Donor Supports Glenmary in Many Ways, Encourages Others to Do Same
Supporters learn about Glenmary Home Missioners in a variety of ways. Mary Striebich, a Cincinnati resident, was introduced to Glenmary about 15 years ago at the home mission group's Our Lady of the Fields Chapel nearby, after a friend suggested she might enjoy attending daily Mass there.
Mary was unfamiliar with Glenmary's mission and ministry, but she made her first donation in the form of Mass stipends after meeting Glenmary priests and brothers at the chapel. The friendliness of the Glenmarians she encounters there at daily Mass makes Mary feel like part of the faith community, a role she enjoys.
"It's such a peaceful place to go to Mass," said Mary, the mother of five, grandmother of 21, and great-grandmother of five. "And as I learned more about Glenmary's mission work, I started to get more involved."
Mary's involvement has grown steadily over the years. She has made two trips to visit mission parishes, the first in 2011 to Glenmary's Vanceburg and Grayson, Ky., missions, which have since been returned to the pastoral care of the Covington and Lexington dioceses.
In 2015, Mary traveled with about a dozen other Glenmary donors to visit Holy Family mission in Lafayette, Tenn. She was impressed with the dinner prepared for them by the pastor, Glenmary Father Vic Subb, and she enjoyed hearing his ministry stories as well as the mission's plan to construct a new church. The plan for completion isn't defined, Father Vic said, but the plot of land features a sign proclaiming "Future Home of Holy Family Church" and is the location of the parish house and picnic pavilion.
"He took us to see the land," Mary said. "I'd love to see the church when it"s finished!"
Her Lafayette visit gave Mary more insight into the "on-the-ground" work of the missioners she supports through her membership in Glenmary's Boost-A-Month Club. When she became a "BAM-er," she recalled a question she heard from the nuns who taught her in the Catholic schools she attended. They would ask, "Do you need it or do you want it?" If I was looking at buying something I wanted but didn't need, I would put that money aside for the missions, Mary said. "There's something nice about writing a check: it gives me a moment to think about Glenmary."
When she read in Glenmary Challenge magazine about the additional option of supporting Glenmary through a planned gift, she decided to establish a charitable gift annuity. Today, two annuities enable her to achieve her goal of providing financial assistance to Glenmary while she receives dividends.
Mary said she would like to do more for Glenmary. Former planned giving officer Susan Lambert hastened to point out that'in addition to Mary's donations to the Annual Fund through the Boost-A-Month Club and her annuities she provides a great service through her promotion of Glenmary and its home mission work.
"Mary's trips to the missions, where she met missioners and parishioners, solidified her commitment," Susan said. "She knows that promotion is a challenge for us and she knows it's something specific she can do. She invited friends to come along with her on both of her mission trips."
For the last two years, Mary has also invited friends to attend annual Christmas concerts benefiting Glenmary that have been hosted by her parish, St. John Neumann. The concerts have featured the Cincinnati Brass Band AND cookies made by Mary, fellow parishioners, and Glenmary coworkers!
Besides helping Glenmary and encouraging others to learn about and support Glenmary's ministry, she is active in other outreach efforts in her community, too. For instance, Mary visits residents of a nearby nursing home every Tuesday, as well as visiting people who have applied for assistance from the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
And because she believes it's important for people to feel welcome, she serves as a greeter at St. John Neumann, encouraging people to share their stories with her.
"Mary has a willingness to help," Susan said. "If you need something done, call Mary!"