It was cold and raining outside in Hedda Langer’s warm and inviting living room. She weaved a love story of her and her late husband, Heimo Joseph Langer, while pictures of them throughout the decades were spread out around us. Each picture and each memento held a significance that made up Heimo’s life story. A story that Hedda felt moved and willing to share.

Heimo J. Langer was born May 17, 1936 to the late Walther and Maria (Gruen) Langer in Klagenfurt, Austria. He attended high school at the Benedictine Monastery (Seckau Abbey) in Seckau, Austria where most of the teachers were monks. There he learned many subjects including Greek and Latin. However, the subjects he favored most were chemistry and mathematics taught by Pater Laurentius Hora. His time at the Abbey not only set him on his path as a brilliant scientist, but is also where he met lifelong friends. His graduating High School class of 34 students, while by today’s standards may seem very small, was considered one of the largest at the Abbey. Hedda remembered that after graduating they would meet every 5 to 10 years and when Heimo passed away in 2017, 15 of them were in attendance. 

In 1954, Heimo worked as a teaching assistant at the Technical University of Vienna while at the same time working on his Diplom Ingenieur (Masters Degree). Not long after, he married Hedda, the love of his life, whom he had known since 1958, in Vienna on July 18, 1965. His mentor, long-time friend, and favorite teacher, Pater Laurentius Hora was the Celebrant of the ceremony. 

In 1965, Heimo and Hedda moved to Canada and became a teaching assistant at the University of Calgary. While there, he also completed his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry and worked with Professor James B. Hyne, who had founded the Alberta Sulphur Research, Ltd. In 1970 he left the University of Calgary to start his long and successful career with the Ashland Chemical Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ashland eventually opened a location in Dublin, Ohio where Heimo became a research chemist. He worked his way up from Group Leader to Technical Director-International and was incredibly well-respected and appreciated by his superiors. Heimo was a brilliant scientist and the author or co-author of over 30 patents. In 1991, he was bestowed the prestigious Honorary Cross for Science and Art 1st Class by the Austrian Government.

Eventually, Heimo decided to retire and he and Hedda, having no children, started to think about what to do with their assets. They spoke with their financial advisor, Matt Yuskewich, who recommended they work Loren Brown at The Catholic Foundation. This was a natural fit as both Heimo and Hedda had been long-time Catholics and belonged to St. Andrew Parish in Columbus, Ohio. However, it wasn’t until Heimo passed in March of 2017 that Hedda decided to set the wheel in motion for making their gift. Matt asked if Hedda had thought about doing something for education while also keeping in mind her and Heimo’s Catholic faith, and suggested Ohio Dominican University as a possible option. Hedda was sold. She thought of Heimo and his love of education and more specifically, science. She spoke with Ohio Dominican University President, Dr. Robert Gervasi, on what to do. Since Heimo was a chemist, she decided to endow a Chemistry Chair. An endowed professorship (or endowed chair) is a position permanently paid for with the revenue from an endowment fund specifically set up for
that purpose. 

Dr. Gervasi said, “We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Hedda Langer for endowing a Chemistry Chair at Ohio Dominican University in memory of her husband, renowned chemist Dr. Heimo Langer. This generous gift will support our chemistry faculty in ensuring that our students receive an outstanding education for many years to come, equipping them with valuable resources and tools–including books from Dr. Langer’s own library–that will enhance their ability to study, conduct research, and prepare for rewarding careers in this important field. The creation of this special endowment fund not only preserves and celebrates the memory of Dr. Langer, but it also energizes those in our community who share his passion. On behalf of the chemistry program and entire university community, we are appreciative and blessed for the Langers’ support.” 

This gift was a perfect way to remember Heimo while also paying tribute to their Catholic faith and his love of science. Hedda said, “My faith is so important to me. I don’t know what I would have done without my Catholic background and my Church. It saved me after Heimo died.” Additionally, Hedda remarked “I think whoever is successful in this life, like my husband, has a duty to pay it back. It was an honor to be able to do that. I would recommend The Catholic Foundation to anyone who wants to find a way to remember, to honor, and to give back the good that was given to them.”

If you are interested in learning how you can leave your legacy and support the causes that have impacted your life, contact Scott Hartman (614-443-8893, or visit our website at

A Message From Our CEO

loren brown


Welcome Molly Mackessy

In January, we welcomed Molly Mackessy to The Catholic Foundation Team!

As Development Coordinator, Molly brings a passion for her faith, physical and spiritual well-being, and helping others to The Catholic Foundation.

Prior to joining The Catholic Foundation, Molly worked as the Wellness Experience Leader at YMCA of Central Ohio. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, Exercise Science from Ohio State University, where she was also a part of the 3D Urban Dance Team, Dance Connection, and the Mount Leadership Society. Molly is a native of Columbus, Ohio where she previously graduated from Bishop Hartley High School and is a parishioner at St. Catharine Parish.

For a complete listing of the TCF Team, please visit or call 614-443-8893.

Molly Mackessy


Inspiration Corner

Let’s Honor the Lord with our giving.


“Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”


The Catholic Foundation solicits applications and awards grants annually within the 23-county Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, for its Responsive Grants. Grants are made to Parishes, Catholic Schools, Religious Organizations, and Invited Non-profit Organizations within the Diocese of Columbus.

This past fiscal year, The Catholic Foundation celebrated another year of tremendous impact. In the 2021 Responsive Grants Cycle, the Foundation distributed over 119 grants, nearly $1.1 million, and impacted over 200,000 individuals in the Diocese of Columbus.


Catholic parishes















The 2021 Annual Martha Panel – 10 for 10


Every year, The Marthas gather to learn about different organizations doing wonderful work in our community. Last year COVID resulted in us cancelling our panel and these wonderful organizations did not have a chance to present. Therefore, we have invited them back to present for us this year. Ten organizations will have ten minutes to share their mission, how they serve the needs in our community, and volunteer opportunities that might be available for any interested Marthas. 

Hear from the following 10 organizations:
• Columbus Early Learning Centers 
• Habitat for Humanity MidOhio
• Heartbeat International
• Joseph’s Coat of Central Ohio
• M.O.M.M. Foundation 
• Ohio Dominican University (ODU)
• OpenDoor
• Serra Club
• St. Paul’s Outreach (SPO)
• Young Catholic Professionals (YCP)

While we hope this event can be in-person, we will gauge how things are closer to the time, and either host it in-person or virtually. More details will follow via email. If you need to update your contact information with us, please email Kristin Shuey at or 614-443-8893.

Don’t Forget!

Interested in joining The Marthas or just want to learn more? Contact Kristin Shuey at 614-443-8893,, or visit for more information.

lift up your neighbor campaign

Years before the Bishop Griffin Resource Center (BGRC) opened its doors in 2007, Catholics on the east side of Columbus witnessed a need: people in the community were hungry. Tired of simply referring their neighbors to agencies in other parts of the city, parishioners throughout the Eastside Deanery came together and began distributing food at Christ the King Church. This was the birth of what is now one of the biggest food pantries in the city.

Bishop Emeritus James A. Griffin (retired 2005), who selflessly served the Diocese of Columbus for more than 14 years, provided counsel and encouragement at the BGRC’s inception. His spirit of compassion has been a guiding principle for this ministry since the beginning. The BGRC has seen a steady growth over the past twelve years, becoming a genuine lifeline for those navigating financial difficulties – immigrants, seniors raising grandchildren, and families in crisis. Tens of thousands of people have crossed the threshold of the 2,500 square-foot pantry to receive an emergency, three-day supply of food, as well as clothing and household goods.

The demand for services at the BGRC has seen a significant increase with the inreased number of visits to the pantry. In 2020, over 9,000 people visited which is almost double that of 2019. To meet the growing needs, the amount of food provided weekly went from approximately 4,000-6,000 pounds to 10,000-15,000 pounds. Over 5,000 visits were made to the BGRC just last year. This has made it clear that the current resources and facility no longer meet the growing needs and a new center is required. The estimated costs associated with the construction and future operations of a new Bishop Griffin Resource Center are substantial but will enable the BGRC’s services to have a greater and more meaningful impact in the lives of so many. The total goal of the BGRC’s “Lift Up Your Neighbor” campaign is $3.5 Million, with $2.5 million needed to break ground this year. 

The BGRC is a source of emergency assistance for the community and has the potential to help families truly build a road out of poverty. With a new facility and the help of partnering organizations, the BGRC can become a hub for GED training, English-as-a-Second Language classes, courses in financial literacy, health services, and so much more.

BGRC is so close to making that first goal of breaking ground this year a reality because of a very generous and anonymous gift of $250,000. This anonymous donor hopes it will inspire additional giving so the BGRC can cross that finish line. Please consider making a gift to the “Lift Up Your Neighbor” campaign today. Gifts can be made online by visiting or by writing a check made out to The Catholic Foundation and “BGRC Lift Up Your Neighbor Campaign” written in the memo line. 

If you would like to learn more about the Bishop Griffin Resource Center, please contact Father David Schalk from Christ the King Church at 614-237-0401 or

NEW: Development corner

Welcome to the Development (Dev) Corner! This is a new section of our Blessings Newsletter that will talk about timely and relevant topics going on in our world today. Each member of our Development Team will write a piece sharing information they think is relevant to our donors and partners. Enjoy!


Bitcoin Creates Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

David Clark

David Clark

Development Officer

If you have been paying attention, you know that over the past few months the price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed to all-time highs. This January has seen the cryptocurrency blow past its previous record valuation of $20,000, set in December of 2017, to new highs of over $40,000 for a single coin.

Though highly volatile and speculative as investment vehicles, cryptocurrencies have been increasingly gaining acceptance in the mainstream, and are now drawing an inflow of cash from large, institutional investors and corporations. Even J.P. Morgan Chase, after overcoming initial skepticism by CEO Jamie Dimon, has gotten in on the action by creating their own blockchain-based digital currency, JPM Coin.

Meanwhile, investing in cryptocurrencies has never been easier for retail investors, as online platforms like Coinbase and Paypal make it possible to create a virtual wallet, link your bank account, and begin trading from an app on your phone. As a result, the rising tide of Bitcoin’s popularity has lifted other well-known cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Litecoin, to fresh highs as well.

Anyone who bought Bitcoin at its March 2020 low of $4,900 would be sitting on gains of over 700% only 10 months later. Even more astonishingly, anyone who invested $1 in Bitcoin on January 1, 2011 would be looking at mind-boggling gains of 13,159,100% 10 years later!

But of course, those gains do not account for Uncle Sam’s cut. As you would expect, regulators have taken note of the now trillion-dollar cryptocurrency market, and there would be astronomical tax burdens associated with cashing in on a windfall of that size.

Fortunately, in recent years the IRS has given guidance on the tax liabilities associated with the sale of cryptocurrencies. They state, “Virtual currency is treated as property, and general tax principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”

So, what does this mean for someone who has been holding onto highly appreciated Bitcoin? It means that when they sell, they will be subject to the same capital gains tax rate that applies to the sale of stock, real estate, or any other security. You do not need to be a CPA to know that the tax bill on 700% gains is going to be quite significant.

That is of course, IF you sell. Savvy investors have increasingly been turning to another strategy to capture the value of their cryptocurrency gains, while also avoiding the large tax burdens associated with selling: donating it to charity.

Because cryptocurrencies are governed by the same IRS rules as property, they also receive the same tax deduction when donated to charity, which has created a once in a lifetime giving opportunity for some donors. In 2017, during the height of the last Bitcoin price jump, The Catholic Foundation received and liquidated the first ever cryptocurrency donation in our history.

How does this work? In short, highly appreciated digital coins can be donated to the Foundation and sold by us so that the donor does not incur any capital gains liabilities. The Foundation then sells the cryptocurrency and places the entire proceeds into a Donor Advised Fund from which the donor can do their regular charitable giving over time, while also receiving a tax deduction for the value of the cryptocurrency on the day that they donate it.

Because cryptocurrencies use unique block-chain technology for verifying transactions, and because of their high price volatility, the value of the coins can change between the moment they are donated and when they are sold. If this is something that you are interested in, please contact The Catholic Foundation in advance so that we can work with you to ensure a smooth process for receiving and liquidating your donation.

If you have questions regarding Bitcoin, contact David Clark
at or 614-443-8893. 


To Save the Life of a Child

Located in Wellston, Ohio, Saints Peter & Paul School provides a conventional Catholic education for students in preschool through grade eight. Lead by Principal, Christine Kirby, it is one of only three schools in the Diocese of Columbus located in the Appalachian region of the state. They strive for genuine integration of the Catholic faith and Catholic values within challenging academic experiences. 

Though the school has over 100 children in attendance, Saints Peter & Paul has never had a school nurse. If a child had a health concern or fell on the playground, they were taken care of by either Principal Kirby or another staff member in the office. This was manageable, though not exactly ideal. When COVID hit in the Spring of 2020, it became obvious that they were going to need a school nurse. Principal Kirby said, “This made me nervous because there were so many guidelines and protocols to follow around handling students with COVID. I knew that we needed a nurse on the premises to open up this school year.” School Administrators have a Zoom meeting every other week with Adam J. Dufault, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. In these meetings Adam would frequently recommend and suggest that schools consider The Catholic Foundation as a resource and as a partner. Kirby knew that this was an answer to her prayers. 

Kirby talked with Dan Kurth, VP of Grants and Community Impact, at the Foundation and was granted $20,000 to go towards hiring a school nurse. Kurth said, “Our Catholic Schools have been under a tremendous amount of pressure through the pandemic. However, even with all the stress, the teachers, administrators, parents, and students have done such an amazing job keeping safe and keeping Catholic education alive. By partnering with Saints Peter & Paul and the Office of Catholic Schools we were able to understand their need and help provide a much-needed nurse for the facility. We were very happy to be able to play a small role in helping protect our students, teachers, and administrators.”

Kirby now had the money, but she still needed to find a nurse. A friend suggested that she reach out to the Jackson County Health Department. She spoke with Health Commissioner, Kevin Aston, who quickly realized they could form a partnership, similar to what they do with other private schools in the area. The Health Department would take care of finding a nurse for the school and handling all the administration that goes along with that, including COVID related protocols. Aston said he had a perfect candidate for her school and she started in late September 2020.

“I would like to sincerely thank the Catholic Foundation for their generous support of a school nurse position at Saints Peter and Paul School in Wellston. In this year of unprecedented challenges, this support was critical in enabling us to keep our students learning in school, as close to normal as safely possible. A nurse on staff and on site has been essential to making this school year a success.”

Adam J. Dufault

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

The Catholic Foundation strives to be a resource and a partner to all our Catholic schools. If you want to learn how you can support Catholic schools, contact Scott Hartman at or 614-443-8893


About the Catholic Foundation

The Catholic Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving and assist donors to provide for the long-term needs of the 23-county Diocese of Columbus. The Catholic Foundation fulfills its mission by seeking donors to establish endowment funds designed to support current and future needs and by distributing earnings according to diocesan priorities and donor intent.  It is one of the oldest and largest Catholic foundations in the country, distributing over $156 million throughout the diocese since 1985. For additional information about The Catholic Foundation, please visit

© 2022 The Catholic Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
257 East Broad Street, Columbus OH 43215 • Phone: 614.443.8893 • Toll free:1.866.298.8893