A few weeks ago, there was a question and answer about why Transfiguration is not getting their own pastor as I move into retirement. Several people mentioned they missed that particular Q&A, so here it is again.
Put most succinctly, we do not have enough priests to continue life, as we have known it.
Our Diocese has 64 parishes or clusters needing a Pastor; some of these parishes and clusters include so many churches—or are so large—that an assisting priest is needed. Only 38 of our Pastors are younger than 70.
Our diocesan clergy are aging, and the number of those being ordained does not equal the number of priests moving into retirement (senior priest status), getting seriously sick, or dying. The diocese currently has 55 priests under the age of 70. There are 32 priests between the ages of 70 and 75, although some of these are not able to minister. There are 54 over age 75, some of them still in active ministry. There are 59 diocesan priests currently retired (senior status). I will join this group at 6:00 PM on June 29. “Senior status” is similar to what the rest of us society calls retirement, I don’t care for title. I prefer to be referred to as active in retirement. Priests who are retired choose where, how, and when they want to minister. The Bishop does not appoint them to particular ministries or parishes.
I hope I can be as generous as other retired priest are supporting those priests in active ministry and allows parish communities to have Masses when assigned priests are sick or away for vacations or retreats.
Blessings in 2021!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,