i am not sure why I have always assumed that priests have benefits in the same sense as those of us who work but I am now having some doubts. If anyone knows, I would appreciate your sharing.

  1. Is health insurance provided by the diocese?
  2. What “retirement” plan is available to them?
  3. Since priests take a vow of poverty, how do they support themselves in retirement?

I know retired priests will say masses when needed and are given a stipend, of sorts. I know there are retirement communities for priests (or that welcome retired priests) but I am not sure who incurs the cost.

I am also interested in how this us handles for our nuns, deacons, etc.

Most diocesan priests are provided basic health insurance, which may even include dental and/or vision care. Since diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty (they are encouraged to live simply however) it is up to them to provide for their own retirement. Since priests do not have dependents such as a spouse and children, and usually do not have to pay for their own housing if they live in the rectory, I think it might be easier to put aside some funds for retirement.

Dioceses and religious orders are obligated to support their priests/members - especially the aged and infirm. So diocesan priests’ health care needs are taken care of by their diocese (the same goes for members of religious orders). Retirement is often to a presbytery/rectory as a “priest in residence” (or, if they have one, to a house they own themselves) while they are able to take care of themselves and, after this, to a rest home (some dioceses have retirement homes specifically for priests). Retired priests continue to receive a stipend from their dioceses as well as whatever extra they get for saying masses / funerals and whatever state pensions they’re entitled to.

The priests in my diocese have a retirement fund, health insurance, a free place to live (rectory), plus each priest receives a $30K- $35k salary/stipend each year.

Regina’s point is also true for my diocese. It is difficult to generalize. Salaries differ widely, as do benefits. My diocese even pays retirement stipends to FORMER priests and religious (including women) who served for a minimum of 20 years. For the record, the benefits priests get here are far better than those provided by my university employer…

*]Almost Always
*]Usually, there’s some sort of fund that is set up for the diocese to support priests in their retirement.
*]Diocesean priests do not take a vow of poverty. Those that do live in a community, so the community cares for them.
Hope that helps.

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