Diocese Introduces New Annual Collection: Diocesan Priests’ Retirement Appeal
By Liz Sullivan
In Psalm 23, the Lord tells us “the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff– they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.”
This Psalm is of course read on Good Shepherd Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, which this year is April 22. It is also when the Diocese of San Jose will take up a collection for the Annual Diocesan Priests’ Retirement Appeal.
Throughout the Diocese priests serve as good shepherds to their flocks (the faithful of Santa Clara County). There are 44 retired priests in the Diocese and 99 others who are currently serving our parishes and other diocesan assignments. In addition, the Diocese has 45 priests reaching retirement age, 70 years old, in the next 15 years and 15 in just the next five years.
This collection is aimed at closing the financial shortfall, so that what is promised our priests when they retire will actually be there for them in their last years.
While some priests “retire” when they actually retire, others continue to perform some level of ministry to those throughout our Diocese.
Monsignor Michael Mitchell, former pastor at Saint Lawrence, as well as former Chief Financial Officer and Vicar General for the Diocese, regularly visits with school children and assists at Mass.
Father John Coleman and Monsignor Joseph Milani, the oldest priests in the Diocese at 93, frequently say Mass. Father Kevin Joyce, former pastor at Saint Lucy Parish, who retired in 2015, continues his ministry by assisting with Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
These priests rely on their payments from Social Security and the Priest Retirement Plan for their needs. In recent years the number of retired priests has grown significantly, challenging the diocesan retirement resources.
The generosity to this appeal help keeps an important promise of care to these priests who have been good shepherds and have kept their promises to the faithful of the Diocese.
Therefore on Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22, each parish will take up a second collection at Mass for the new Diocesan Priests Retirement Appeal./
To learn more, and to see a video featuring some of DSJ retired priests, visit www.dsj.org/priests-retirement.