Since my installation as the Bishop of Wilmington last July, I have been getting to know the lay people, religious women and men, and clergy who make up the Catholic community of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
While I am looking forward to meeting many more of you, one group that I have come to know is the retired priests of our diocese. We have 28 retired diocesan priests, many of whom are still actively helping out at parishes by saying Mass and hearing confessions. Still others, due to age or infirmity, are not able to work, or even live on their own, and require full-time residential care.
While a priest is in ministry, his salary and most expenses are paid by the generous donations of his parishioners to his parish. Once they retire, priests depend mostly on the Diocesan Priest Retirement Fund to clothe and care for them.
In 2015, order to address the growing needs of our aging priests, the diocese instituted an annual second collection to benefit this Fund. This year, the collection will take place on June 4 & 5.
The current state of the economy has affected everyone, including our retirees. Please be as generous as possible so that we can continue to provide for these men who have given their lives to ministry in our diocese. More importantly, please keep these men in your prayers, and pray that young men will answer God’s call to the diocesan priesthood.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
May God richly bless you.
Most Rev. William E. Koenig, Bishop of Wilmington