By Jennifer Miller
“My parents never met a stranger,” Paul Krizman said. “They always had a place for you.”
Andrew and Florence Krizman possessed generous hearts and a humble and demur manner, according to their son. The couple started a 401C3 charitable foundation after a successful career in manufacturing, of which Paul and his sister are now the stewards. Recently, the foundation donated a generous and thoughtful gift to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, through the Office of Development, to aid Catholic education — a value that was dear to their parents.
The Krizman family had eight children. Each was afforded a Catholic education that began at their parish of St. Jude, South Bend. They were parishioners for 53 years, and generous Catholics in both large and small ways.
Faithfulness was a priority for Andrew and Florence, who were second-generation immigrants from Sicily, with Austrian and Slavic roots. They lived through the Great Depression, knowing both how to save and recognizing the value of a strong, private, Catholic education. They noticed the spiritual, academic and social benefits that it offered and appreciated the discipline and family focus.
Endeared to the Church, the couple and their children worshipped at Mass every Sunday. Their philanthropic efforts began long ago, with the annual Bishop’s Appeal, which initiated a pattern of giving back.
The foundation that the Krizman family created now offers Catholic education to students who might not normally go to a Catholic school. Marian High School, St. Jude Church and school, Our Lady of Hungary School and the Blessed John Paul II Seminary Education fund have all been the beneficiaries of the endowment.
“What better way to perpetuate the faith than make sure you have good men in the faith?” asked Paul with a smile, noting the foundation’s choice to include seminary education in its grants.
Mirroring the example left by their parents in giving, when making decisions regarding grants, the siblings focus on local needs to help educate well-rounded people in both academic and spiritual matters.
To others who might be considering such a gift or foundation, Paul offered: “You don’t have to have huge amounts … A small amount of funds can contribute back. My parents just wanted to leave something behind that promotes the faith and enhances our well-being.”
In addition to their foundation, Andrew and Florence left a beautiful and faithful family who continue to do just that.
Harry Verhiley, former director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, recently expressed gratitude to the Krizman family for their amazing gift to support the work of the Church.
“The establishment of these endowments memorializes the Krizman name and makes possible works of Christ in perpetuity. Also, the generous contribution to the St. John Paul II Fund for Seminarian Education is a profound investment in our future priests.”
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