Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus Emblem

Wyoming Charitable Trust

At the annual meeting of the Wyoming State Council of the Knights of Columbus in Cheyenne in 1991, we passed a landmark decision to underwrite future vocations for our diocese. We concluded that two major concerns of young men considering the priesthood were: how will they pay for their education and will there be funds to provide for their retirement.

To help make certain that their concerns could be met, the state council, meeting in full session, passed into being the Knights of Columbus Charitable Trust. This fund will distribute monies to the Bishop to help pay for the education of seminarians and monies to the St. Joseph Society for Priests Retirement.

The Knights of Columbus voted to ask every member to give $1 per month for 10 years to fund this trust. This would raise $300,000. This goal has been accomplished and the money invested in a permanent trust owned and controlled by the Knights of Columbus State Council. The trustees are Hilltop National Bank in Casper (the manager of the investment), the Knights of Columbus State Treasurer, and Past State Deputy Mr. Doug Gasseling.

Currently, we are sending a mailer to each member of the Knights in Wyoming each year around Thanksgiving. This letter asks everyone to continue making annual contributions to the Trust. The money in the Trust is invested and used to purchase Knights of Columbus Insurance policies on our members. These policies pay out to the Trust whenever the insured member dies. The Trust pays the premiums throughout the member's life after the initial payment. This is a very good way to contribute to the trust for the future. The fund for buying policies is called the Insurance Fund.

The money in this trust is dedicated to buying policies and investing in equities and bonds. When the policies mature, through death, the proceeds from these policies will be segregated from the original fund and kept in the trust. This fund is called the Investment Fund of the Trust. The annual earnings from the investment fund pays 60% to the St. Joseph Society for Retired Priests and 40% to the Diocese of Cheyenne Seminarian Endowment Fund. This investment fund can be started earlier by anyone who would donate money for this purpose.

Due to the investment climate over the last 15 years, the St. Joseph Society has lost value in its trust to the point that paying retirement benefits to our retired priests has become very difficult. The stock market bust of 2001 and again in 2007/2008 has hurt their trust's value significantly. Therefore, we are asking for those who can, to please consider a sizeable donation specifically to the investment fund of the trust. Then the annual earnings could be paid out to help the retired priests in their retirement and the seminarians with their education.

The trust currently has a value of $303,255.85. From this, we pay about $24,000 per year for the policies we have in force. We also pay management fees to the bank for managing this account.

For information on buying an insurance policy, call one of our KC Insurance agents. For information on a larger donation to the Investment Fund, call Mr. Doug Gasseling at 307-638-7016.

Your Brother in Christ,
(s) Douglas A. Gasseling
Charitable Trust Executive Secretary
P. O. Box 20243
Cheyenne, WY 82003