diofav 23

Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

090117 priest retirementCHARLOTTE — There are 131 priests – 87 diocesan clergy and 44 clergy from nine religious orders – serving the People of God in the Diocese of Charlotte. When it comes time for them to retire, the diocese wants to ensure they are taken care of since we have been blessed by their service through the years.

Bishop Peter Jugis, who shepherds the 92 churches and missions in the diocese, is asking the faithful to respond generously and with grateful hearts to the needs of the priests who faithfully serve us by contributing to the second collection Sept. 16-17 that will be taken up in all parishes.

“With the annual collection to fund the priests’ retirement and benefits plans, we financially sustain these men who give their lives to preach the Gospel and teach the Catholic faith; to lead God’s people in love; and to celebrate the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, in 92 parishes and missions throughout western North Carolina,” Bishop Jugis stated in a message to all parishioners.

He also points out that “even through the years of their retirement, these priests will continue to serve the people of our diocese. They will visit the sick in nursing homes and hospitals. They will go to our prisons, where they will counsel the inmates.

“Retired priests pray daily for the people of the diocese, offer Mass for the intentions of parishioners, and give of their time and talent to help with weekend Masses and confessions in parishes throughout the diocese.”

The diocese’s goal for the 2017 collection for the priests’ retirement and benefits plan is $1,823,000. Each parish is assessed 3.5% of their annual offertory to support the priests’ retirement and benefits plans. This second collection defrays the amount that the parishes pay from their operating budgets.

Contributions from this collection will be added to pension plans for all active priests currently serving in our diocese, as well as the health benefits plan for active diocesan priests when they retire. For every dollar contributed, 55 cents goes to the Diocese of Charlotte Priests Pension Plan; 29 cents goes to the Diocese of Charlotte Retired Clergy Health Plan; 13 cents goes to pension contributions for religious order priests; and 3 cents goes to campaign costs.

— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter