Catholic Financial Life Blog

Choosing the right type of life insurance:
#2. Whole

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 21, 2015 4:30:00 PM

For Life Insurance Awareness Month 2015, this three-part blog series will provide basic information on the different types of life insurance and help you determine which kind is best for you. When choosing between the different types of life insurance, always make sure that you are purchasing enough for you, your family, and your future.

 #2. Whole Life Insurance

Whole life is a type of permanent coverage life insurance, which means it's a good long-term plan that will accumulate cash value. 

Parents can protect their children's futures with whole life insurance.

  • It's the perfect plan to purchase for a child. The younger the individual is at the time of the purchase, the cheaper the premium will be, and this price is guaranteed to be locked-in for life.
  • It's ideal for someone who wants lifelong coverage.
  • Cash value begins to accumulate after a few years. You can borrow from this cash value, but be sure to pay back the loan to avoid interest rates which decrease the value of the policy.
  • Catholic Financial Life offers three ways to purchase it:

1. Buy whole life insurance as a standard policy and pay premiums every year for life.

2. The 20 pay policy allows you to complete premium payments after 20 years.

3. Pay in one single premium, and the policy will be completely paid for right away.

Coming up next week: #3. Universal Life Insurance

Did you miss our first post of the series? Check out #1. Term Life Insurance.

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Sharing values of
faith and family

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 16, 2015 4:30:00 PM

Members of the Milwaukee Central Agency Chapter 110 gather for an annual member appreciation picnic each summer.

Members of the Milwaukee Central Agency Chapter 110 gather for an annual member appreciation picnic each summer.

We celebrate growth.

Hispanic Heritage month is a national celebration in the United States that lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year. During this time, we recognize the positive impact the Hispanic population has had on our nation through their strong traditions of faith, family, hard work, and service.

The Hispanic community is important to Catholic Financial Life. Twenty-five percent of all of our new members each year are Spanish-speaking. Seventeen percent of United States citizens identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, and people of Mexican origin account for two-thirds of these Latino people. Ninety percent of these Mexicans are Catholic. We have adapted to our growing community of members with bilingual associates in all service areas, product materials in Spanish and advisors serving Hispanic communities. The Milwaukee Central Agency and its satellite agency in Chicago have mostly Hispanic members. Rogelio (Ro) Cabral, vice president of sales, said that there has definitely been the most member growth at the Milwaukee Central Agency.

“Ninety percent of the Hispanic community is Catholic,” said Ro. “They’re family-driven, which really reflects our values.”

Eleazar Lopez, Jr., advisor at the Milwaukee Central Agency also stressed the importance of our faith-centered bond with the Catholic Hispanic community.

“It’s natural for us to focus on this Catholic community,” said Eleazar. “They are very family-oriented, and our benefits are catered and geared to families.”

With faith comes success.

Our Hispanic members are young, active, and engaged in their families and Catholic faith. They spread the word about us and participate in chapter events in large numbers. The Milwaukee Central Agency member appreciation picnic is an example of the energy of this community. In 2013, 400-500 members participated. That number grows by over 100 every year, according to Eleazar.

Because this community is of a younger generation than our other members, they revitalize the life insurance aspect of our business.

“At the Milwaukee Central Agency and its satellite agency in Chicago, there is a huge amount of life insurance sales. Unlike other agencies that have recently been focusing on selling investments because their members are getting older, we bring in younger families who will support us for many years to come,” Eleazar said.

Another main difference is the education required at these majority-Hispanic agencies. We host financial workshops and seminars at Catholic schools and parishes to earn the trust of the Hispanic community. They find comfort in the fact that we are not-for-profit and have a strong presence in parishes and schools. Furthermore, we share a commitment to service and the Catholic faith.

Eleazar said that Catholic Financial Life's central values of family and faith at  have brought success. “We are really leading the way with this, which is unusual because we usually aren’t the innovators in this industry. The fact that we are Catholic really earns trust.”

The future is promising.

Catholic Financial Life is working to expand our Hispanic community of members, according to Ro. “We’re really just starting to dig in. The potential is tremendous. I’ve noticed a lot of opportunity out there.”

We are excited about what the future holds and hopeful that this community will continue to have a positive impact on the strength of our Catholic values. “We’re planting seeds right now," said Eleazar. "They will grow into trees which will soon sprout branches.”

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Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus: July 26

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jul 24, 2015 12:40:00 PM

 

Joachim and Anne were the father and mother of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus.

Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, traditions and stories about them lead Catholics to celebrate this couple's significant impact on our faith.

Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter, Mary.

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples.

St-Anne-Mary-Jesus

A Prayer to St. Joachim and St. Anne:
Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ,

Bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion.

Bestow courage and hope upon couples
who struggle to start their families. 

Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding,

And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.

We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren. 
May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. 
In God’s name we pray, 
Amen.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Parenting, Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day

Saint Catherine of Siena

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Apr 29, 2015 6:56:00 PM

Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church was born March, 25, 1347 and died April 29, 1380 in Siena, Italy. April 29 is now celebrated by the Church as her feast day. Catherine was canonized in 1461 by Pope Pius II and is one of two patron saints of Italy, along with Saint Francis of Assisi. StCatherine

Catherine's Story

When Catherine was six years old, she began to have visions of angels and Jesus when she prayed to God, and at only seven years old she made a vow of virginity. At the age of 16, after having refused her parent’s plan for an arranged marriage, she was admitted to the Third Order of St. Dominic, the Mantellate, where she served the needs of the poor and sick and remained faithfully devoted to God.

Around 1368, Catherine, 21 began to experience what she described in her letters as a “Mystical Marriage” with Jesus, and after three years of solitary life in her order she began to lead a more active life serving others and God.

Catherine the Peacemaker

As social and political tensions began to arise in Florence, Catherine soon found herself entering into the political arena, using her gift of grace to bring back peace to the Italian city states, obtaining one of her appropriate titles as “peacemaker for the Church.” Her greatest achievement before her death was her work to bring the Papacy back to Rome from its displacement in France.

In 1380, at the age of 33, Saint Catherine died suddenly of a stroke and her body is now buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Italy. On October 3, 1970 Pope Paul VI named Saint Catherine a Doctor of the Church (one of the first women to receive this honor) and on October 1, 1999 Pope John Paul II named her a patron saint of Europe, making her one of the six patron saints of Europe.

We are awed by Saint Catherine's seflessness and devotion to her faith. Her social and political work is the true meaning of serving God by serving others,honoring her boldness and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the Church.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Catholic Values in Action, Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day

Images of the Virgin Mary: Seven Centuries of the Blessed Mother

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jul 8, 2013 6:30:03 AM

The Catholic Church is rich in its artistic tradition. For centuries artists have been inspired by their faith to create works that portray their impressions of the divine. Marquette University is fortunate to have some of these historic pieces of art currently on display at the Haggerty Museum of Art, located on campus at Marquette University, within walking distance of Catholic Financial Life's home office.

8125909026_65c7f85a2a_z A special exhibit, Images of the Virgin Mary, collects works from around the world, spanning seven centuries. The earliest pieces on display date back to the late 14th century and include "The Mourning Madonna" by Andrea Vanni (pictured at left) which is believed to have been painted 1375. The exhibit also features pieces from this time period over a variety of different media, including sculptures and early prints, in addition to painted pieces.

Works in the exhibit depict five major events in the life of Mary: The Annunciation, Nativity, Flight into Egypt, The Pieta, Assumption and Coronation. The artwork is organized around these themes and allows visitors to see the evolution of the Image of Mary from the 14th through the 20th century.

Throughout the various media exhibited at the Haggerty, it is clear that Mary has remained a symbol for purity, as well as motherhood, no matter the time period. Another gem of this collection is "Madonna of Port Lligat", created in 1949 by Salvador Dali (seen at right). This depiction of Mary shows her as a figure of comfort and security, idealizing the hallmarks of 8125909208_b4cd49bec7_zmotherhood. It is the first of two portraits of Mary done by Dali with the same name. The other painting, created a year later and depicting Mary in a different position, is located in a Japanese museum. This piece was submitted by Dali and later approved by Pope Pius XII. It is just one of many historically significant pieces of artwork on display at the Haggerty Museum, as part of a very comprehensive, inspiring exhibit.

"Images of the Virgin Mary" runs until July 28th at the Haggerty Museum of Art, located on the campus of Marquette University. Click here for more information via the Haggery Museum website. To accompany the Images of the Virgin Mary exhibit, scholar Melissa R. Katz gave a lecture entitled "The Virgin Mary in the Visual Arts" at the exhibit, which is available to watch below:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/CUsjYnSxS6E]

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Our Catholic Faith

The ABC's of Retirement Plans

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jul 2, 2013 12:49:26 PM

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When it comes to the language of the financial world, many people find themselves a bit lost in translation. Retirement planning is no exception. With an alphabet soup of plan names like IRA, SEP, SIMPLE, and 401(k), choosing the best one for you can seem like a daunting task. Here’s a simple explanation of some of the most common types of retirement plans:

Traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account)

A traditional IRA is a tax-deferred account, meaning allowable contributions and the interest they earn over time are not taxed until you begin withdrawing funds. If you make a withdrawal early, before age 59 ½ , there is a penalty and the withdrawal becomes part of your taxable income. Traditional IRAs also have a limit on the allowable amount of money that can be contributed each year, but that limit increases after age 50 as you near retirement.  For those enrolled in an employer’s pension plan, contributions are restricted further. The IRS also stipulates that you must begin withdrawing money by age 70 ½.

Roth IRA

With a Roth IRA your contributions are made with after-tax dollars and the interest earned is not considered taxable income.  Roth IRA’s offer more flexibility for early withdrawals, and there is no mandatory age for when you must begin withdrawing.  Earnings can be withdrawn tax free subject to IRS guidelines. Unlike the traditional IRA, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA phases out at certain income limits.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA

A SEP plan is an IRA for either a self-employed person or a small business with one or more employees.  Each eligible employee must have their own IRA account linked to the SEP, and all eligible employees must be covered equally.  With this plan, the employer is the sole contributor, but the funds belong to the employee.  SEP plans also have early withdrawal penalties for money withdrawn before age 59 ½.

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA148173128

SIMPLE IRA plans are set up by employers, but are available only for businesses with less than 100 eligible employees.  An IRA is set up for each eligible employee, and contributions can be made by both the employer and the employee.  Employees can allot a percentage of their income to their IRA on a pre-tax basis.  Employers are generally required to match each employee’s salary reduction contribution on a dollar for dollar basis up to three percent of the employee's compensation, or make non-elective contributions instead. Like the SEP plan, the money is fully vested to the employee once it is put into their IRA.

Traditional 401(k)

A traditional 401(k) is another employer-sponsored way to save for retirement and invest.  401(k)’s tend to be provided by medium to large sized companies.  With a 401(k), you decide what percentage of your salary you’d like to save, and it is automatically deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis, ultimately reducing your taxable income.  Money invested in a 401(k) grows tax deferred, meaning you do not pay taxes on it until you retire and begin withdrawing the money.  Contributions are held in your account and invested.  Many 401(k) plans provide matching from employers as well.  Typically, the offers are 50% or 100% matching for up to 6% of your salary up to the contribution limit for the year. Money in your 401(k) may be available for loans; however, should you change employment or fail to repay the loan in the time permitted, the loan is considered as taxable income, and is subject to early withdrawal penalties.

Roth 401(k)

A Roth 401(k) combines aspects of a Roth IRA and a traditional 401(k).  This account is offered through employers, and the contributions come out of your after-tax salary.  Because the Roth 401(k) taxes your contributions up front, you will not be taxed again when it comes time to begin withdrawing.  A Roth 401(k) is an option for anyone earning less than they will in the future.

403(b)

The 403(b) plan is designed for employees of school systems, religious organizations, as well as some tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations like charities and certain hospitals.  Contributions to a 403(b) plan can be made on an after-tax or pre-tax basis, and are sometimes matched by employers.  Typical investment opportunities with this plan include fixed annuities, variable annuities, or mutual funds.

Everyone has different dreams for the future, so everyone needs a unique retirement plan. With proper retirement planning, you can be prepared for the realities of retirement. If you are ready to take control of your financial future, Catholic Financial Life and its advisors are here to assist you.

This blog post is for general information purposes only and is not meant as tax advice or as a substitute for individual retirement planning. Information contained in this blog post is based on information related to the latest tax year 2012. Please consult with your tax planner for your information related to your specific situation.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy

See You There! 2013 Summer Events

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jun 14, 2013 8:47:31 AM

With the first official day of summer approaching quickly, it's time to look at some of the fun and affordable member events sponsored by Catholic Financial Life. For more information about any of these events, please contact us at 1-800-927-2547.

Society-Sponsored Events


44th Annual Catholic Financial Life
Family Camp Out (Columbus, Wis.)

July 19th-21st


Catholic Financial Life Camp Out (Magic) 2011 312This event, a staple of Catholic Financial Life's summer schedule, is the best in family fun for all ages. And its offered a at an extremely reasonable price. For just $30 per campsite, its a full weekend of fun. Located at Fireman's Park in scenic Columbus, Wis., (just 40 minutes north of Madison), the camp out features a full weekend of kids' games, arts & crafts, bocce ball, live music, a pancake breakfast, and much, much more. Mass is also celebrated on Saturday. The theme for this year's camp is "Camp Out Down Under", celebrating Australian culture. (Don't forget to practice your Aussie accent!) Be sure to bring your bathing suit, because there is an aquatic center adjacent to Fireman's Park, available to campers as well for an additional nominal fee.

Click here for campsite information

Click here for a reservation form(PDF)

Wisconsin State Fair (West Allis, Wis.)
August 11


puffsJoin thousands of Wisconsinites in West Allis, Wis., for one of the biggest festivals of the summer. There's an abundance of things to do and see, from agricultural exhibits to carnival rides, an amazing variety of food, and several music stages throughout the grounds. On August 11th, Catholic Financial Life will have a hospitality tent on the fairgrounds. For only $5 each, members will receive admission to the fair, as well as the amenities of the hospitality tent--a soft drink or water and a famous Wisconsin State Fair cream puff! At a price that can't be beat, the Wisconsin State Fair should be on your family's to-do list for this summer.

Click here for more information about the Wisconsin State Fair

Click here for signup sheet (PDF)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!


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Nothing says summertime like America's national pastime, baseball. Catholic Financial Life will be at minor league games in Wisconsin, Maine, and Rhode Island this summer. We hope to see you in the stands with us as we cheer on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Portland Sea Dogs, and Pawtucket Red Sox.

June 29th - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers vs. Kane County Cougars, Appleton, Wis. (Click here for signup PDF)

July 20th - Portland Sea Dogs vs. Reading Fightin' Phils, Portland, Maine

August 18th - Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Buffalo Bisons, Pawtucket, R.I.

Catholic Financial Life Pilgrimage (Attleboro, Mass.)
September 8thIMG_1030


A day of worship and family activities surrounded by the beauty of the La Salette grounds makes this an annual tradition for our New England member families. In a tradition dating back to the early 1950s, this gathering at the National Shrine of Our Lady of  La Salette is held in both English and French, allowing attendees to meditate with the Stations of the Cross or pray the Rosary. The pilgrimage has evolved into a folk festival of sorts, now including family activities, traditional French-Canadian foods, and even a petting zoo in recent years. The centerpiece of this event, though, is the mass in the breathtaking chapel at the shrine, which holds over 1,000 people.


Chapter-Sponsored Events


The following events are sponsored by individual chapters of Catholic Financial Life. Please contact your local chapter of Catholic Financial Life or our home office for more information.

July 14th - Madison Mallards vs. Lakeshore Chinooks, Madison Wis.

DSC_0060July 31st - Southern Wisconsin Area Chapters 7th Annual Zoofari, Milwaukee, Wis. -  Not only will the family enjoy the wildlife at the Milwaukee County Zoo, but they can also enjoy live entertainment at the Flamingo Pavillion, free food and drinks, and discounted tickets to other zoo attractions like the train and carousel, as well. Tickets are $4 for children ages 3-12 ($6 for non-members), $6 for adults ($8 for non-members) and children under 2 are free.

August 8th - Green Bay Area Chapters day at Bay Beach Amusement Park, Green Bay, Wis. - There's nothing more fun than a day at the amusement park! Members of 44 area Catholic Financial Life chapters are invited to enjoy the food, face painting, music, and rides at Bay Beach. With admission for both adults and children at $3 each, with children under 4 admitted free, why not come spend a  day at the park? Catholic Financial Life does ask that attendees bring in a non-perishable food item for charity, as well.

Connecting with our members is at the heart of what we do as a fraternal society. With so many different options for entertainment this summer, we hope that we'll be able to see you along the way!

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, events, Family, Our Catholic Faith

School's Out! 5 Tips to Save Money with a Summer Job

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 31, 2013 10:41:20 AM

teensSummer vacation can mean relaxation and rest for some students. For those in high school and college, however, it can also mean that it is time to get out and find a summer job. Working a part-time or seasonal job definitely has its advantages, the most popular of them being the extra income that students have during the summer. While this is nice for everyone in the family, it's important that at least some of the money earned from a summer job is saved for later use. Here's a few quick tips on how to manage money effectively with a seasonal or part time job:

1. Set an account balance goal for fall

This is simple enough, yet vital for those looking to manage their money. This is especially important for those who are just starting their first jobs.  Find a number that is reasonable for you and the wage that you earn, and then write it down or have it memorized. This is the amount of money that you want to have available by the time that school starts up once again. The key is to not set the number so high that you are pinching every penny or working extra overtime, but still should not be so low that a majority of your summer income is spent. Find that comfortable medium, and aim to have that account balance by the time fall rolls around.

2. Monitor yourself

It's very easy to find yourself looking at a bank account and asking "what did I spend that money on?". Make sure that you keep your spending in check by monitoring your account activity regularly. The ideal schedule would be to check your bank account weekly, or at least bi-weekly, in order to make sure that you haven't overspent recently. If your summer employer provides payments via direct deposit, it also wouldn't hurt to make sure that paychecks are delivered on time. You don't want to miss out on money that you have earned.

3. Do the math in advance PE0039

While it is summer vacation, a little bit of math at the beginning of summer can make you feel a lot more comfortable by your first math test next semester. If you have a goal in place, figure out a dollar amount that should be saved out of every paycheck in order to reach that goal. If you have future expenses that you know about in advance (i.e. gas, rent, books for next semester, parking permits, etc.) do some quick figuring to find out how much you should save to accommodate for those purchases. This will keep you on a consistent schedule, so that you aren't rushing to save all of your last paychecks in preparation for fall. Budgeting yourself in May or June can save a major headache in August and September.

4. Limit your paid entertainment

Although summer is the time of year when blockbuster movies hit theaters and major concert tours travel the country, limit the number of paid events that you go to in a given amount of time. Finding alternatives, like going to the beach or parks with friends, can help keep some cash in your wallet. If you do have a lot of events that you would like to go to, take advantages of promotions and discount offers. Admission discounts and coupons can add up if you utilize them, and ultimately will help control the damage to your wallet in the long run.

5. You're never too old for a piggy bank

Believe it or not, loose change adds up quickly. While you may not have to pick up every penny that you find on the ground, having a change jar or piggy bank is one of the simplest ways that you can save. This way, instead of your change getting lost in the couch, or thrown in the wash with your clothes, it will be put away for safe keeping to accumulate. It is also important not to open the piggy bank until you need to. Wait until that change jar fills up, and then you can take it in to the bank in fall. If you save up change all summer, you may even have a bonus paycheck for yourself once it is time to head back to class.

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful to save some money over the course of a summer vacation. Remember, you don't have to sacrifice fun to save money (it is your time to relax, after all). For more year-round financial education, Catholic Financial Life also offers the Biz Kids program as a benefit to its members. This program teaches financial literacy for children, and has won several awards for its content. To find our more about becoming a member and having access to benefits like Biz Kids. Please contact Catholic Financial Life.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy, Education

The Financial Reality of Retirement

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 22, 2013 7:23:47 AM

Senior Couple Studying Financial Document At HomeMany people think of retirement as that elusive finish line, when there's time to finally put your feet up and enjoy the simplicities of life.

Preparing to get to the finish line can be more difficult than it appears. The reality is that while people generally have put away some money for retirement,  the majority of people do not have enough money set aside to live comfortably.

Retirement statistics* can be a bit surprising:


  • 36% of Americans do not have any money allotted for retirement

  • 80% of people ages 30-54 do not believe that they have enough money put away for retirement.per year of retirement.

  • 50-year-olds have set aside an average of $43,797. With the average retirement length being 18 years, that works out to about $2433 per year.

  • 63% of people who started working at age 25 are dependent on their Social Security, friends, relatives, or charity by the time that they reach age 65.

  • The average total cost for a couple over 65 to pay for medical treatment over a 20-year span is $215,000.

  • Only 4% of people who started working at age 25 will have adequate money for retirement by the time that they reach 65.


The moral of the story is simple; start thinking about your financial options early! A fixed annuity is a great way to start building up that retirement fund. Unlike other options, fixed annuities provide a tax-deferred, constant growth rate. This means that even if the market takes a turn for the worse, your assets are protected with a steady growth from the time that the annuity was taken out. Safety from market fluctuations is a major advantage of annuities, because they generate a consistent value, while the rest of the market may fall around it.

Another major advantage of an annuity is the ability to move money according to a plan that meets your needs. If you're just starting an annuity, but have a large amount that you want to place in annuity or are looking to roll-over a 401(k), a single premium annuity may be a better fit for your needs. You can take a large portion of an asset, put it into an annuity at a young age, and watch it grow as you approach retirement. Annuities offer many flexible payout options, as well.

If you're wondering how much you will need for retirement, visit our website and check out our retirement calculator. For information about Catholic Financial Life annuities, click here. If you would like to discuss your retirement options or have specific questions, please don't hesitate to work with a Catholic Financial Life Advisor in your area.

CFL-Contact-Us-Question-Icon

 

*Source: Statisticbrain.com

Withdrawing money from an annuity prior to age 59 1/2 may be subject to a 10% penalty on any premature distribution. Please check with a qualified tax advisor for additional information. Nothing contained herein should be construed as solicitation for insurance, financial products or annuity products in any state in which Catholic Financial Life is not licensed.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy

May -The Month of Mary!

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 3, 2013 8:39:25 AM

maryWith the coming of May, we look forward to warmth, sunshine, and flowers in bloom. It’s a month of new life as sprouts and blossoms begin to emerge. May is also the month of Mary, during which we devote prayers and give thanks to her for being the mother of the Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that Mother’s Day falls in May, for Mary is an inspiration to mothers all over the world. Take some time this May to honor Mary in a special way.

May Crowning


The May Crowning of Mary is a beautiful way to show devotion. Many parishes celebrate May by crowning a statue of Our Lady with a wreath of flowers representing the virtues of Mary that inspire us. There are special prayers and outdoor liturgies offered during the month of May as well. To celebrate Mary, you may want to make a commitment to pray the Rosary daily throughout May. You could also start by watching this video on Marian Devotion from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Inspire Devotion in Children


Teach children about the life of Mary. There are many fun activities that can be done with your children to honor Mary. Holding your own special crowning ceremony can help teach your children that we honor her as Jesus’ mother and thank her for bringing us closer to Him. Place a statue in your home or garden and then let your children create a crown of flowers, paper, or other craft supplies. Have a procession and after the crowning lead your children in Hail Mary.

Whether you choose to say an extra prayer on your own or participate in a crowning ceremony at your parish or in your home, the month of May is a time to reflect and give thanks to Our Lady.

The Canticle of Mary – Luke 1:46-55


And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.

He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,

according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Family, Our Catholic Faith