Fr. Rich Treml entered the seminary at age 50 and when he was ordained five years later, he told the Lord, “Use me, I am all yours now.” Eighteen of his 20 years as a priest have been at SS. Peter and Paul parish in Lapeer County.
“SS. Peter and Paul is a very welcoming community. People are loyal and attached to their local parish, and they invite us priests over to their homes for dinner,” shares Fr. Rich.
Located in North Branch, SS. Peter and Paul is one of the northern-most parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit and opened in 1906. The rural parish is inter-generational, with members from age 90 to young families with several children. “We are growing with the children. We had seven baptisms recently,” Fr. Rich says. “It is a lively community where the people are proud.”
“I was an only child growing up. The families at the parish are my family,” shares Fr. Rich.
After learning about the Catholic Foundation of Michigan at various Archdiocesan meetings, Fr. Rich requested a meeting with the Foundation to talk about his desire to leave a legacy for his parish. “The more I heard about the Foundation, it sounded like a good endeavor and something I wanted to be a part of. It is good for Catholics to have a foundation and know where the money is going, aligned with Catholic values,” Fr. Rich says.
To get the process started, Angela Moloney, President of the Foundation, Fr. Rich and estate planning attorney Kathaleen Sullivan-Brown met in Ms. Sullivan-Brown’s office to discuss Fr. Rich’s objectives and financial situation. The three collaborated and together developed a plan for Fr. Rich to create a living trust and open an endowment with the Catholic Foundation.
Upon his passing his entire estate will transfer to the Fr. Rich Treml Legacy Fund that the Catholic Foundation has created for the benefit of his parish. A living trust is a document created during someone’s lifetime that transfers their property to the trustee.
Fr. Rich has found his experience working with the Catholic Foundation to feel like “VIP treatment.” “Angela is very personable, I felt very comfortable with her. She is willing to spend the time to work one-on-one, for any size gift,” encourages Fr. Rich. “It's not one endowment fits all. Angela helps to personalize the fund to what each person finds meaningful and where they see needs.”
Ms. Sullivan-Brown also found the collaborative effort to be smooth. “My initial experience with the Foundation has been incredible. Angela got back to me right away anytime I had questions.” Ms. Sullivan-Brown has helped numerous Catholics in her own parish with their estate planning, and is pleased to now know of the Catholic Foundation as a resource. “It is wonderful to have another option to share with my clients as I advise them and help make sure their wishes are fulfilled, especially in light of the reality of parishes closing,” she says.
“We have made a lot of improvements to the parish since I’ve been the pastor, and the parishioners have been generous during the various campaigns. This is my way to give back financially to the parish,” Fr. Rich shares. “Everything we have is a gift from God. We are just caretakers, so we pass it on.”
Fr. Rich's 75th birthday party at the parish.