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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

122217 Black Helen DoyleGREENSBORO — St. Benedict Church and St. Pius X Church recently received some good news: both Greensboro area parishes will benefit from an estate gift by a former member.

Helen Doyle Black, 98, passed away on July 27, 2016, at Pennybyrn’s Taylor Village in High Point. She left a total bequest of approximately $83,000 in her will that is going to both parishes.

Originally from Worcester, Mass., Black grew up in Nashua, N.H., graduating from Middlebury College and teaching French before entering the U.S. Navy, becoming one of the country’s first female naval officers during World War II. She rose to the rank of lieutenant commander by the end of the war.

After serving her country, Black earned an MBA from Radcliffe College School of Business (Harvard Business School) in Cambridge, Mass. She worked as a personnel director for a major Boston department store and then moved to Greensboro to be near family, working as a personnel director for Meyers department store. After several years she went to work at Burlington Industries.

She married her high school sweetheart, Dr. Daniel Black of Nashua, N.H., and the two lived many years in the Northeast before returning to the Greensboro area after retirement. Her husband passed away in 1986.

Black was a parishioner of St. Pius X Church and a former parishioner of St. Benedict Church. Her gift is being split between the two parishes: approximately $68,000 will benefit St. Benedict Church and approximately $15,000 will benefit St. Pius X Church, with a portion of each into going into endowments for each parish and a portion going directly to each parish.

“I was surprised when St. Benedict Parish received her donation. How generous she was,” said Father Duc Duong, pastor. “Her donation came to my parish at the right time when we began our restoration project in 2017 with a new look, and her generosity was appreciated.”

The church will use the funds for maintenance, Father Duong said, as the building is more than 120 years old, although the sanctuary has been newly restored. The parish has erected a plaque at the church to honor Black as their benefactor, he added.

"Helen knew the most certain way to ensure the ministry she so appreciated would be enjoyed by future generations was to share part of her estate with our endowment,"  said Monsignor Anthony Marcaccio, St. Pius X’s pastor. "Since we talk about our Church as a Family of Faith it is most appropriate when planning our estate to consider those who have been brothers and sisters to us. We most often consider our natural posterity in our wills, but imagine the good that could be accomplished if we were to consider our supernatural posterity, the parishioner yet to be born, who will take our place in the pew that we were privileged to build."

The endowments will be administered through the Diocese of Charlotte Foundation. Established in 1994, the foundation has grown to encompass more than 255 endowments and more than $48 million in total assets.

An endowment is a permanent fund, the principal of which is never touched, but the income from which can be used in accordance with the wishes of the donor organization or individual. Endowments provide a way to generate income and help sustain the long-term strength and viability of the recipient parish or ministry.

“More and more people across the diocese are remembering the Church in their estate plans –gifts from thousands of dollars to millions – and we are thankful for their generosity,” said Jim Kelley, diocesan director of development.

For details about endowments or estate gifts, contact Ray-Eric Correia, diocesan director of planned giving, at 704-370-3364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter