Many priests in our Diocese, who have dedicated their lives to minister to the faithful, are approaching retirement age or are already drawing upon their retirement benefits.
Their years of service laid the foundation for our current lived expression of faith and religious practices. Our priests built and renovated parishes, evangelized in all of the regions of our diocese, and nurtured many ministries vital to thelife of the diocesan community.
And now as our elderly priests enter this stage of their life, they often experience ongoing challenges that require added care and atention. Currently, in addition tot he funding received formthepriests' retirement programs, there is an annual expense in excess of $200,000 to supplement gaps in Medicare health care insurance for retired priests that must be covered.
Our goal in this area of funding is to establish a restricted endowment fund to assist with the medical costs of ouraged and retired priests during severe illness. With an aging priesthoodin our Diocese, the potential for more priests becoming dependent on this fund increases each year. An infusion of $4,000,0000 to this fund from our campaign will provide the nedessary assistance to those priests in need for the forseable future.