Vivos Christi Society members bless others with a legacy of love


Lois Mills (center) is among the 20 newest members of Bishop Noonan’s Vivos Christi Society.

St. Therese of Lisieux once said “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.” The twenty new members of the Vivos Christi Society, which claims St. Therese as their patroness, have made that same promise by providing for the future of the Church through a bequest or other planned gift.

At a morning prayer and induction ceremony on September 6, Bishop John Noonan thanked the new members for their gift to the Church saying, “Today we honor you and we thank you, for your generosity, for your journey of faith because you too are following the footsteps, not only of a saint, but of someone who truly came to know the Lord in life.”

For members of the Vivos Christi Society, it is from knowing the Lord in this life and experiencing the joy of living their faith each day that inspires them to continue their good works in a way that will last beyond their earthly life.

Van and Joan Van Lancker are longtime members of Prince of Peace parish in Ormond Beach. Each week Van, Joan, and Van’s ninety-two year old mother can be found volunteering at the parish’s social service center. Helping those in need has always been an important part of their faith, and is part of the legacy they want to leave behind.

“God has told us there will always be the poor and those in need,” says Joan. “We know that as important as helping and supporting our children is, the longer lasting gift is in the future of many others in need who will really make a change in their life.”

Lois Mills has been a member of St. James Cathedral for over thirty-five years and has been involved in various ministries during that time. Most Sundays she can be seen proclaiming the Word of God as a lector with her Seeing Eye dog, Rita, at her side. She welcomes the opportunity to continue to support the Catholic Church, which she says has always been her community.

“Our work for Jesus doesn’t have to stop when we die. We can still serve His church, the community of believers, and the poor after we’re gone.”

Through Vivos Christi Society members, parishes and schools receive funding to continue to bring the light of Christ to their parishioners and students, charitable organizations such as Catholic Charities of Central Florida and the St. Vincent de Paul Society are better able to serve people in poverty, Diocese of Orlando seminarians receive assistance with tuition, and many other ministries of the Church are supported in their valuable work.

At the induction ceremony, Meghan Post, president of the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, expressed the importance of their contribution, saying,

“We couldn’t do the work we do without your support. These gifts will help draw countless men, women, and children closer to Christ. That’s a true legacy of love. Your actions are a guiding light that illumines many lives. Those who will benefit from your gifts in the future and those of us who are inspired by your witness today.”

Please click here for more information on how to make a planned gift on behalf of a parish, Catholic school or other ministry of the Diocese of Orlando.

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