| By Maureen Kenney |

Pam and Connor Flynn at their home in Des Moines.

For Connor and Pam Flynn, Catholic identity is synonymous with Catholic education.

“It all seems to go back to support the schools we’ve been involved in,” said Pam. “Our primary focus has always been on the educational part of it,” added Connor.

Connor is a second-generation product of Catholic education having attended St. Augustin Catholic School (’60) and Dowling Catholic High School (’64) like his father and then college at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota (’68). Pam grew up in the small town of Waupun, Wisconsin where Catholic education was not readily available but was drawn to St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota (’68) for college.

After meeting on a blind date during their college years, Connor and Pam began their married lives in Des Moines in 1968 and have been parishioners of St. Augustin for the past 45 years. When their three children came of school age, Catholic education was a “no-brainer.”

“I truly believe there’s a difference between Catholic and public schools in terms of how they use a faith-based approach to teaching. I think that’s important – teaching the whole person and building character,” said Connor.

As they approached their 50th wedding anniversary, the Flynns opened the Connor & Pam Flynn Endowment Donor Advised Fund with the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa to support Catholic education through periodic grants to parishes and schools within the Diocese of Des Moines.

“A donor advised fund gives us plenty of investment and funding options going forward. We can roll it into a much bigger endowment through planned gifts and even create a legacy our kids and grandkids can also expand and manage,” said Connor.

Connor Flynn with all ten of his grandchildren.

Like their great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents before them, Connor and Pam’s ten grandchildren have also benefitted from a Catholic school education.

“I hope that they [grandkids] continue being strong Catholics… I hope that they have the pride that our family has had in being part of a Catholic community. And it would make us feel happy that they cared enough to carry it through,” said Pam.

If you would like to contribute directly to Connor and Pam’s Endowment Donor Advised Fund, please visit https://www.catholicfoundationiowa.org/participating-funds/donor-advised-fund-list/.