Story originally written for the 2022 Catholic Foundation Annual Report
Maynard and Cathy Ochs live their Catholic faith well. Married 45 years, they have spent the majority of that time in York, Nebraska, serving their parish of St. Joseph and the wider York community. Maynard is an acolyte, lector, and sexton of the Catholic cemetery. Cathy is a member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas and has served on the parish Altar Society. Since retiring, they make it a point to attend daily Mass. However, both of them assert that their involvement in and love for the Church would not exist without the influence of two great priests: Father Mark Tasler and Monsignor David Hintz.
Cathy and Maynard met Fr. Tasler when he became pastor of St. Joseph in 2006. Already a close friend of Msgr. Hintz, he naturally became part of the group. Both priests were the same age as Maynard, which he says helped them seem more relatable. Cathy believes the careers and life experience both men had before becoming priests influenced their approach to the priesthood. They were able to meet people where they were and make meaningful connections with others. “They were great men, great priests,” Maynard said. After the deaths of both priests, the Ochs felt a desire to continue the positive spiritual impact they had had on so many people’s lives. So they turned to The Catholic Foundation of Southern Nebraska.
The Ochs first met Msgr. Hintz when he served as a deacon one summer at St. Joseph in York. Maynard describes an evening during which Msgr. Hintz, then Deacon Hintz, rode by their home on his bicycle. Maynard invited him in for a drink and the three of them hit it off at once, quickly becoming close friends. Although his time at their parish was short, they stayed in touch. They attended his ordination the following May, and each year, when they celebrated their wedding anniversary, they would invite him to join them for dinner. Through their friendship with him, their faith became more than simply a Sunday obligation. As Cathy explained, “Getting to know Fr. Tasler and Msgr. Hintz [made] the Church more meaningful to us, a more important part of our lives. It became more personal.”
Maynard and Cathy were already well-acquainted with The Catholic Foundation by the time they began considering ways in which to honor the two priests. In 2015, while speaking with an advisor at Fidelity about their 401k and making long-term financial plans, it was suggested that they utilize a Donor Advised Fund. They decided to pursue it through a Catholic organization, if possible. They had heard Les Mach, a planned giving officer for The Catholic Foundation, speak after Mass a few times, so they reached out to The Foundation to inquire about Donor Advised Funds.
They discovered that not only did The Catholic Foundation offer Donor Advised Funds, it could also accept donated assets such as appreciated stock or grain. Previously, the Ochs had never thought they had the resources to open a fund—that was something only wealthy people could do. But upon learning they could donate an asset, they realized establishing a Donor Advised Fund was possible. In addition to receiving tax benefits, having such a fund would make their charitable giving simpler, as The Foundation would handle all the details of liquidating donated assets, vetting charities to ensure they aligned with Catholic teaching, and sending checks to the beneficiaries they wanted to support.
Seeing no further obstacles, Cathy and Maynard took advantage of the opportunity and started the Ochs Family Charitable Fund, an experience which prepared them for their future endeavors to honor their beloved priest friends.
Armed with four years of partnership with The Catholic Foundation through their Donor Advised Fund, the Ochs felt confident The Foundation would be the best avenue to honor the two priests who played such a pivotal role in their faith journey. So, in August of 2019, they established the Fr. Tasler-Msgr. Hintz Seminarian Endowment Fund to support the education of future priests from any of the parishes at which the two men served as pastor during their lives. Those parishes include Presentation Parish, St. Joseph Parish, and St. Peter Parish, all of Bellwood; St. Patrick Parish of Lincoln; St. Benedict Parish of Nebraska City; and St. Joseph Parish of York. They hope that others who were impacted by these two holy priests will be inspired to contribute to the endowment that honors their legacy and so foster the vocations of other priests like them.
Maynard and Cathy are a prime example of how The Catholic Foundation of Southern Nebraska can help donors give in ways that are meaningful to them. Their advice to anyone who, like them, feels they do not have the resources to open a fund, is to start small. “We want people to realize that you don’t have to have a huge sum of money to come and get started with The Catholic Foundation,” Cathy said. “You can just get started with them and grow your presence there as you grow your funds, as you get more successful in life.” For the Ochs, working with The Catholic Foundation has made it easier for them to attain their charitable giving goals, and they hope their story will encourage others to take advantage of all The Foundation has to offer.