CARING FOR THOSE WHO CARED: Your support for retired and sick priests
By Elizabeth McFarlane, Catholic Outlook, September 2015
Your priest has been at some of your most memorable and meaningful family events. They were there when you married. They were there when your child was baptised. They were there when you lost loved ones. They were there every Sunday, watching your family grow, not just in number but also in faith.
Priests often reflect on the honour that comes from being a witness to such significant moments. The Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev Peter Williams, reflected, “As priests it is a privilege for us to be able to share in the joyful moments of your lives and to be with you in times of heartache and sadness.”
But what happens when a priest retires? What happens when a priest becomes sick? They have been a part of your family for so long and in their retirement and through their sickness and age, they can still remain a part of your family.
Last year you gave more than $195,000 to support the retired priests and sick clergy of the Diocese through the Father’s Day Appeal. There are 27 Parramatta clergy who are currently retired – two bishops, 23 priests and two deacons.
Your donation helps them cover healthcare costs and expenses associated with everyday living, supplementing the pension that some receive.
“The appeal is a way of acknowledging the priests who have ministered throughout our Diocese over many years, but who are now in need of our assistance,” Fr Peter said.
“We are blessed to have many clergy aged over 65 still in active ministry. It is also true that in the near future, many of them will need our support.”
The retired and sick clergy of our Diocese have served our community well and can continue to do so with your help. They are grateful for your support now and in the future.
Last financial year, the Clergy Support Foundation spent about $500,000 caring for the needs of these retired priests. The Foundation also spent just over $90,000 in preparing for the future retirement of clergy, of whom about 10 may be seeking to retire over the next five years.
There are units under construction for retired priests and seminarians, which will be located next to Holy Spirit Seminary in Harris Park.
The retired priest building will consist of nine rooms with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, basement parking, a chapel and a common lounge area.
The seminary accommodation will consist of 22 studio apartments, dining room, library, common lounge, outdoor entertaining area, extensive landscaping and parking.
Construction is scheduled for completion in April 2016.
Donations to the Father’s Day Appeal can be made through the envelopes available from your parish or online at: www.csfparra.org.au
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
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