Kent and Marcia Velde

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(from left to right) Alexandra, Andrew, Kent, and Marcia Velde at the Coliseum in Rome.

Meeting New Challenges at Santa Croce

Wisconsin Couple Appreciates Cutting-Edge Curriculum

Kent and Marcia Velde sent their two children (now adults) to Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school. Instilling Christian faith and values was a priority for them. A positive view of good Catholic education provided a natural reason for this Wisconsin couple to become benefactors of Santa Croce.

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Fr. Anthony Stoeppel

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An American in Paris (Texas)

How One Priest Brought Rome Back Home

The path to the priesthood can sometimes seem like a road that goes on forever, leading to places that don’t always make sense at the time. But as J.R. R. Tolkien famously wrote in The Lord of the Rings, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

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Lucy Allen

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Lucy Allen

Why I'm a Monthly Donor

I thank God for my strong faith – a direct result of the spiritual direction I received from excellent priests of Opus Dei who were formed at Santa Croce. They taught me to trust in God and, in the midst of life’s trials, I hung onto Him for life. I learned that God gives us the strength to handle anything and His grace is sufficient. My greatest hope for the Church is to have Santa Croce priests who are trained in spiritual direction serving in every diocese in the world. 

Here’s my story of why I am a monthly donor to Santa Croce ...

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Rob Hays

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Rob Hays

Rob Hays doesn’t consider himself a “real” alumnus of Santa Croce since he only studied philosophy there for one year. But his enthusiasm for the educational and spiritual formation he received there has not lessened, even after spending the next twelve years in the world of business and finance. How that all transpired and how it has impacted his life is the story of this donor profile.

As a cradle Catholic growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rob experienced a typical Catholic upbringing. One significant influence was that Rob’s father had converted to Catholicism and as a successful businessman, never forgot his primary commitments to faith and family. When Rob traveled east to attend Princeton University, he expected to follow in his father’s business footsteps.

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Jamie O’Rourke

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Jamie O’Rourke (right) with Michael Gilstrap, Executive Director of The Ponti cal University of Holy Cross Foundation. Prior to Jamie’s reversion to the Catholic Church 15 years ago, Michael gave him a copy of In Conversation with God (Scepter Press) meditations on themes taken from the Mass readings for that day, the liturgical season, and more. 

Jamie O’Rourke arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1970 to attend Vanderbilt University and now calls Nashville his home. He married, raised children, and spent over thirty five years in the toy manufacturing business. After starting several companies and selling them, he now specializes in consultation, product development, licensing, and litigation management.

Although raised in the Catholic Church, Jamie had a conversion experience in college at age twenty-one and joined the Presbyterian Church. “I realized that there was a God and I wasn’t Him,” says Jamie. His commitment and ideals carried over into his business life where he tried to treat customers and employees according to a Christian ethic and worldview. He spent a number of years as a Presbyterian before reverting to Catholicism fifteen years ago.

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Jim and Judy Barrett

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Jim and Judy Barrett

Three Core Principles for Giving

Through the years, my late husband Jim and I faced the dilemma of many donors: how to sort through the plethora of donation requests that flood the mailbox. We wanted to give with our heads as well as with our hearts to organizations where our hard-earned dollars would go to work for our intended purposes. We fine-tuned our charitable giving priorities, and arrived at three core principles for giving: support for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, authentic Catholic education, and the poorest of the poor.

Those who knew Jim were often amused by his figures of speech. With regard to charitable contributions, he liked giving “where we get a lot of bang for our buck.” Translated, that means giving where donations provide both maximum benefit and maximum multiplier effect.

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