Giving God their very be$t
19 more inducted as members of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam society for generous giving to ABCD
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Ana Rodriguez Soto – Florida Catholic newspaper
MIAMI | Conspicuous consumption is not their style. More like inconspicuous giving.
“It’s my faith,” said Teresa Buoniconti. “I was fortunate to be born with it. And it’s been a wonderful support for me through my life.”
Buoniconti, a parishioner at St. Hugh in Coconut Grove, was one of 19 people inducted this year into the A.M.D.G., an archdiocesan society that recognizes Catholics who have given $10,000 or more to ABCD — the ArchBishop’s Charities Drive — for five years in a row.
Started in 2013 by the archdiocesan Office of Development, A.M.D.G. stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam — “for the greater glory of God.” It now has a total of 76 members.
“Your commitment to ABCD truly makes a difference,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski told the inductees at a reception March 15. “All that we have accomplished in the past few years has been partly because of you.”
Alluding to the name of the society, he said, “You don’t give God much glory without giving your very best effort. You people have given your best effort and I thank you.”
Granted, it takes more than desire to give that kind of money. But those who have it can obviously spend it in other ways.
“We have seven children, you know. We could give to them,” said Jeanne Martinez, who was honored along with her husband, Enrique. They are currently parishioners at St. Louis Church in Pinecrest and have been giving to ABCD for around 20 years.
“It’s a part of our life. It’s who we are as Catholics,” she said. “There’s more joy in giving to people that expect nothing. You don’t get paid back. You give
from your heart.”
Buoniconti, who was honored along with her husband, Chris Pedersen, gives not only to ABCD. She also supports her parish and its St. Hugh-Steinway Concert Series. She serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. And she donates to the parish in North Carolina where she spends her summers.
“It’s been wonderful for me, the Church. You just want to give back,” she said.
Grace Heising never expected to be in that company.
“I’m not the wealthiest person in the world,” she said, expressing surprise at being one of the inductees.
Initially a snowbird from Philadelphia who spent summer vacations with her family nearSt. Joseph Parish in Miami Beach, she bought property there in 2001 and now lives here year-round.
“There’s a good probability I’ve been giving since then,” she said.
She also gives to and volunteers with the archdiocesan missionary group Amor en Accion (Love in Action).
Her late husband made a good investment decades ago that now pays great dividends, Heising explained. “More than I need to live on. I just feel an obligation to share it with those who have less.
“I’m afraid to die if I haven’t done it,” she added. “I’m going to be judged on what I did with this money.”