Giving is redemptive for St. Margaret Mary parishioner

Winifred EisWinnie Eis understands the power of the human voice. And when the former long-distance phone operator chose to include St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church as part of her legacy, the message was one of redemption.

"My family has not maintained a real relationship with the Church," revealed Winnie, regarding a few of her siblings, nieces and nephews. "I felt so disappointed that I hadn't been able to reach out to them and bring them back to the Church, particularly now, when the Church is doing so much to welcome people back."

Inspired by the Planned Giving Initiative at St. Margaret Mary in the fall of 2012, Winifred "Winnie" Eis made the decision to name the Winter Park parish as the beneficiary of a commercial annuity. She considers the gift to be a tribute to her family and hopes it will encourage others to help loved ones return to the faith.

"If there were more parishes like St. Margaret Mary we might not have so many Catholics who feel alienated from the Church," said Winnie, who joined the parish in 1983.

Commercial annuity contracts are just one of many different assets that parishioners can donate to the Church. Other popular options include life insurance policies, US savings bonds, and IRAs. The gift can often be accomplished quite easily by completing a beneficiary designation form provided by the company or the account administrator. Because beneficiary designations are revocable, parishioners also have the security of knowing that the gifts can be revised if their needs or circumstances change.

In Winnie's case, the annuity will pay her a guaranteed stream of income for life, with the remainder ultimately passing to the Church for the benefit of St. Margaret Mary.

Winnie remains deeply involved in the parish and is particularly active in the Eucharistic Ministry, frequently bringing communion to her fellow residents at the Mayflower retirement community in Winter Park. Having spent much of her life up north, she moved to Florida in 1979 after decades of service to Bell Telephone, where she was among those women who "broke the glass ceiling." In an industry that was, at the time, dominated primarily by men, she retired as a manager, leaving yet another legacy for future generations.

For more information on how to name the Church as the beneficiary of an annuity, life insurance policy or other asset, please visit or contact Casey Schroder at or by phone at (407) 246-4802.

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