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With planned giving, you can provide long-lasting support for the Congregation of St. Joseph while enjoying financial benefits for yourself.

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The Hazard Family Is Called to Share

The Hazard Family Is Called to Share
The Hazard family. Top row standing left to right: Pete Lawrence and Steve Hazard. Middle row seated left to right: Jean Lawrence, Katie Hazard and Mary Jo Hazard. Bottom row seated on laps left to right: Kevin, Connor and Clara Lawrence.

"We are all ONE, so why wouldn't we?" Mary Jo and Steve Hazard responded when asked why they included the Congregation of St. Joseph in their Will and Trust. Mary Jo graduated from Nazareth Academy in LaGrange, Illinois, (one of the congregation's ministries) and she and Steve are members of the congregation as associates. Mary Jo spoke about the important influence the sisters had on who she is today and how gifting the congregation through their estate is an appropriate way to express both gratitude and unity.

What about their children and grandchildren who could benefit from their assets? Mary Jo said their kids would be surprised if they didn't share part of the estate with charity, namely the CSJs. "Our hope has been to role model for our family that God blesses us abundantly and, honoring our (the congregation's) charism of unity, we are called to share, not keep all of it for ourselves."

Mary Jo told a story that illustrates sharing from an abundance perspective. When their grandson Connor turned 4, their other grandson Kevin (6) asked Mary Jo and Steve why they didn't give him gifts at Connor's birthday party like the other grandparents did, so that Kevin wouldn't feel left out. Mary Jo and Steve saw this as a "teachable moment." They told Kevin about the children in Haiti whom they'd met: little boys with just T-shirts on, little girls with no shoes or socks, most kids without food except for the school lunch. They explained to Kevin that instead of giving him a gift on Connor's birthday, they would give that money to the children in Haiti who have very little.

Kevin listened intently and asked: "Do they have pants? Do they have sleeping bags? Do they have balls?" Getting a "no for most kids" to each question, Kevin asked if he could pack up a backpack to send some of his shoes and toys to the kids there. His parents agreed, and Sister Marlene Schemmel, CSJ, transported Kevin's and Connor's filled backpacks to Duchity, Haiti, on her last mission trip. Kevin said later that even though he sometimes looks for a favorite ball he sent to Haiti, he pictures a little boy down there playing with his ball and that makes him happy. Now Kevin wants to send another backpack next time Sister Marlene goes to Haiti!

The Hazards believe that what one family "owns" is not just for themselves, but is meant to be used for the well-being of our sisters and brothers who have so little. Mary Jo and Steve believe that living this world view is part of their legacy to their children and grandchildren.

As a result of their naming the congregation in their will and trust, Steve and Mary Jo are members of our Heritage Society and entitled to all of its benefits.

You also may want to make it easy and convenient to have a bequest included in your will. The language below shows how a bequest can very easily be included in your will or trust.

You might find it helpful to select the "print" button below and print this page. Please feel free to give this information to your attorney. If he or she has any questions, please have them contact Gary W. Mulhern at 304-232-8160 x 148 or e-mail us at

The most common form of a planned gift is a bequest, which is in effect a gift made under your Last Will and Testament. Some donors may prefer to use Revocable ("Living") Trusts as part of their estate plans to effect their testamentary gifts. We are happy to provide information for trust distributions as well as bequests.

For Gifts Under Wills, Distributions Under Trusts, or Distributions from Life Insurance, or Retirment Accounts Through a Beneficiary Designation

Bequests or distributions for the benefit of our Congregation should include the name of the Congregation as follows:

Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Inc., a West Virginia corporation, or its successor.

For specific recommended language to leave a bequest to the Sisters through your will or to direct a distribution to the Sisters through your revocable trust click here. We recommend you print this document out and provide it to your attorney.

You may print a Bequest tri-fold brochure. Voice of a Legacy or Will Your Will be Known.

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About Bequests

You may be looking for a way to make a significant gift to help further our mission. A bequest is a gift made through your will or trust. It is one of the most popular and flexible ways that you can support our cause.
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Donor Stories

Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to our organization and others. Explore the many benefits of charitable gift planning.
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