serra Foundation of Canada is Funded
A wonderful way to honour someone - instead of the usual present for a birthday, ordination, priest anniversary, wedding anniversary or other special occasion - why not give that special person a unique gift - the knowledge that a special Mass celebrated by the Episcopal Advisor of the Serra Council for Canada/Serra Conseil Canadien will be offered for them. Honour Gift Cards may be obtained from the Foundation.
Families are comforted in their sorrow by the gift of a Memorial Mass where their loved one will be remembered at a special Mass celebrated by the Episcopal Advisor of the Serra Council for Canada/Serra Conseil Canadien. Memorial Cards may be obtained from the Foundation.
Annual Appeal to Serrans
Each year the Foundation conducts its Annual Appeal.
Members of the Founders' Club are those who respond to a request to make a gift to establish the corpus of the Foundation.
Planned Gifts and Bequests
A planned gift or bequest is a gift made by Will, specifically directing a portion of the estate to Serra Foundation of Canada. The term "Planned Gift" refers to any kind of charitable gift in which the benefit to the charity takes place after the death of the donor. Planned giving offers Serrans the opportunity to perpetuate their values beyond their own lifetimes. It is also an opportunity for Serrans to make gifts that are larger than what they can afford in their lifetimes. Most planned gifts are simple bequests: leave an amount of money or a percentage of the estate to the Foundation.
Gifts of Appreciated Securities
Donations of publicly traded shares are exempt from capital gains taxes and that benefit is in addition to the income tax deduction for the gift. When a publicly traded stock held long-term (owned for more than one year) is donated to the Foundation, there is no liability for any capital gains taxes on those stocks and that benefit is in addition to the donor's ordinary income tax deduction. For highly appreciated stock, the added tax savings can be quite significant.
An endowment of $20,000+ can be named after a donor and may be designated to fund a particular vocations project. Through Endowment Gifts, a permanent legacy can be made to render perpetual support for the work of Serra. An Endowment Gift is a gift of significant size that a donor agrees to have placed in a Foundation Endowment and invested. While the corpus of the gift remains untouched, the investment income is used to promote the work of Serra.
By pledging to fund an Endowment Gift of $20,000.00 or more, a donor may create an endowment named after him/her. Donors may create such an endowment during their lifetimes or by means of a bequest. Donors may also designate a Named Endowment to support a particular vocations project. Investment income derived from the gift will be kept separate from all other income, and will be used only for the designated purpose.
The Structure of The Serra Foundation of Canada
Board of Directors
The Serra International Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for raising money for the Foundation, as well as making decisions on governance, policy, investments, and grant allocations. All board members are volunteers.
George Damiani Q.C.
Vila Nova Carvalho