Catholic Financial Life Blog

Welcome to the Year of Mercy

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Dec 9, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year of Mercy will take place from December 8, 2015, to November 20, 2016. How can we accept the mercy of God and show that mercy to others? That is the question of the year.

The following quote is taken from the Pope's official statement:

"Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy;

and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!


I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God."

Each month of this special year will focus on a different Corporal or Spriritual Work of Mercy -- specific actions of charity -- all Catholics can do to take part.

year_of_mercy.jpegCorporal Works of Mercy  

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • Instruct the ignorant
  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Admonish sinners
  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • Forgive offenses willingly
  • Comfort the afflicted
  • Pray for the living and the dead


The focus for this month, December 2015, is "Instruct the Ignorant." Who around you is misinformed or confused about the faith?

The command to "instruct the ignorant" does not mean we have to stand on street corners with a bullhorn passing out flyers to innocent pedestrians; there are easier and better ways of spreading the truth of our Catholic faith. When a cousin starts to voice complaints about the Church at the family Christmas party, offer your opinion: Yes, many people, even Catholics, disagree on the several rules and customs, but we can all appreciate the general mission and values of love, charity and social justice. If your son or daughter has stopped going to Mass on Sundays because it's "too"boring," they "don't have enough time to go," or they "don't get anything out of it," share a story of when you faced that difficulty in your faith life and how you overcame it.

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Topics: Catholic Values in Action, events, Our Catholic Faith

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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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy, Education, Member Magazine, Catholic Values in Action, events, Family, Our Catholic Faith

Catholic Schools Week 2015: Catholic School Locator

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jan 26, 2015 3:19:00 AM

We're continuing to offer information on Catholic Schools Week 2015, as we raise awareness of Catholic schools, faith-based education, its value, advantages of a Catholic education and much more! This year's theme focuses on three core values of Catholic schools: "Faith. Academics. Service."

What is Catholic Schools Week?

Where can I find more information?
Check out the websites in your area listed below for open house information and other events planned for Catholic Schools Week 2015. Some schools are holding open houses and other events this weekend to kick off the week, so be sure to check in! 


Archdiocese of Chicago
Diocese of Springfield
Diocese of Peoria
Diocese of Belleville
Diocese of Joliet
Diocese of Rockford


Archdiocese of Boston
Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Springfield
Diocese of Worcester



Diocese of Davenport
Diocese of Des Moines
Diocese of Dubuque
Diocese of Sioux City


Archdiocese of St. Louis
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Diocese of Jefferson City
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau


Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis
Diocese of Crookston
Diocese of Duluth
Diocese of New Ulm
Diocese of St. Cloud
Diocese of Winona



Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Diocese of Madison
Diocese of Green Bay

Diocese of La Crosse

Diocese of Superior

Rhode Island

Catholic Schools of Rhode Island


Your state is not listed below? No problem! Check the National Catholic Educational Association website and use their Catholic School & Diocesan Locator to find a Catholic school near you!

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Topics: Education, events, Our Catholic Faith

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!


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

Raise the Flag and Raise the Roof for Stony Hill Schoolhouse

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 28, 2013 12:42:12 PM

Stony_Hill_School_3Jun09 When we think of patriotism, many things come to mind that symbolize what unites us as a nation--the Liberty Bell, the Constitution, the Statue of Liberty, and of course the American flag. There is perhaps no symbol more important to a country than its flag. June 14 is National Flag Day, a day set aside to honor this symbol of our many freedoms as Americans--a tradition that began in a one-room Wisconsin schoolhouse in 1885. Today that schoolhouse still stands, but is need of some costly repairs.

Family Fun Day Fundraiser

To help, a Family Fun Day will take place on Saturday, June 8th from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the site of the historic Stony Hill School located in Waubeka, Wis. This year's event will combine raising the American Flag and raising money for some much-needed repairs at the site. Sponsored by the Ozaukee County Historical Society and the Wisconsin Fraternal Alliance, the event will feature kids' games and activities, tours of Stony Hill School, and appearances from "Betsy Ross" and "Bernard Cigrand".  The 128th annual flag raising ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. Click here to view the flyer for this event (PDF)

Bernard Cigrand, "the Father of Flag Day"

Stony Hill School, located in Waubeka, Wis., is the site of the first official observance of Flag Day. Started by Bernard J. Cigrand, nicknamed the "Father of Flag Day", June 14th commemorates the United States' adaptation of Betsy Ross' initial design of our nation's flag. Now, 128 years later, the schoolhouse is recognized by both the State of Wisconsin and the National Register of Historic Places.

Elementary school groups frequently tour the schoolhouse, learning about what it was like to be a student in the 1890s. They don includes wearing suspenders and pinafores, playing traditional games, and raising the flag at the iconic 80 foot flagpole. The schoolhouse is a historic site, cherished by many in the community, and still a provider of great educational memories for thousands of children every year.

Costly Repairs Jeopardize the Site's Future

Unfortunately, the condition of the school is starting to deteriorate. The two biggest issues, namely, are the roof, which needs to be replaced, as well as the 80 foot flagpole, which is in need of priming and repainting. This is a dire situation for the school, because without a new roof, the school will no longer be allowed to offer field trips, sharing the history of this national treasure with future generations. With that in mind, the fundraiser will be held in an effort to raise the funds for the new roof, and have a little bit of fun while doing so. And what better place to witness this patriotic celebration than at the place where it all started.

If you can't make it to the event, but would like to help preserve this historic site, please complete this form to contact us.

[contact-form to='' subject='Stony Hill School'][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]
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Topics: Education, events, Family

Soup's On! Fourth Annual Soup Du Jour Raises $7,500 for St. Vincent de Paul

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Apr 12, 2013 10:54:39 AM

On an icy, rainy day in February, Holy Family Church parishioners warmed their hearts and satisfied their appetites at Soup Du Jour, an event that benefits the Fond du Lac, Wis., area council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP). The event was organized and staffed by volunteers from seven Catholic Financial Life chapters. Families at the parish have come to look forward to the annual comfort food event, now in its fourth year.  The event has steadily grown, each year adding more soup and more volunteers. This year was no exception, as Soup du Jour offered more than 30 varieties of soup and raised nearly $7,500 for SVdP.

DSC_1147Lisa Mick, an officer with Chapter 19, Fond du Lac, Wis., commented, “It’s a really neat event, because it brings together community, youth, church members, and volunteers from Catholic Financial Life and SVdP —who all come together for a unified cause.”

Thirty-nine area businesses supported Soup du Jour in 2013 by providing soup, bread, desserts and serving supplies. Because everything for the event is donated, 100 percent of the proceeds are given to local councils of SVdP. Over the last four years, the event has provided more than $23,000 to SVdP with matching funds from Catholic Financial Life. Proceeds from this year’s event will help families in the Fond du Lac, New Holstein, and Chilton area.

"(From this event) We can provide people with utilities, and DSC_1150part of their monthly rent" said Arlene Ramstack, a coordinator of the event for all four years. Ramstack is also one of many volunteers who get to visit the people whom St. Vincent De Paul helps.

"They are all very grateful. They know that what we’re doing is to support them" Ramstack said.

Everything from this event is done with the intention of helping those in need. Even the leftover soup is donated to the solution center at St. Vincent de Paul, meaning that  people seeking assistance can also have a meal to take home with them.

The following Wisconsin chapters participated in this event: Charlestown Chapter 194, Fond du Lac Chapter 19, Fond du Lac Chapter WI60, Jericho Chapter 222, Johnsburg Chapter 126, Mt. Calvary Chapter 149, St. Cloud Chapter 179.

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Topics: Catholic Values in Action, events, Family

Catholic Schools Week 2013

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jan 28, 2013 3:04:53 AM

12_Raise_Standards_logo_v1It’s the time of year when many students from Catholic schools throughout the nation celebrate their school, their faith, and what a Catholic education means to them. During the week, many Catholic schools showcase their work and hold special open houses, often after Sunday Mass. Catholic Schools week commences January 27, 2013. To many, a Catholic education provides a values-based education within a “Christ-centered curriculum.” Ninety-nine percent of Catholic school students graduate and 95% pursue higher education. For more Catholic school statistics, view our Value of Catholic Schools infographic.


Contact your local Catholic church/school for open house dates/times.

Want more information about Catholic schools near you? Here are some links to Catholic Schools in Wisconsin by diocese:

Archdiocese of Milwaukee schools

Archdiocese of Madison schools

Archdiocese of Green Bay schools

Archdiocese of La Crosse schools

Archdiocese of Superior schools

Still looking for a Catholic school near you? Check out our list of additional links to Catholic schools here...

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

Theology on Tap at Catholic Financial Life, Milwaukee

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jun 25, 2012 5:27:14 AM

This summer, Catholic Financial Life is once again hosting Theology on Tap, an engaging speaker series for young adults - married or single - on Wednesdays from July 11-August 2, 2012. Bring a friend and join us for a fun-filled evening of faith, food and fellowship.

Theology on Tap 2012 - Tap Into Something More!

WHAT:  A speaker series for young adults, married or single in their 20's and 30's. Bring your friends for a fun-filled evening of faith, food and fellowship.
WHEN:  Wednesday evenings July 11-August 1, 2012 @ 6pm
WHERE:  Catholic Financial Life, 1100 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, Wis.
COST:  FREE! Complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
QUESTIONS?  Contact Penny Boehm at 414-278-6605 or by email.

Join us for these insightful speakers:

July 11th
The Story of Salvation in a Time of Sound Bites
Technology is both a blessing and a challenge.
Speaker: Father Tim Kitzke, Three Holy Women Catholic Parish

July 18th
Keeping up with the Koran
Exploring the Catholic & Muslim Relationship and the realities of this often misunderstood Abrahamic faith.
Speaker: Dr. Irfan Omar, Marquette University

July 25th
Harry Potter Series and Christian Theologies
Is the magic at Hogwarts at odds with our Catholic faith?
Speaker: Dennis Sylva

August 1st
Papal History: Borgias and Benedict
How does our modern image of the papacy conflict with its sometimes brutal past?
Speaker: Dr. Patrick Carey, Marquette University

Directions to Catholic Financial Life's headquarters in Milwaukee:


The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and other downtown Milwaukee parishes are hosting Theology on Tap in the Cathedral's atrium on Monday evenings. Click here for a listing of speakers, topics and more information...

RENEW Theology on Tap, a pastoral outreach of: RENEW International, 1232 George Street, Plainfield, NJ  07062-1717

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Topics: Education, events, Our Catholic Faith

Catholic Values in Action - Winooski Vermont

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jun 19, 2012 10:40:39 AM

On May 12, 2012 Catholic Financial Life Chapter N035 in Winooski, Vermont sponsored a "Stampede" walk/run event for adults and children. The event was held at St. Francis Xavier School, and saw 84 participants running or walking, and another 25 plus working or cheering on the participants.

A total of $2078 was raised for the benefit of St. Francis Xavier School, including matching funds from Catholic Financial Life!

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Education, Volunteerism & Service, events, Our Catholic Faith

Father of Flag Day: Wisconsin's Own Bernard J. Cigrand

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jun 14, 2012 4:21:12 AM

Stony Hill School, in Fredonia, Wisconsin, is the site of the first formal observance of Flag Day. Working as a grade school teacher in Fredonia in 1885, in the one-room schoolhouse, Bernard J. Cigrand held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School. The school has been restored with the help of the American Fraternal Alliance and the Wisconsin Fraternal Alliance. A bust of Cigrand also honors him at the National Flag Day Americanism Center in nearby Waubeka.

From the late 1880s on Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag, and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on June 14, the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes.

He moved to Chicago to attend dental school and, in June 1886, first publicly proposed an annual observance of the birth of the United States flag in an article titled "The Fourteenth of June," published in the Chicago Argus newspaper. In June 1888, Cigrand advocated establishing the holiday in a speech before the "Sons of America," a Chicago group. The organization founded a magazine, American Standard, in order to promote reverence for American emblems. Cigrand was appointed editor-in-chief and wrote articles in the magazine as well as in other magazines and newspapers to promote the holiday.

On the third Saturday in June 1894, a public school children’s celebration of Flag Day took place in Chicago at Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks. More than 300,000 children participated, and the celebration was repeated the next year.

Cigrand became president of the American Flag Day Association and later of the National Flag Day Society, which allowed him to promote his cause with organizational backing. Cigrand once noted he had given 2,188 speeches on patriotism and the flag.

Cigrand lived in Batavia, Illinois, from 1913–1932. Cigrand generally is credited with being the "Father of Flag Day," with the Chicago Tribune noting that he "almost singlehandedly" established the holiday.

Click here for more information on today's Flag Day Celebration, sponsored by Catholic Financial Life Chapters WI52 and 89 at Jackson Park in Milwaukee.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, events