Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Prayer and Philanthropy

Earlier today, I heard from Mr. Curtis Meadows at the Association of Fundraising Professionals' monthly luncheon. He was articulate on the topic of family foundations, and generous in his personal advice to fundraisers.

(more on this experience later)

And yet, I was distracted. For later today, I will ask a local foundation to provide a multi-million dollar gift to a capital campaign. It is easily the largest single request I have ever made.

Seeking solace amidst my heart-pounding edits of the proposal, I turned to a book my brother once gave me: "A Year with John Paul II." The book provides daily excerpts from JPII's writings.

Today's passage really spoke to me. Entitled, "Charity and Justice Together," the passage is as follows:

"He (FRÉDÉRIC OZANAM, FOUNDER OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY) observed the real situation of the poor and sought to be more and more effective in helping them in their human development. He understood that charity must lead to efforts to remedy injustice. Charity and justice go together. He had the clear-sighted courage to seek a front-line social and political commitment in a troubled time in the life of his country, for no society can accept indigence as if it were a simple fatality without damaging its honour. So it is that we can see in him a precursor of the social doctrine of the Church which Pope Leo XXIII would develop some years later in the Encyclical Rerum Novarum.