Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 23, 2007
Priests' fund allows us to say 'Thank you'
St. Joseph's Priests' Retirement Fund annual collection set for April 29
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"The priests have supported the Catholic people in their journey of faith."
- Msgr. John Hamilton
"But we still need over a half a million bucks."
The goal is to raise between $250,000 to $300,000 during the upcoming parish collection, know as the Good Shepherd Campaign.
"And if we have a successful collection again this year and next year, we'll be fully funded," Wroblewski said.
"The collection is certainly a big help to us and every year people have just responded marvelously," Hamilton said. "So we are not pushing the fact that we want them to dig deeper; we are so grateful for whatever we get. We are so appreciative that people value what we do for them and that they want to help us in our retirement years."
There are 41 priests currently drawing from the retirement fund. While most are getting a full pension of $1,550 a month, some, those who are over 65 but are still active in ministry, get a partial pension of $500 a month from the fund. Hamilton is 68, but since he is still active as pastor at Sherwood Park, he receives $500 a month from the fund on top of his pastor's salary.
Hamilton and Wroblewski think it's still too early to say whether the annual collection will be discontinued once the liability is paid down. "I'm not too sure I can answer that, but you know income tax was just a temporary measure," Hamilton laughed. "We may draw that deficit down to zero but other considerations may come into play at that time so we don't know for sure."
Wroblewski agreed. "(After the fund is stabilized) it may not be necessary to continue holding the collection but as more and more priests retire we are going to need housing for them," he warned. "And Villa Vianney can only hold nine priests so we may have to look at other means."
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