As a lifelong Catholic, George Schwartz has found a way to bring together all aspects of his life to reflect his Catholic faith. That includes his financial support of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Schwartz, a Chartered Financial Analyst, is the Chief Executive Officer of Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc., headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan
“The need for priests is obvious,” Schwartz said. “We need good priests, and I know there are good priests being formed at Sacred Heart.”
Schwartz first developed a deep gratitude for Catholic priests while attending Detroit Catholic Central High School, where one of the Basilian priests at the school played an instrumental role in his father’s conversion to Catholicism. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy and establishing his company in 1980, he learned about the work of Sacred Heart through his friends Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, and Michael Monahan, former president of Comerica Bank.
“I always knew about the seminary, of course. But it was through them that I came to appreciate the merits of properly formed and devoted young men that give their lives to support the Church,” said Schwartz. “Sacred Heart is a great institution, and I’m very fond of it.”
In his life and career, Schwartz champions pro-life and pro-family causes. For the last 20 years, Schwartz Investment Counsel has focused on “morally responsible investing” through Ave Maria Mutual Funds, a family of mutual funds for individuals seeking to avoid investing in companies that support abortion, pornography, or embryonic stem cell research. A Catholic Advisory Board provides guidance to the advisers in accordance with the Church and meets regularly to review the religious standards and criteria of the fund. Ave Maria Mutual Funds have grown to become the largest family of Catholic mutual funds in the country.
In his 2019 book, In God We Trust: Morally Responsible Investing, Schwartz explains the rationale behind investing with one’s conscience. The opening paragraph states:
Wise investment management is a moral imperative. Why? Because prudent investing is essential to meeting future needs and community needs, particularly through charitable giving. But there is another, perhaps more subtle moral dimension. When we invest in a company, we become an owner, and our investment contributes to the company’s success. Are we comfortable with what we own? Does the enterprise reflect our core beliefs? If not, what opportunities exist to invest in a manner that does reflect those beliefs?
Schwartz has written two other books on investing: Shareholder Rebellion: How Investors Are Changing the Way America’s Companies Are Run and Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing.
“My career has been focused for 20 years on Ave Maria Mutual Funds, and it all ties together in terms of my Catholic faith, my interest in the Church, my family, and my profession,” Schwartz said. “It’s been a wonderful set of blessings for the greater honor and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Despite his demanding career, family takes priority for Schwartz. He was married to his late wife, Judi, for 52 years until her passing in 2020. Their five adult children work for Schwartz Investment Counsel in the Michigan and Florida offices. This fall, Schwartz married his wife, Kathy. Schwartz has been a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth for 25 years.
During this Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Schwartz hopes more young men will answer the call to the priesthood. He sees them as the future of the Church and plans to continue supporting the seminary indefinitely.
“Sacred Heart is a world-class major seminary and it is integral to the revival of the Church,” Schwartz said.