Catholic Missions In Canada president Fr. David Reilander preaches at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL. CMIC granted $75,000 to help rebuild the parish centre roof in 2022. Photo courtesy Catholic Missions In Canada

At Catholic Missions, charity begins at home

  • November 10, 2023

With the years of COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror, Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC) approached 2023 as a year to reassert its visibility in the Canadian Catholic community.

“One of our biggest challenges right now is we need to get more Canadians to know that we exist and understand why we exist,” said Joe Gennaro, the stewardship officer for the Toronto-headquartered non-profit organization. “(CMIC president) Fr. David Reilander has been doing more preaching, and since the beginning of the year has only had a few weekends off. We are starting to attend more conventions for CWL, Knights of Columbus and youth.”

A prime CMIC objective is imploring the faithful to recognize there are remote communities with Catholic missions throughout Canada that rely on the generosity of donors to survive and thrive well into the future. So often the default mentality is for individuals to allocate charitable dollars for overseas causes instead of looking at their own Canadian backyard.

Not a single day passes by without a grim story or forecast about the state of the Canadian economy. Charities like the CMIC have been affected by the economic anxiety gripping the nation.

“To be quite frank, donations are down, but that is expected coming off of COVID and given the economic situation as inflation is hitting every Canadian hard,” said Gennaro. “There is uncertainty about how long the inflationary situation will be upon us, and there are threats of a recession. All those factors are integral to why donations are down not only for us but for everybody.”

Gennaro expressed gratitude for the loyal base of donors who make it possible for the organization to sustain missionaries, support remote communities affected by disasters such as wildfires and spiritually form the next generation of Catholic disciples. According to the CMIC website, 68 per cent of donations sustain missionaries, 11 per cent educate seminarians, nine per cent repairs and maintain mission churches, nine per cent champions religious education programs and three per cent forms lay leaders.

Many loyal patrons have signed up for CMIC’s wide array of planned giving options. The CMIC charitable gift annuity has been perennially popular since it was founded in 1952. Anyone aged 70 years old or older can sign up with a minimum amount of $10,000. This program is described “as the gift that gives back” as you get to make a meaningful gift that lasts, increase your annual income and reduce your taxes.

CMIC’s Faithful Steward program is also gaining in popularity. To enroll, interested parties visit the CMIC website to designate the value of their one-time or recurring gift, and then fill in the requisite banking information to set up automatic monthly withdrawals.

Endowment funds are a planned giving option donors find ideal when they seek to create a legacy gift that will last long after they pass away from this Earth. CMIC states on its website that “by establishing an endowment with Catholic Missions In Canada, you’ll create a legacy of faith that will benefit missionaries and their ministries across our country forever.” The income from this program “mainly supports the education of seminarians for mission dioceses.”

Visit to explore all the planned giving options. Contact Gennaro if you have any questions at or 1-866-937-2642.

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