Celebrate and support our retired priests

By Rod Linhares

Since the first Priests Retirement Luncheon in 2011, nearly $2.6 million has been raised for the Priests Retirement Fund. This support helps provide financial security for our retired priests by alleviating their living expenses, health care and extended care costs. It is critical in our ability to care for these special men, and it helps ensure they are cared for in the same way they have cared for us.

In addition to the financial benefits of the Priests Retirement Luncheon, this annual gathering is an expression of gratitude to our retired priests for their lifetime of ministry and service. It is an opportunity for wonderful fellowship – in essence, it is a reunion for our clergy, parishioners and friends.

For many lay persons, it’s a rare chance to spend time with the men who have been such a significant part of their lives – men who have been present in many of our most precious moments, sharing God’s message of love and compassion.

This year’s Priests Retirement Luncheon will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at Patrons Hall on the lower level of St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. The honorees are Father Joseph Bradley and Father Anthony McGuire.

All funds raised in conjunction with this year’s luncheon – and the corresponding collection on the Sept. 23-24 weekend – will be directed to critical renovations and repairs at the Serra Clergy House in San Mateo.

Built in 1954 as part of Serra High School, the Serra Clergy House was designed to be the home for the school’s priest faculty. It was converted to housing for active, independent retired priests in the early 1990s, and only moderate repairs have been undertaken since.

Each of the 12 apartments has a bedroom, sitting room and private bathroom. Common areas include a dining room, living room, library, small meeting and sitting rooms and a chapel.

The safety, security and comfort of our retired priests is paramount, and the building is approaching its 70th year. Correspondingly, it has critical needs. Much of the facility, including the roof, windows and electric panels, is original and must be replaced. Other vital needs include seismic upgrades, installing an alarm system, a new irrigation system, solar panels and providing some type of insulation for the windows, as just a few examples.

We invite you to invest in our retired priests’ safety, security and comfort by supporting the Priests Retirement Fund and/or the Priests Retirement Luncheon. In particular, the luncheon is one of the highlights of the year – join us on Friday, Oct. 13, and celebrate the Archdiocese’s retired clergy!

Contact Rod Linhares ([email protected]) or Rose Marie Wong ([email protected]) for more information.

Visit sfarchdiocese.org/prflunch/ for more information.

Rod Linhares is the director of Mission Advancement for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.