Priests Retirement Trust Fund
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On the weekend of September 26-27, the Diocese of Manchester takes up its annual collection in support of the Priests Retirement Trust Fund. The Diocese of Manchester currently has 30 retired priests, many of whom continue to serve us by assisting in parishes and institutions, as their age and health allows.
The parish priest is someone who has always been there for us, tending to his parish family in the same way a shepherd tends his sheep. Our priests are the ones who witness our marriages, baptize our children, and come to the bedsides of the sick and dying; they have touched our lives and guided us, as shepherds, at every stage from birth to death. They are the ones who have brought us God’s forgiveness for our sins, offered the holy sacrifice of the Mass on our behalf every Sunday, and challenged us to live the Gospel, guiding us in our lifelong faith journeys. The parish priest is a part of our families, and for years, our priests have been there to help bring us closer to the Lord.
This is especially true during these difficult and historic times that our Church and our parish communities have faced, and continue to face, not only in the ongoing crisis of the pandemic, but in the midst of our other national struggles. Earlier this year, when our churches were closed and our pews empty, our priests found ways to sacrifice and to give so that their people would be nourished. With our doors open once again, we are so blessed that our priests, even those settled into retirement, continue to nourish their communities.
As our retired priests continue to help you, this weekend we ask you to help them. In this way, we are called to remember, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10). When a priest retires, he continues to make a significant impact on the spiritual and personal lives of Catholics in his community. The Fund is our opportunity to help our retired priests by making a positive contribution to their lives.
During their years of ministry, priests are mainly supported by the parish community. Their salaries are modest, and many priests live independently during retirement. Your donation, along with those from parishioners throughout New Hampshire, will help us to assist in maintaining the dignity of our older priests’ retirement and to honor their lives of sacrifice. After a lifetime of service, no priest should face retirement with financial uncertainty.
The diocese is committed to caring for our retired priests, but we need your help to do so. I thank you for your past generosity in support of the Priests Retirement Trust Fund, and I ask you to prayerfully consider a gift to this special collection again this year. Please pray for them, and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood. I ask God to bless you for your faithfulness and I thank you for all you do for our Church and our priests.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci
Bishop of Manchester
There for Us
Our priests have affected our lives in earnest ways many times over the years. From our introduction to the Church in baptism to the final commendation of our souls to God, our parish priests bless our lives and our families. In times of joy and sorrow, our parish priest stands as a sign of God’s love and the symbol of the Catholic community that we share. Many of these men have been there for us for more than 40 years.
Since the 1960s, the Priests Retirement Trust Fund has provided financial support for priests who are retired. After serving for many years, a priest can seek retirement around the age of 70. Even in retirement, however, many priests continue to assist in our parishes by celebrating Mass and helping our pastors. Though most priests do set a portion of their salary aside for their own retirement, given that priests receive a modest salary during their years of ministry, the amount that most priests are able to set aside in combination with any personal savings is often not sufficient to provide for their basic needs in retirement. This Fund provides our retired priests with a monthly stipend, medical and insurance benefits, and assisted living or long-term care as needed, to help assure that they can continue to lead a life of dignity.
Your Support Makes a Difference
Last year was the twelfth annual collection for this Fund and parishioners gave generously, with gifts totaling more than $284,000. The need continues this year. Currently we have 30 priests who are supported by this fund. When you contribute to the Priests Retirement Trust Fund, your gift goes toward helping currently retired priests as well as to make sure we can provide for those priests who will be retiring in the years to come.
Be There for Them
You can give to the Priests Retirement Fund in the following ways:
Make your donation directly to the Diocesan Priests Retirement Trust Fund, 153 Ash St., Manchester, NH 03104-4396. Or, donate online by clicking on the Donate button below to make your fast, safe, online donation. Each parish will be notified of gifts made by its parishioners received directly by the Trust Fund.
Remember the retired priests in your will. If you’d like to make a legacy gift, please contact Bevin Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org; 603-663-0136).
Prayer for Our Priests
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.
Help our priests to be strong in their vocation. Set their souls
on fire with love for your people. Grant them the wisdom,
understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps
of Jesus. Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.
Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel. Allow
them to experience joy in their ministry. Help them to become
instruments of your divine grace. We ask this through Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.