In 50 or 100 years from now, a man will not be remembered by the type of car he drove or his personal possessions. Instead, the measure of a man will be found in his impact on community, on the people he has helped.
A few years ago, Niall Gannon and his wife Gretchen, members of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, realized that true happiness is found through giving to others, even to strangers. They seek to pass this legacy on to their children, Riley and Fiona. “I want my children to know the importance of being part of something with lasting value, to know what it means to help create something wonderful,” he says.
Niall and Gretchen looked to God for direction, asking how their family could be good stewards of the material success they enjoy. “Every successful family asks the same questions,” says Niall. “What is our success about? What does our bounty mean to our family?”
Niall and Gretchen decided it means giving to others to help build the community of the faithful. As founding members of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Niall and Gretchen are committed to ensuring the parishes, schools and Catholic ministries in the greater St. Louis area are accessible, strong and sustainable for generations to come.
“My vision of the Foundation is that it will be a testament to the strength of the faithful in St. Louis,” says Niall. “My vision is that our Catholic schools will be full to capacity with vibrant Catholic families. Every family should have the ability to send their children to Catholic schools if they desire, just as they could 75 years ago,” says Niall.
He emphasizes the need for his children to understand the needs of people with less material success and to be willing to help others, including people they do not know. “I want my girls to be part of the next generation of something lasting and meaningful,” he says. His family’s legacy, he and Gretchen hope, will be one of kindness and charity.
Niall, Gretchen and their daughters are members of Mary Queen of Peace Parish.