Monsignor Robert Wargo, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Orefield, knows all too well the time and energy needed to raise funds for key parish programs. In the 46 years since his ordination as a priest, Monsignor Wargo has helped to raise millions of dollars in the half a dozen parishes where he has been stationed. He recalls organizing a successful $125,000 fundraising effort for a parish cemetery only to learn years after his re-assignment that the funds set aside were used for another purpose.
Years later, Monsignor realized that if he had put the money into an endowment fund with clear stipulations on spending outlined in a formal agreement, that small parish cemetery would not have become a burden for its parishioners.
“A pastor’s job is to work with parish lay leaders to make sure the parish is in a good financial state,” Wargo said. “It’s important to have income for the future so we may carry on the mission of Christ.”
It’s for this reason Monsignor Wargo has created four endowment funds managed by the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania to provide future income for various parish and school programs at St. Joseph the Worker Parish. With clear guidelines on spending, the endowment funds honor the intent of the original donors as well as the future donors whose contributions will help each of the funds grow. The four funds include:
- St. Joseph the Worker Parish Endowment Fund
- Frances and Michael Huszar College Scholarship Endowment Fund
- St. Joseph the Worker Angel Scholarship Endowment Fund
- St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph the Worker Parish Endowment
“When the Catholic Foundation started five years ago, I saw it as an opportunity to ensure the financial future of our parish,” Wargo said. “With a formalized agreement in place, a parish’s wishes will be followed – forever.”