The Valley Catholic April 16, 2019 - Page 6

6 April 16, 2019 | The Valley Catholic COMMUNITY My Grandmother’s Legacy Marie Galetto-Dugoni Marketing & Grants Program Manager, Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County My grandmother Teresa Machado was a planner. She loved organiz- ing events and hosting people in her home. When my mom went to her high school Senior Ball, my grandma not only made a multi-course dinner for my mom and her friends before the dance, but she also got up at 11 p.m. to make midnight snacks for ev- eryone when they returned. Once my grandpa retired, she planned trips all over the United States with him. And when they got home, she made the photos into slides and meticulously documented what was in each picture. I got married last November. My grandma’s health had been declining for some time, but she decided (despite my protests) that she would throw me a bridal shower. She made all the ar- rangements, but two days before she was admitted to the hospital. When it became clear that she would be unable to attend the shower, she insisted that we have it without her. She had writ- ten detailed instructions in case she was unable to attend. She laid out the menu, ordered the cake, organized the decorations and told us exactly how many balloons to place at the cake table. She had thought of everything. My grandma was determined to make it to my wedding. I don’t think anything would have stopped her from being there, especially since I wore the same dress that she wore on her wedding day over 60 years earlier. She had wisely planned ahead by storing the dress in a cedar chest so that if her daughter - and then her granddaughter - wanted to wear the dress, it would be in pristine condi- tion. It was a true honor to wear her dress and have her in attendance at our wedding. This January, my grandma passed away. As in life, she had planned for CCH153_CarDonateAd2_4.937x6in_PressQuality.pdf 1 8/10/15 what would happen after her pass- ing. She picked out and paid for her plot and headstone. She gave specific instructions for the type of Funeral Mass she wanted, down to the priest, readings, songs and pall bearers. She had an estate plan so that there would be no question about what happens with her house and other assets. Through her thoughtful plans, she left us the gift of peace as her legacy. The experience of losing my grand- ma drove home the value of having a detailed estate plan. The Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County hosts Estate Planning Seminars at parishes to highlight the importance of planning ahead. One of the biggest advantages of having an estate plan is relieving your family of the stress and cost of going through probate court. It’s also easier for people to comply with your wishes if they know them. Some people wish to remember their parish or other organization they love with a gift in their estate plan. No matter the amount, a charitable legacy gift is an expression of our values and a wonder- ful act of stewardship. If you are interested in making a charitable gift part of your estate plan or would like the Foundation to present about estate planning and planned giv- ing, please contact us at (408) 995-5219 or 7:41 PM Compassion Will Cure More Than Condemnation By Gregory Kepferle, CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Donating Your Vehicle Rebuilds Hope Vehicle Donations Support Catholic Charities’ Refugee & Immigrant Programs Free Towing  •  Fast & Easy  •  100% Tax Deductible Contact Us Today at or 1 (866) 565-5912 I have to confess the title of this ar- ticle came from a saying on a fortune cookie. The other night my wife and I wanted some comfort food, so we drove to a Chinese restaurant in Morgan Hill and ordered our favorite dishes. At the end of the meal, we opened our fortune cookies and mine said: “Compassion will cure more than condemnation.” It hit me right in the gut. How often have I condemned those with whom I disagree, or who appear to have done some terrible thing, or who I believe have hurt me or ones I care about? How can I do jiu-jitsu on my own judging of people who condemn others or whose behaviors I believe are worthy of con- demnation? Jesus reminds us in Mat- thew, “Judge not, least ye be judged” and God’s rain pours down on the just and the unjust alike. How do I have compassion on some- one who appears to be my enemy? It’s not enough just to have good inten- tions. I need to be mindful of the impact on others of my own thoughts, my own words, my own actions. “Compassion will cure more …” not just for the other, but also for myself. How might my acts of compassion cure me of my condemning? Do I prac- tice listening with empathy? Do I avoid making assumptions as to motives? Do I go the extra mile without resentment? Do I try to walk in the other person’s shoes? I admit it is quite challenging. Yet I find that when I do, then my clenched heart opens wider and I am “cured more.” And perhaps others become aware that I have changed and that gives them the freedom to become open, too. At Catholic Charities’ Behavioral Health Services our counselors and therapists listen with deep skill and empathy, helping guide our clients who struggle with mental and emotional pain on a journey of hope, healing and wholeness. In our Family Strengthen- ing programs, parents and children learn ways to communicate in healthy ways. And all who come through our doors are welcomed without judgment, whether arriving with a disability, or coming from jail, from living on the streets, from being in a gang, or ar- riving from another country with or without papers. I invite all who want to cure more with compassion to support Catholic Charities ministry of caring for those most in need in our community. To donate or for more information go to