Dear Friends in Christ,
While a diocesan 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.
After retirement, most of our priests earn supplemental income by assisting at parishes by celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, etc. But 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 sources that he may have.
Currently about 30% of our diocesan priests are retired with many more either approaching retirement age, or working past 70 — the usual age of retirement for diocesan priests. Seven of our retired priests are unable to live on their own for various physical reasons and require full-time residential care.
It is our obligation as a Church family to assure that our retired diocesan priests — 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 19 and 20, 2018. The collection began in 2015 to supplement the Fund, due to the continuing need. Over the last three years, this collection has added over $200 thousand 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 Rev. W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington