Catholic Financial Life Blog

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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New Church, New Chapter in Old Mill Creek, Illinois

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jan 9, 2013 9:51:40 AM

St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic ChurchCatholic Financial Life's Newest Chapter 929 in Old Mill Creek, Illinois

Born from the humble beginnings of celebrating Mass in a renovated barn, to what has now become a gorgeous, multi-million dollar building project, St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, is being built with future of the ever-growing parish in mind, while still maintaining a sense of the past. The parish, located about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, sits along the Wisconsin-Illinois border and it enjoys serving parishioners from both states. Since its formation five years ago, the parish has doubled in size, to more than 550 families, and it’s the first new parish within Chicago Archdiocese in many years.

The construction project, the first of its kind, is a monument to preservation, conservation and restoration. The exterior of the church is constructed of limestone bricks from the shuttered St. John of God church on Chicago’s south side, and the interior liturgical appointments—including the marble alter and nave—are from Chicago’s St. Peter Canisius Church. Nearly every major piece of the church features reclaimed building materials or pieces from shuttered churches around the area.

St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic ChurchToday phase one is nearly complete, with two 80-foot bell towers gracing each side of the impressive entrance to the European-style church. The inside of the church, with its marble alter features 42-foot-tall cathedral ceilings and a massive 100-year-old reconditioned pipe organ. The new church is scheduled for completion during the summer of 2013.

In mid-2009—just before the merger between Catholic Knights and Catholic Family Life Insurance—then Catholic Knights was busy building a presence in the northern Illinois/Chicago area. Fr. John Jamnicky fostered a relationship with Matthew Tomlinson, an advisor with Catholic Financial Life's Southeastern Wisconsin Agency.

Fr. Jamnicky was looking for a partner to help build his parish. Later than year, Fr. Jamnicky met with Catholic Financial Life leaders Bill O’Toole, president and CEO and John Borgen, vice president of fraternal and member services. In the months and years that followed, a new chapter was built that now includes over 700 members.

“There can be a great synergy in parish communities. We wanted to pilot an old, but new idea of creating a parish-based chapter. Matt was extremely involved in growing the membership and when combined with the existing member-base, there was a demand for a chapter,” commented John Borgen.

In April of this year, a celebration dinner was held near Gurnee, Illinois, to inaugurate the formation of the chapter. “With St. Raphael being a brand new church, starting a brand new chapter seemed like a perfect fit,” said Matthew Tomlinson.

To read more about St. Raphael the Archangel and Catholic Financial Life's newest chapter, check out or fall issue of Catholic Financial Life's Member Magazine.

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Giving Back to Our Catholic Members Through Fraternal Benefits

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Sep 6, 2012 5:29:25 AM

At Catholic Financial Life, giving back to our members is our main goal. In 2011, we put our Catholic values in action by providing a variety of benefits and programs to our members, which in turn help them continue their mission of serving God by serving others within their local communities. We are proud of our track record of sharing our financial successes with our members.

In 2011, the Society distributed nearly $30 million in the form of dividends and interest to our members, and more than $377,000 was distributed through our member benefit programs, and $234,500 awarded to member-students attending grade school, high school and college through our scholarship programs.

As a result, more than 95% of our life insurance and annuity business continued in force, exceeding industry averages and demonstrating our members’ loyalty and recognition of the outstanding value they receive.

Here are some benefit highlights:

  • Family Protection Benefit - $13,000 was provided to members through the Prenatal Benefit, Newborn Benefit, and Guaranteed Issue Benefits.

  • Orphan Program - $8,200 in financial assistance to member-orphans for monthly living expenses and college tuition

  • Child Cancer Treatment Benefit - $10,000 was issued to assist members with the cost of cancer treatment

  • Spiritual Benefits - $15,171 was distributed to members to help them attend Catholic summer camps and retreats, and to commemorate Baptisms, First Communions, and Weddings

  • Estate Planning Benefit - $6,050 in financial subsidies to 121 members for the preparation or updating of estate planning documents

  • Family Care Suite – 30 members took advantage of the hospitality apartment offered to members or families of members receiving medical treatment in the Milwaukee area

  • ScriptSave® - Members saved $78,756 on 4,724 prescriptions through this prescription savings program

  • 50 & 75-Year Member Recognition – More than $41,000 was used to honor our long-time loyal members

  • Regional Member Activities – More than 8,000 members attended ballgames, a zoo outing, camp out, pilgrimage, and other regional events

  • Scholarships to Members - $94,000 was awarded to member-students attending Catholic elementary schools. $70,000 was given to Catholic high school students, and $70,500 helped members attend college

The most important outcome of 2011 is that Catholic Financial Life continued to fulfill its promises to you, our members. Together we strengthened our financial position while continuing our commitment to provide financial assistance to our members and to support your volunteer efforts in making your communities, schools and parishes better places to live, learn and worship.

The increased uncertainty in our economy means that now more than ever, the Society’s long-standing tradition of conservative fiscal management will serve our members well.

We remain committed to enhancing the organization’s long-standing tradition of financial stability.

For more information about our membership benefits, please contact Catholic Financial Life today.

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Summer 2011 Member Magazine is Here!

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Aug 23, 2011 10:45:29 AM

Catholic Financial Life's Summer 2011 issue of Member Magazine is here! In it you'll find our 2010 Financial and Fraternal Report, updates on our partnership with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, members giving back by serving God through serving others, a member photo contest and more...!

Go Green! Sign up to receive Catholic Financial Life's Member Magazine in your inbox!

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