Bishop DiNardo announces Bishop Greteman Legacy Society
By BUTCH HEMAN, Times Herald Staff Writer
May 29, 2003
CARROLL - A new program of the Diocese of Sioux City honors a native son who
became bishop and recognizes planned giving to Catholic entities. Diocesan
leaders came to Carroll Wednesday to launch the Bishop Greteman Legacy Society,
named for Willey native Frank Greteman, who was appointed Auxiliary of the
diocese in 1965, became bishop in 1970 and served until 1983.
"This is a good day for us, this is a good day for the diocese and also
a wonderful way to remember Bishop Greteman," said Bishop Daniel DiNardo in
a ceremony held inside the Greteman Center at Holy Spirit Church in Carroll.
Three of Bishop Greteman's younger sisters - Mary Lex and Margaret Greteman
of Carroll and Leonilla "Lee" Hamilton of South Bend, Ind. - attended
the program and were introduced as its first honorary members. "We want you
to know that in addition to being honorary members, we're also actual
members," Lex said. "You see, our brother taught us well. As a pastor
he was interested in fostering stewardship, but even before that, he and all of
us were taught by our parents, both in word and in example."
Anyone who makes a planned gift - a bequest, a life insurance benefit or a
charitable gift annuity - to a parish, school, Catholic organization or other
entity in the diocese can become a member of the Greteman Legacy Society.
Too often, the diocese doesn't learn of someone's generosity until after his
or her death, said Jim Wharton, director of planned giving for the diocese.
Creation of the society will encourage those who have already made such
arrangements to advise the diocese so proper acknowledgement can be made, he
"I consider the Greteman Legacy Society ... to be important for us in
our diocese for a number of reasons," Bishop DiNardo said. "One of the
first things it does is it recognizes the remarkable contributions made by
Bishop Greteman to the welfare of those in the Diocese of Sioux City. It also
underscores the importance of estate gifts to the church. And finally, it
creates opportunities for our parishes and schools to generate future
Each person who joins the Greteman Legacy Society will receive a medallion
commemorating the diocese's centennial. Bishop DiNardo presented the first three
to the surviving Greteman sisters. "Our family is so honored that the
Diocese of Sioux City would remember our brother," Lex said.
The Gretemans are a prominent family in the diocese, the bishop said, having
produced four priests and a nun and hailing from a parish - St. Mary in Willey -
that generated 55 priests and nuns, far more than any other parish in the
Bishop DiNardo also recalled his only meeting with Bishop Greteman. It was
1974 in Rome, while the Pittsburgh, Pa., native was a seminarian. And DiNardo
spoke of the significance of having a native son become bishop of the Diocese of
Sioux City, calling it one of the historic moments in Iowa's history.
"His tenure as a bishop ... was a real critical time in the history of
our church and the United States," DiNardo related. "During Bishop
Greteman's time, we had to deal the first time with the issue of legalized
abortion. We have to remember those were the days too when the Supreme Court
began to put a greater wall in terms of the separation of church and state, and
a number of public funds for parochial schools were no longer available.
"So Bishop Greteman had to face moral issues ... and also the importance
of keeping alive the wonderful legacy of Catholic schools in the Diocese of
Bishop DiNardo described Greteman, who died in 1987, as a staunch defender
for schools and the unborn.
"I have talked to bishops on the east coast in diocese that are seven
times the size of Sioux City, and when I tell them we still have Catholic high
schools, their jaws drop," Bishop DiNardo added. "That is a tradition
of Catholic formation in the Diocese of Sioux City ... that Bishop Greteman
continued and sustained during his ministry among us." Greteman understood
that the only way the Catholic Church could grow was with support from its
"He spoke about the spiritual aspects of stewardship. He said 'Right
now, stewardship of the church is going to take on much greater importance
because we're going to need to rely on ourselves to make sure we keep alive
those aspects of our faith - particularly our Catholic schools and our parishes
- that are so crucial to us," Bishop DiNardo said. "That is why it
seems appropriate for us today to commemorate his devotion to the church. ...
And I have every confidence that the Greteman Legacy Society will continue to
produce many blessings for us."
For more information on the Greteman Legacy Society or to obtain a
registration form, contact Jim Wharton, director of stewardship and planned
giving of the Diocese of Sioux City, at (712) 255-7933.