Continued Joyful Service
Ever affable, Founders’ Circle member and treasurer Mike Vlasic laughed when asked about his decades of service to the Archdiocese of Detroit. “Before me, my dad was a volunteer advisor to the Archdiocese. In fact, I replaced him on the Archdiocese’s Finance Council. Many years ago, when my council term was over, Cardinal Maida asked me to stay. He said, ‘Mike, those who are called to serve, are often called to continue to serve!’”
Mike has a charism for service and leadership. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world” (799). Therefore, charisms are gifts that people are given to use for the benefit of God’s people and the Church.
In addition to the Finance Council, Mike was the General Chair of the Archdiocese’s $130 million Changing Lives Together (CLT) campaign, which began in 2011. Its primary goal was to fortify parish finances, allowing parishes to determine how best to spend monies raised after paying down debt. “Following CLT, Archbishop Vigneron said he appreciated the committee’s collegial and advisory nature. As a result, we created the Advancement Council. We’ll serve as long as the Archbishop feels our input is helpful.”
Due to his role as chair of the Advancement Council, Mike was asked to assist Patrick Fehring, CEO and Co-Founder of Level One Bank, with his vision to form a lay-led Catholic Foundation to help support the needs of the Church in perpetuity. “I admire Pat for his generosity and fortitude in helping to found and now lead the Foundation as the chair,” Mike said.” In my finance roles it became clear that we are blessed with countless generous Catholic benefactors, but the Archdiocese wasn’t structured to accept large gifts in a way that was easy for the giver. With the Foundation, donors have confidence that they can direct their funds and grants, through an independent foundation, long after they’ve died through a seamless administrative process. The Foundation makes it simple to be charitable.”
According to Mike, “Most people don’t like to talk about money, but it’s not so much about the money as it is about stewardship and how we share our time, talent and treasure with the Church and others. Archbishop Vigneron, in his pastoral letter Unleash the Gospel, challenges us to become a band of joyful missionary disciples. If we are going to become a missionary diocese it will take resources. The Foundation, through its particular support of parishes, Catholic schools and service ministries, can help these gifts grow and benefit others forever.”
What are your charisms? How can you bless the Church? One way is to join Mike and become a Founders’ Circle member.
Membership in the Founders’ Circle is open. Individuals who contribute $5,000 for five years to support the ministry of the Catholic Foundation, during its formative years, will be remembered in perpetuity. Benefits include public recognition as well as invitations to annual education, social and spiritual events hosted by the Foundation. To join the Founders’ Circle, or for more information, contact Angela Moloney, President and CEO at Info@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org or call (248) 204–0332.