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Stories of Giving

Honoring Father Mike. Preserving the Catholic Tradition for Our Youth


A young couple leaves rural Nebraska and relocates in Maryland. In the parish of St. Michael's in Mount Airy, Maryland, they find inspiration, comfort and a particular pastor whom they describe as "the rock of our family." This is the experience of Keith and Mary Ann Gehle.

As Keith Gehle puts it, "For over 20 years, Father Mike has always been there, encouraging us to recognize our talents and helping us to grow in our own faith. In his vision and leadership for our parish, I have always sensed that he believes that the legacy of the Catholic faith is in our youth." With the help of the Catholic Community Foundation, the couple established The Rev. Michael Ruane Endowment Fund For Youth Ministry as a sign of gratitude to Father Mike and a commitment to the future of their faith. In Mary Ann's words, "Our youth are the furture of our faith. We need to build them up and encourage them to use their gifts and talents." Theirs was the first endowment established at St. Michael's. As it turns out, the Gehles have proven to be an example and inspiration to many others in their parish. Remarkably, since the establishment of this fund, seven other funds have been created for St. Michael's designated to help support the life and mission of the parish.

Mary Ann sums up the couples' beliefs and actions, "We realize this is not our home, that we will be going on to heaven someday. In the short time we're here, we're called to do the things that will preserve our faith for those who come after us."

-Keith and Mary Ann Gehle

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