Passing on a Legacy of Faith through Catholic Education

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10) This is a special scripture verse for Jo Vitek, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown.  She strives to live by this verse and proclaims, “Everything is a gift from God and He entrusts us to manage those gifts with Him.”

On May 6, 2021, Jo Vitek wanted to commemorate and celebrate her beloved husband Tony’s 82nd birthday! Tony passed away in May of 2019 and Jo wanted to celebrate and honor his life with a special dinner and announcement.  Jo served one of Tony’s favorite meals: Prime Rib with all the fixings, along with his favorite dessert of lemon pie.   Her Pastor, Fr. Richard Fox, members of the school foundation board and other close friends gathered to celebrate Tony’s birthday and life with Jo that evening.

Following dinner, Jo shared with her guests that Tony felt fortunate to have a Catholic education growing up.  He came from a faith-filled Catholic family that had little money.  However, with the help of tuition assistance, he was able to receive a Catholic education that he valued his entire life.  This inspired Jo to pay it forward and create “The Tony & Jo Vitek Endowment Fund for Tuition Assistance at Immaculate Conception School”. Every year, the distribution from this endowment will allow two children in need to receive a Catholic Education, just like Tony did.  Jo started the endowment with an immediate cash gift so that she could see her gifts in action during her lifetime. Jo stated, “God is very good!  Everything here on earth is temporary, including the gifts we have received and it is our time to share these gifts in gratitude to God.”

Marne Hult, the Watertown area Gift Planning Officer for the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota, assisted Jo in establishing her endowment.
Jo is grateful to know the Catholic Community Foundation will take care of their endowment using the same Catholic values she lives by.  If you would like more information about creating a perpetual endowment for your parish, school or other ministry, contact one of our offices today.