Catholic Charities Inspires Legacy Society Donor to Pay it Forward

Following a job with the VA Hospital in New Orleans, Donald Seals found himself working in a copy room at Catholic Charities in the 1980s. Although his time there was brief, the impact it had on the rest of his life has been nothing short of monumental.

During its centennial year, Catholic Charities is highlighting individuals who have included Catholic Charities in their will or in another form of a planned gift as part of its latest initiative, the Legacy Society. The men and women included in this group have made a meaningful commitment to sustain the future of Catholic Charities for the next 100 years. 

And in the case of Donald Seals, getting to know Sr. Anthony Barczykowski, former longtime executive director of Catholic Charities, led to thinking differently about the legacy his grandparents left him.

Born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge by his grandparents, Donald graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in psychology, taught math at Elenore McMain for a couple of years, which was followed by a stint in the U.S. Army. After serving, Donald worked at the VA Regional Office as a rehabilitation Counselor. At a particularly low point in his personal life while working at Catholic Charities, meeting Sr. Anthony was just what Donald needed to lift him up.

“She showed me a lot of things about myself. We shared cooking notes and became close. She changed my life. I just fell in love with her. That helped me when I needed it most,” Donald said.

From the moment he met Sr. Anthony, Donald would always keep Catholic Charities close to his heart. The decision to leave all of his possessions to Catholic Charities was an easy one to make.

“Whatever I had, I wanted Catholic Charities to have it,” Donald added.

Donald also speaks fondly of his grandparents, sharing that his grandfather “taught him everything he knows,” including gardening, which he still does to this day. Preserving those memories of his grandparents is just as important to Donald as keeping their legacy. Their love, along with the kindness of Sr. Anthony, has set Donald on a path of a life well lived and his desire for someone in need to one day have the chance to live a life with dignity and hope. 

Donald is an example that no matter where someone is in their life, there’s always an opportunity to give back and leave your legacy for the next generation.

Click here for more information on the Legacy Society or contact Samuel Rottman at [email protected] or 504-592-5688.