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Shepherds of Hope
The Diocese is blessed that young men are answering God’s call to a Priestly vocation, but we recognize that the costs to educate a seminarian have increased 98 percent in the last ten years. Additionally, retiring priests who have served us so well deserve a dignified and modest retirement for their years of dedicated service.
-The Most Rev. Thomas. J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence
We are blessed. For generations, God has blessed us with talented men of faith to lead us in love, to nourish us by His word and to renew the Church with His Sacraments. Since the establishment of the Diocese of Providence in 1872, the parish priest has been central to the daily spiritual growth of individual Catholics. We come to know him and share our lives with him.
In the next decade, 40 percent of the present active priests will be 70+ years of age and within 15 years, the number jumps to 50 percent. The projected percentage of retired priests in relation to total priests is a cause for significant concern.
Ensuring the well-being of the men who have served the Lord so loyally during their lives as Priests has always been a priority for our Diocese. Since its establishment in 1972, the Our Lady, Queen of Clergy Pension Fund has provided retired priests an adequate pension. Ironically, the endowment was funded through the savings generated for the Diocese by those same priests who worked for modest salaries. This fund has been supplemented throughout the years by an annual Priests’ Retirement collection that, for the past three years, has generated approximately $360,000 per year.
We are facing a critical moment in our diocesan history. Simultaneously, the percentage of priests retiring and the number of young men preparing to be priests are increasing. With these increases come new responsibilities. To meet these responsibilities will require the infusion of substantial funds so that vital ministries can flourish and we can continue to serve the Catholic population of the Diocese of Providence.