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  #1  
Old May 19, '07, 11:46 am
Elzee Elzee is offline
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Default Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

I was recently told that most diocese do not provide for the retirement of their diocesan priests in terms of a place to live, health care etc. - that after a diocesan priest retires, it is up to him to find a place to live, pay for it himself, get health care, a nursing home if necessary, etc. ... all out of his own pocket. Is this really true?
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  #2  
Old May 19, '07, 11:51 am
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Angel Bradford Angel Bradford is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

It is true. My brother is a diocesan priest, while they do get a small pension and social secuirty when they retire at age 70, they are pretty much on their own. Many continue as priests in residence helping out in parishes so it's like they never really retire.
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  #3  
Old May 19, '07, 11:56 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

yes. the priests pay into social security and medicare, and there is often but not always if not a pension plan per se, a 501.3 (like a 401k) retirement plan, which is optional. there is usually a plan for priests and another for lay diocesan employees. convetional pension plans are getting more costly to administer so the alternative, like a "group IRA" is becoming more common. The employee can contribute into up to a certain percentage of salary, defined by IRS, and the diocese may or may not match 3-5 percent. Other than that, whether or not the priest or other employee can purchase medicare part B on the diocesan health plan is up to the plan. some dioceses do have retirement homes but that is not a general thing. In general the priest is responsible for his own retirement savings and living arrangements. In addition, many priests have been supporting parents or other aged or disabled relatives as well. But no, the diocese does not take on the costs of supporting retired priests (or sisters).
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  #4  
Old May 19, '07, 12:38 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

That is why at many churches you will see a collection about once a year, for retirement homes for religious. A visiting priest explained to us last year how hard it was for some to be taken care with many needs. I suppose it their family had money and left it to them it would help, but not many have that.
I don't know how it works in communities like the Franciscans in New York...they have a poverty rule and rely on outsiders for almost everything.
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  #5  
Old May 22, '07, 6:45 pm
rtconstant rtconstant is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

That's actually pretty depressing.
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  #6  
Old May 24, '07, 10:19 am
Titus Titus is offline
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Cool Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

On a more positive note there are various options for retired/ elderly clergy- 1) retired clergy houses- there are a few of these in London, and the clergy live together and are cared for by lay staff/ volunteers/ nuns 2) individually, priests may become chaplains to nunneries or convents, and the sisters care for them. That happened to our old Priest in Residence.
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  #7  
Old May 24, '07, 11:55 am
bilop bilop is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

Religious orders take care of their members for life, that's why they can take the vow of poverty, b/c the order guarantees them support.

Many dioceses do have retirement and nursing homes for priests. Also, many parishes and schools have apartments for retired priests where they can live and help out around the parish/school.

I doubt any diocese would leave a retired priest on the street. With the declining number of priests, there is always extra room in some rectories.

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  #8  
Old May 25, '07, 6:31 pm
RevDrNorth RevDrNorth is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtconstant View Post
That's actually pretty depressing.
Yes I agree. Certainly no way to treat clergy who never got rich to begin with. That is why some Priests enjoy serving in the military or Fed Prisons. They can still be priests and retire with a decent pension.

North
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  #9  
Old May 25, '07, 7:27 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

There is a fund that my parish collects annually for this very purpose...ugh...my memory is failing me...anyone know the name of this org?
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  #10  
Old May 26, '07, 4:21 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

I think it is just "religious retirement fund". Here is a link about it.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/sto...ns/0603476.htm

Kind of sad....certainly doesn't help the vocation yearning....join, serve us well and then we'll try to find some place for you later.

I would have to look into it more, but maybe communities like Fr. Groechels keep them "in the fold" unless they need other types of care, but I'm not sure.
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  #11  
Old May 26, '07, 9:32 am
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

Quote:
Originally Posted by debraran View Post
I think it is just "religious retirement fund". Here is a link about it.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/sto...ns/0603476.htm

Kind of sad....certainly doesn't help the vocation yearning....join, serve us well and then we'll try to find some place for you later.

I would have to look into it more, but maybe communities like Fr. Groechels keep them "in the fold" unless they need other types of care, but I'm not sure.
Well...part of the problem is that with diminishing Catholic numbers, it's hard for some Diocese to make ends meet...with just every day expenses. It's highly expensive to house anyone who is elderly in an assisted living faciity. My husband used to sell that type of coverage, and it is very expensive, for anyone....It would be nice to see a separate collection weekly, in every Diocese world wide, for something like this.
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  #12  
Old May 27, '07, 3:30 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

I see your point, but their are less priests too. I would of thought a fund was in place earning money for this, but I'm sure there are a lot of variables. Churches closing, the priest scandal and payouts that were $$$, people living longer, etc.
Maybe as you recommended, a more than once a year collection would help a bit. I remember years ago a priest commenting that the nuns had it hard with illness and retirement for some reason but now it extends to them too. "Maybe' it's that if you were a diocesan priest, you got a stipend and could receive money from friends/relatives, etc. and could save up a little bit.
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  #13  
Old May 27, '07, 4:57 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

the situation for priests, sisters and brothers in religious orders is somewhat different, and the collection for retired religious you refer to does not assist diocesan priests. Its purpose is to pay for retirement care for retired members of religious orders who have nothing in place to care for them. Recall that it was not until the 70s that the working arrangements for these people changed. In the old days we recall with nostalgia, religious in schools, hospitals etc.worked without pay, hence did not contribute to SS Medicare or pension plans. They could expect subsidized housing, food, clothing and medical care from their orders.
They could expect to retire to their convents or monasteries and receive lifetime care, and do light duties as long as possible.

The structure, organization and status of religious orders changed drastically in the very necessary reforms following V2. Religious became employees of the schools, hospitals or other institutions, with set salaries, same deductions as other employees, health care plan etc. This left the older sisters without protection, and in many orders, due to many factors discussed elsewhere, there were no longer any convents to retire to, and no money to support retirees in any case, since the working members often had to find and pay for their own housing and support like any other worker, and their jobs no longer coincided with communal convent life.

The collection for retired religious goes to help these people who in the natural course of time will become a much smaller group.

Diocesan priests are expected, out of their rather modest salary, to not only pay into SS and Medi, contribute to the diocesan plan, but also prudentially make other retirement arrangments like IRAs, and plan for retirement like any worker. Many priests have been criticized for building their own homes, but they are merely using foresight in having a retirement home ready. Many are also supporting parents or other older family members in need as well. So before you criticize a priest for building a substantial savings fund or building a house, stop and think.

I know of no diocese who has anything formal in place for retired priests, although many make places for them in nursing homes or retirement facilities run by the diocese or by religious orders within the diocese. We have a nursing home, but there is limited space. The retired priests who live there, in fact all retired priests I know of, work to their ability often long hours, as chaplains, supply priests, teachers in diocesan formation programs etc., usually for little or no pay due to SS restrictions.
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  #14  
Old May 27, '07, 5:06 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

I was talking to a priest I used to know 20 years ago and he was still working at 67 at a parish...will work as long as he could, something that wasn't the case "in the good old days" when they almost forced you to retire. He told me the saying, "3 squares and a warm bed" was used by some to discribe going into the priesthood, an avenue for some when college or other types of work wasn't forthcoming. He joked the same security can't be given now of a quiet retirement with nun/nurses taking care of you. But he doesn't seem to have regretted it. His friend who is a priest also is having problems seeing and had to retire but with his savings and his parents help I think bought a house earlier and he lives there with help that comes in. If that is paid for by him or the archdiose of his state, I don't know.
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  #15  
Old May 27, '07, 5:48 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Retirement benefits for diocesan priests

You may assume that if you know any retired diocesan priests, their living arrangements are paid out of their own savings, or with assist from family, not by the diocese. One recently deceased monsignior in our former diocese was soundly criticized in the press when his will revealed he had a fortune, but then they found out 1)it was inherited from his family, 2)he had subsidized the parish and school out of his personal funds for years, 3)he had secretly been supporting the retired nuns of the order who staffed the parish school almost single-handedly, 4)he was supporting several retired diocesan priest friends in private nursing homes. His entire estate when to these endeavors, even though he had relatives who tried to contest his will. He had been criticized in his lifetime because the rectory in that parish is a virtual mansion--in which he lived in a very spartan apartment, but in which also reside the 2 other parish priests, several priests and brothers doing other ministries in the neighborhood, and 2 retired priests.
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