Answering the Call

Fr. Leo Hayes

Fr. Leo Hayes '53 didn't plan on becoming a priest prior to hearing his calling while at SLUH.

Alumni often refer to their overall SLUH experience as transformative, yet it's unique when one specific moment in the classroom changes the course of one's entire life. Such was the case for Fr. Leo Hayes '53, whose senior theology class inspired his lifelong vocation.

"Fr. John Doyle was teaching the Sacrament of Holy Orders," says Fr. Hayes, "when I clearly heard a voice from within that was calling me to be a priest."

After graduation, Fr. Hayes studied at St. Henry Preparatory Seminary in Belleville, Illinois for two years before spending six years at Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. He was ordained on May 27, 1961.

"One of the things that made me who I am today is the fact that I never wanted to be a priest," says Fr. Hayes. "I just answered the call. I knew for sure it was God who wanted me to be a priest and I knew God was smarter than I was."

On June 8, 1968, Fr. Hayes was assigned to three small parishes in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. He's been there for 45 years, under six bishops.

In addition, Fr. Hayes was a missionary in El Progreso, Guatemala and served the Catholic inmates at Menard Correctional Center—the largest maximum-security penitentiary in Illinois—for 25 years, including the inmates on death row. He held the position of senior chaplain his last 10 years there. "It was very satisfying to work with the inmates," he says.

Now in his retirement, Fr. Hayes is writing a memoir about his work called A Country Pastor Goes to Prison. It will feature his reflections on years as a rural priest, as well as his assignment as chaplain at the penitentiary.

Remembering his roots—and where he was inspired by God—Fr. Hayes is giving back to SLUH with a charitable gift annuity. He likes the security of still having an income with this giving vehicle, as well as the convenience of receiving his annuity payments via direct deposit.

Through his generosity, Fr. Hayes continues to answer God's call by helping to provide a quality education to all young men regardless of their families' economic circumstances—and he's doing it Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: For the Greater Glory of God.

To learn more about ways you, like Fr. Hayes, can give back to SLUH, or to learn more about charitable gift annuities, contact Melissa Jones, CFRE at mjones@sluh.org or 314-269-2186.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Louis University High School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

UNRESTRICTED USE AND PURPOSE
"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to St. Louis University High School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

RESTRICTED USE AND PURPOSE
"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to St. Louis University High School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [scholarship name or another specific purpose]."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SLUH or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SLUH as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SLUH as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SLUH where you agree to make a gift to SLUH and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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