| By Maureen Kenney |

“We have a responsibility to support morally upright and trustworthy corporations,” said Dan Merry, a small business owner and parish trustee at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Granger, Iowa.

Dan Merry, Parish Trustee and Small Business Owner“We must trust that our advisors understand our desire to invest in companies that are ethically and morally grounded,” Merry added.

Merry and fellow Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary trustees have sought out the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa as an investment vehicle for the Assumption Foundation Fund, Assumption Maintenance and Improvement Fund, Assumption School Scholarship (EASE) Fund, and Beaver Catholic Cemetery Fund.

“The Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa is one of the few organizations guided by Catholic values investing principles in the area,” said Chris McCarville, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation.

As a Catholic organization, the Catholic Foundation draws the values, directions, and criteria which guide its financial choices from the Gospel and the universal church teaching. Furthermore, the Catholic Foundation does not view a market-level rate of return on investments and investment strategies based on catholic values as mutually exclusive.

“Our performance records show that earning a reasonable rate of return is possible without having to throw our Catholic conscience out the window,” said McCarville.

The Catholic Foundation follows the socially, responsible investment guidelines described in the November 12, 2003 document issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB investment guidelines center round the following investment policies: protecting human life, promoting human dignity, reducing arms production, pursuing economic justice, protecting the environment, and encouraging corporate social responsibility.

As both a parish trustee and owner of Open Technologies, Inc., Dan Merry thinks it is important to remember, “The monies are God’s and not ours and we are stewards of tithing, bequests, or designated donations.”