September 7, 2010 – O’Meara Ferguson Gives $500,000 to the Center for Catholic Stewardship

Joint Press Release from O’Meara Ferguson and Marian University – September 7, 2010

Marian University and O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan, and Conway (O’Meara Ferguson) announced a $500,000 pledge to underwrite the university’s Center for Catholic Stewardship. In recognition of this significant gift, the university will rename the center the O’Meara Ferguson Center for Catholic Stewardship at Marian University.

“Responsible stewardship is one of the four foundational values given to Marian University by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg and we are very pleased to have a national partner in O’Meara Ferguson to help advance the practice of stewardship in parishes across the country,” said university president Daniel J. Elsener.

The university’s intentional efforts to incorporate its values and Catholic faith into the campus community attracted O’Meara Ferguson to its mission. “Marian University, under the energetic and insightful leadership of Dan Elsener, fully embraces its Franciscan values and seeks to make a difference with all who enroll. We are most impressed with their creativity and innovation in preparing their students for responsible roles in society,” said Jack Whelan, chairman and CEO of O’Meara Ferguson. “In particular, the San Damiano Scholars program and the Center for Catholic Stewardship produce tangible benefits for the Catholic Church and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support the important work of the Center for Catholic Stewardship,” he continued.

Since 2006, the Center for Catholic Stewardship has taught and promoted stewardship as a way of life in over 50 Catholic dioceses in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, and is currently preparing an outreach to Catholics in mainland China. Under the direction of Father Daniel J. Mahan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the center presents diocesan and regional stewardship days, clergy retreats and days of reflection, parish missions and seminary study days. Ordained in 1988, Fr. Mahan is a well-known speaker and author and is believed to be the only priest in the world working full-time in the field of stewardship formation.

“I admire the work of O’Meara Ferguson and the way in which their staff gives expression to Catholic stewardship in their work and in their lives,” Mahan said. “This is a perfect opportunity for the center to make a deeper contribution to the life and mission of the Church.”

“We have frequently been asked to support the work of stewardship in the local dioceses and religious orders across the country where our clients are located,” said Frank Ferguson, O’Meara Ferguson’s managing director of client operations. ”After much prayer and discernment, we decided to focus our support on Marian University’s Center for Stewardship, through which the entire Church in America can be served.”

In his encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II wrote, “it is through the free gift of self that man truly finds himself” (Cent. Annus, #41). More recently in Caritas en Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the “logic of the unconditional gift” (Caritats en Veritate, #37). O’Meara Ferguson president and founder Patrick O’Meara said he hopes the firm’s gift will enable the center to better integrate the theology of gift and giver, and in particular, the theology of stewardship as expressed by Pope John Paul II.