May 12, 2017
Dear Friends in Christ,
Currently about 30 percent of our diocesan priests are retired with many more either approaching retirement age, or working well past 70, the usual age of retirement for diocesan priests.
While a priest is in parish ministry, his salary and expenses are paid by the parish. When he retires, the Diocesan Priests’ Retirement Fund takes care of Father’s needs.
Once a priest’s age and/or infirmity limits his ability to assist at parishes, most have to depend solely on the Fund, Social Security, and any other supplemental sources that he may have. Seven of our retired priests are unable to live on their own for various physical reasons and require full-time residential care.
While we thank God that we are adding a new priest to our ranks on May 20th with the ordination of Deacon Richard Jasper, conversely, we will be announcing the retirement of four priests in June. It is our obligation to assure that these men — and all of our retirees who have dedicated their lives to care for the spiritual needs of the Catholic community of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore — are taken care of in their golden years.
That is why the annual special collection to benefit the Diocesan Priests’ Retirement Fund will be held in parishes in the Diocese of Wilmington the weekend of May 21 and 22. The collection began in 2015 to supplement the Fund, due to the continuing need. Over the last two years, this collection has added over $160,000 to the Fund.
I humbly ask you for your prayerful generosity. Please also pray for our aged priests, and for increased vocations to the priesthood.
May God bless you,
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington