Inspired by legacy gifts from thoughtful donors, and with an eye for the future, the Catholic Charities Legacy Endowment has been established by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Erie, Inc. With a purpose to fund the operational needs of the agencies in the Catholic Charities network, this endowment will fund programs that provide direct services to people in need in perpetuity, throughout the Diocese of Erie.

Bequests from longtime supporters of Catholic Charities, Msgr. William Biebel and Mark Kulyk, seeded this endowment which now offers an open invitation for others to follow their lead. The endowment ensures gifts have impact into the future to continue works of charity far beyond the donors’ lifetime.

Inspired to Give

Msgr. William Biebel had a long history of working with Catholic Charities, and part of his final wishes were to include a gift to Catholic Charities in his estate plans. His entire lifetime was spent in service to the Diocese of Erie, and according Msgr. Biebel’s friend and executor of his estate, Michael Gaines, he was known to have “great concern for people. He wanted them to be helped.” Msgr Biebel wouldn’t hesitate to refer someone in need to a Catholic Charities agency while he was alive, and in his final act of generosity, he made a bequest in order to continue the good works of Catholic Charities to people in need.

Msgr. William Biebel
Msgr William Biebel

Describing her husband, Mark, as a generous, caring person, Joyce Kulyk notes Mark’s dedication to his faith. His passion for helping people in need led him to volunteer at the local Catholic Charities agency when he and Joyce lived in Virginia, and then he continued this commitment to Catholic Charities in Erie soon after they moved to the region in 1984. Mark was very interested in learning about all of the CC agencies and their works. Through their involvement with World Wide Marriage Encounter, the Kulyks met Ann Badach.

Mark further embraced his faith when he (and Joyce) accepted the call to become member of the first board of directors of the Catholic Foundation when it was established in 2007.

Mark and Joyce Kulyk
Mark and Joyce Kulyk

Joyce is thrilled that Catholic Charities has used Mark’s bequest to seed this new legacy endowment in the Catholic Foundation. She says, “Mark would be pleased. This is how he can stay involved in the work he was so passionate about.”

Helping Catholic Charities agencies with operational expense is meaningful to Joyce. “The services and programs are already making a difference,” she appreciates. “This endowment helps them to look to the future. Perhaps they can implement a new idea or dream a little. Having a pool of money that’s going to be there for the long run helps this kind of thinking happen. It is a resource to draw from and can help turn ideas into reality.”

As executive director of Catholic Charities, Ann Badach saw the opportunity presented by the bequests left by Msgr. Biebel and Mark. “The board of Catholic Charities believes that every act of Christian charity creates a ripple effect-- many are helped from every gift,” she explains. “We hope the establishment of this legacy endowment may inspire others to honor their own loved ones and enlarge the ripple effect created by this gift to help others in need.”

To learn more about making a planned gift to support this endowment, contact Lisa Louis at (814) 824-1237 or

“We hope the establishment of this legacy endowment may inspire others to honor their own loved ones and enlarge the ripple effect created by this gift to help others in need.”
— Ann Badach, Executive Director, Catholic Charities
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