For 12 years, Fr. John Riccardo served as the pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) Catholic Parish in Plymouth, Mich. Known for his dynamism and innovative evangelization efforts, Fr. John made a profound impact on the parish and its school, which serves grades PK-8.
“Fr. John loves the school and was beloved by the students. He worked hard in the school with the staff to ensure they were offered an authentic Catholic education. He knows that the future growth of the parish will start with the school; as families come to the school they will also come to the parish,” shares Diana DiRita, Director of HR and Finance for OLGC.
Fr. John at his last mass at OLGC school.
In July, Fr. John was released from his pastorate to create and lead a new nonprofit organization, Acts XXIX, a pastoral initiative aimed at supporting the movement to unleash the Gospel by working with pastors and parishes to create a culture of evangelization and discipleship, in the city of Detroit and beyond.
OLGC parish wanted to recognize Fr. John for his transformative leadership and his dedication to the parish and especially to the school, in a unique and long-lasting way. They decided to honor him by naming an endowment fund after him.
The gift that started the fund was a planned gift from a parishioner, who had identified OLGC parish school in his will. This individual had worked very hard and had been proud to send all of his children to OLGC school. When the donor’s son notified OLGC about the designated gift, the parish inquired if the family would be interested in creating an endowment for OLGC school through the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.