As we prepare for this weekend’s Bless Our Priest collection, to assist the Diocese of Madison’s priests in their retirement, let us take the time to thank all the priests who so selflessly minister to us every day, through their prayer and sacrifice.
Here in the Diocese of Madison we have approximately 165 priests praying with and for us every day. Our priests come to us from all over the world; from Austria, Nigeria, India, Spain, Mexico, Ireland, Korea, Puerto Rico, and all over the United States of America. Religious Orders, Societies and Priestly Movements from the Dominicans, Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, Cistercians, Jesuits, Franciscan/Capuchins, Schoenstatt, Legionnaires, and SOLT are represented here. And where we presently have two great priests serving as military chaplains, we also have a number of priests from other dioceses assisting us in the Diocese of Madison, by their bishop’s graciousness.
This is all in addition to our diocesan priests, whom we assist with the Bless Our Priest effort this week. May God continue to bless all the priests who serve us so well. We thank God for all our priests!
MADISON -- Have you ever wondered how your retired parish priest is enjoying their retirement years? Are they able to live life without the worry of being able to pay for their general expenses?
Many of us don’t realize that much of the retirement support our diocesan priests receive depends upon our giving now. In the upcoming weeks, people throughout the diocese have a wonderful opportunity to say “thank you” in a very real way by making a gift to the Bless our Priests collection.
Diocesan priests’ retirement is funded through the St. Raphael Society Clergy Retirement Fund. The Bless Our Priests collection is the only collection conducted diocesan wide to fuel the St. Raphael Fund. This year the collection is being held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11, in each parish across the diocese. Your support of the Bless Our Priests collection provides for retirement benefits and helps with the rising cost of health care that seriously challenges the quality of our priests’ retirement.
Serve beyond retirement years
Even in their retirement years, many of the priests continue to work in parishes, fill in for priests while they take well deserved time off, and serve on committees on the diocesan level.
This is a way of saying “thank you” to those priests who have offered and continue to offer your family the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, and anointing us when we are sick. They provide counseling and consoling, guidance and direction, as well as being a friend and mentor.
How to donate
Please look for the Bless Our Priests envelope in your parish this upcoming weekend and in next week’s issue of the Catholic Herald. If you are interested in providing to this collection through a stock gift or to include the priests retirement fund in your will, contact the Office of Stewardship and Development at the Diocese of Madison. It is through your generosity this Christmas season we can serve these priests who have so faithfully served each of us.
Please prayerfully consider how you can make a difference and show your appreciation to the retired priests of today and tomorrow.
God bless you during the holy Advent Season and continue to pray for all our priests. For more information contact the Office of Stewardship and Development by mail at: Office of Stewardship, Diocese of Madison, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison, WI 53719; by phone at 608-821-3046; or by visiting www.madisondiocese.org