Being Catholic has always been part of Theresa Overfield's life. She was raised in Western New York where the population was sixty-five percent Catholic. She went to Catholic grammar school (Saint Paul's School), Catholic High School (Mount Saint Mary's Academy), and Catholic College (D'Youville College). Only kindergarten and graduate school were not in Catholic schools.
Her first job after College was as Itinerant Public Health Nurse for twenty three Eskimo Villages on the Lower Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in Alaska. Here she again saw Catholics in action. Jesuit priests and Ursuline nuns ran missions and a High School. After two years, stationed in Bethel, Alaska she left to get a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University then returned to Alaska as Epidemiologist with Arctic Health Research Center in Anchorage. After three years traveling all over Alaska, she left for the Lower 48 to become a Communicable Disease Nursing Consultant for the Colorado Department of Health. While in Denver, she read a bulletin board in the Medical Center that mentioned grants for nurses to obtain Ph. D.'s in fields compatible with nursing. She applied and got the government to finance her for five years for a Ph. D. in Physical Anthropology, with the stipulation that upon graduation she teach in a College of Nursing for five years. She taught (University of Utah and Brigham Young University) for the next twenty or so years until she retired; always maintaining that being a college professor was much easier than working in the real world. She loved teaching and research but disliked committee work. She published quite a few articles and two books. She taught an honors course titled Biologic Variation, in Health and Illness, which with amplification, became a book.
All through the years Theresa was hiking, backpacking, climbing mountains, ski mountaineering, gardening, and having a good time. On a Mountain Club outing she met David Morris and they were married for twenty-six years. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) and during the seven years of his gradual decline their life changed drastically. After his death, she resumed hiking but gave up backpacking and climbing really high mountains. She then moved from Salt Lake City to Southern Utah where she doesn't have to shovel snow or cut grass. She attends Saint Paul's, a mission church in Hurricane in the winter and Saint Sylvester's, another Mission Church in Escalante, where she gardens an acre of land at her second home.
When Theresa decided to set up an endowment, it made sense to her to fund rural church development
and Seminarian education (Rural Churches seem to be the place where many new priests get their
first experiences. She's watched several new priests go on to bigger parishes and broader duties).
Born August 25, 1936, Reverend Monsignor Joseph Terrence Fitzgerald, PA, came into the world destined to share his Catholic faith, gifts, and generous spirit. His is a life-long story of dedication, generosity, and a remarkable journey of faith.
His parents, Joseph and Margaret, said goodbye to their only child at the train to see him go forward in life with his seminarian training at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon, 1954.
The years following his ordination on May 12, 1962, have proved to be fruitful. Monsignor Fitzgerald has held numerous leadership positions within the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Serving Catholic Utah with enthusiasm as vicar general, diocesan administrator, pastor of three parishes, executive director of Catholic Community Services, school administrator, trustee of the Catholic Foundation of Utah, numerous boards, projects, developments, and campaigns. Monsignor Fitzgerald has played a significant role in the growth of our diocese.
In 1991, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, elevated then Father Fitzgerald to a prelate of honor with the title of Reverend Monsignor, in appreciation for his excellent pastoral skills, his stellar administrative skills and effective preaching. Then, in 2002, His Holiness recognizing Monsignor's exemplary dedication to the Church, made him a Supernumerary Protonotary Apostolic, the highest honor given to a priest.
He is the first in the office and the last to leave. His quote, "Get to work," is known well by staff and delivered with a smile and assurance. He is always willing to help.
In 2002, Monsignor Fitzgerald established his family named endowment and has continuously contributed to his endowment by adding IRA dollars and cashing in a life insurance policy. With his commitment, he has built a permanent legacy through his family named endowment which will benefit the diocese in perpetuity.
If you have shared time with Monsignor Fitzgerald, then you have experienced the twinkle in his eye, his sense of humor, candor, wit, and his care of and commitment to people as well as his immense compassion.
To know him is to love him.
You may honor Reverend Monsignor Fitzgerald if you wish by contributing any amount to the Reverend Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald and Parents Endowment.
Now with the grace of God, let us all get to work!
A seemingly unlikely venue to meet ones spouse, yet a Notre Dame football game served as the back drop to Jean and John Henkels' introduction. The Fighting Irish played in Baltimore that day and Jean and John met the following day to attend Mass together and a romance was borne. Since that chance meeting, the Henkels have enjoyed fifty nine years of marriage, raised twelve children who in turn have blessed Jean and John with twenty three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Jean and John Henkels' life is a story of love, faith and grace. To know the Henkels is to witness a zest for life and a passion for doing good. The Henkels arrived in Salt Lake City from Pennsylvania in 1970. The family basked in the beauty of their new found home and immediately took to the grandeur of the red rocks and to skiing the slopes of Park City.
Jean and John's commitment to a faith based education resulted in ten of their children attending Utah's Catholic schools, Saint Vincent de Paul and Judge Memorial. The commitment and support for Catholic education continues even as the Henkels' children have grown. Jean and John have donated to a myriad of causes for Catholic students and educators alike over the years. Jean and John explain their giving philosophy simply, "We want to give back to God and our Catholic community. Stewardship and giving is not a big issue; it's the way we are. Yet giving money is only part of it, you have to be active as well." The Henkels have also made The Catholic Foundation of Utah an integral part of their estate planning efforts saying, "We cannot imagine not being Catholic. We feel blessed, so blessed, we consider ourselves stewards of wealth, not owners of wealth."
Jean and John having both been raised in Catholic households, found living and raising their own children as Catholics was a natural lifestyle and one that can now be traced to their children. A plaque prominently displayed in the Henkels' home explains it all:
"Two things we give our children; one is roots, the other is wings."
If you are fortunate enough to know or meet Jean and John you will be treated to the most engaging and energetic of couples. If you are a Utah Catholic you will certainly recognize the Henkels' fingerprints on many of our most important Catholic causes. And if you are a part of The Catholic Foundation of Utah's community, you will want to join us in recognizing and thanking this wonderful couple for their limitless giving and influence in our Catholic community and charities.
Thank you Jean and John Henkels and may God bless you and your family.
When Irene C. Sweeney moved to Utah in the late 1950's, it was inevitable that her strong Catholic faith and commitment would yield this extraordinary leader in the Catholic Church of Utah. Irene's faith coupled with an uncanny presence and "take hold" style has been a monumental influence to The Catholic Foundation of Utah. Perhaps there are no greater testaments to the Sweeney zeal than her role in the restoration and preservation of the beloved Cathedral of the Madeleine and her endless promotion of health care for the poor.
Irene Sweeney has served as a trustee of The Catholic Foundation of Utah since 1986, serving as the Foundation's President from 1998 through 2001. Whether serving as Chairman, President, Trustee or Board Member of the many charitable organizations she champions, Irene is an unyielding force who leads by example and passion.
In these later years, Irene also finds considerable satisfaction by sharing her experience, knowledge and resources with the next generation of stewards to her many causes. "Cultivation is Eternal", Irene frequently explains as to why she maintains the exhausting pace while showing others the way.
Irene lives a humble life enabling her continued generous giving; always without pretense or fanfare. Irene gives to all of Utah with particular regard to the very needy and society's most vulnerable. Irene says simply, "God's been good to me. I don't need money and I like to share it. I can give it away now and choose whom it benefits."
Irene has established numerous endowments within The Catholic Foundation of Utah over the years providing the seeds of prosperity to many of our most important causes; never seeking accolades or ceremony, often times simply contributing anonymously. The following represent Foundation endowments attributable to Irene:
~ Irene C. Sweeney Term Endowment for Rural Church Development & Missionary Outreach
~ Cathedral Preservation Restoration Endowment
~ Diocesan Religious Education Endowment
~ Charlie Fratto Memorial Endowment
~ Monsignor M. Francis Mannion Cathedral Preservation Endowment
Irene Sweeney is a living legend who has touched innumerable lives and her influence will continue for generations to come. Irene's time, talent, and giving have been an honored treasure for Utah Catholics. The Catholic Foundation of Utah, along with so many others, has been blessed abundantly by Irene Sweeney. For 93 years, Irene has lived a life embodied in the spirit of Christ's light...
Thank you Irene and May God bless you.