The Gift of Love
Brian V. Hill Education Foundation for Marriage and Family Granting Fund
“Every Christmas, our family would watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’,” shares Angela Hill. After losing her husband, Brian, over six years ago, she still gets tears in her eyes talking about this tradition. “He loved the movie and would weep while watching it. Brian felt like George Bailey at different points in his life, and would remember the gift of life we received in 2005 when our oldest daughter received a heart transplant just before Christmas.”
The year 2014 was the last Christmas that Brian Hill watched this heart-warming movie with his wife and three children, Andri, Ally and Vincent. On March 28, 2015, Brian was diagnosed with cancer in every major organ in his body. Just six weeks later, on May 14, 2015, God called him home.
“Although everything was progressing so fast, every moment seemed to happen in slow motion as we tried to process what was happening to our family. We made it with our faith, our extended family, and our parish community,” shares Angela.
As a way to honor Brian, Angela opened the Brian V. Hill Education Fund for Marriage and Family with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. By opening this granting fund with the Catholic Foundation, Angela hopes to give monetary assistance to Catholic schools, men’s and women’s groups, marriage and marriage prep ministries, and youth ministries who will benefit from the gift of the teachings of John Paul II Theology of the Body. The grants can help fund bible study materials, guest speakers, retreats or any other forums to teach Theology of the Body.
Angela knows Brian would want this fund set up. “Starting this fund in Brian’s name is about celebrating the work that God does and wants to do in broken people. Theology of the Body is about learning how to be human and understanding God’s plan for sexuality and marriage, ” shares Angela.
“Our children’s children and all children should learn about Theology of the Body. We need to also provide learning opportunities for adults who have never heard about Theology of the Body. To live our greatest life we must know how to be human,” says Angela.
“Despite all the health challenges and trials we faced in our marriage, family life was by far Brian’s greatest gift. He always wanted more for his family, not materially, but foundationally. Don’t we all want that?”
Creating a granting fund with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan gives funders the opportunity to target their contribution to the area most important to them. These funds are broad in scope, yet targeted to meet the persistent needs of the community–in the case of this fund, around education about Theology of the Body.
After a fund is established, the Foundation’s granting team identifies, evaluates, and awards grants to the most qualified and deserving organizations in the funder’s area of interest. This allows a funder to ensure that the professional management of their fund is aligned with Catholic values, and allows the funder to have peace of mind while the Foundation takes care of fund promotion and visibility, and all administrative aspects of the granting process.
In the case of the Brian V. Hill Education Fund for marriage and family, the granting fund is also a unique opportunity to remember and honor Brian Hill’s life while making an impact in the community.
Angela’s prayer is that this granting fund will not only honor Brian as one of the original founders of the “Regular Joes Mens’ Prayer Breakfast” at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Plymouth, but will also keep his memory alive as he loved to learn and serve. A gift to The Brian V. Hill Education Fund for Marriage and Family will impact young couples preparing for marriage and provide opportunities to bring hope and healing to families that want to understand God’s greatest gift.