This past weekend, our diocese had a second collection to further fund the St. Joseph Society, which is the clergy retirement fund for the priests of the Diocese of Cheyenne. The fund was established in 1961 by Bishop Hubert Newell to provide financial assistance to the senior priests of the Diocese of Cheyenne who were retired, disabled, or in poor health. The Society Fund continues to provide an important means of financial support for our senior priests today.
At present, we have sixteen priests who are drawing support from the St. Joseph Society, and several more priests will retire in the coming years. (The present annual benefit paid out is around $430,000) Thus, it is important to continue to make sure as a diocese we can provide our retired priests with the necessary financial support they need to meet their basic needs.
During their active ministry, our priests are provided a comfortable residence, an adequate salary, medical coverage, and meals. However, when they retire, they are to provide for these needs on their own, other than medical coverage. Because of their meager income through their wage earning years, Social Security and personal savings, and Mass stipends are not enough. They need the help of the Church to continue to meet their basic living expenses.
There may be some confusion regarding the St. Joseph Society and the “”other” annual collection taken up for “Retired Religious”. The St. Joseph Society is strictly to meet the needs of the priests who serve our local diocese. The annual Religious Retirement collection is a national collection that goes to meet the needs of religious communities throughout the US in providing for their retired sisters, brothers, and priests.
So, if perhaps you were not in the diocese this past weekend and missed this important collection, or if you are simply looking for a good “end of the year” tax deductible, charitable giving opportunity, here is your chance. You can simply go to our Diocesan Website and press the DONATE button for the St. Joseph Society and make a contribution on-line. Or, you may send a check to the Diocese of Cheyenne, or, simply include an envelope in your local parish collection this coming weekend. Please make checks out to the St. Joseph Society, and not to the Diocese.
We have a great group of priests across the diocese. They are very generous in the gift of their lives and their ministry in meeting the spiritual needs of our people. Let’s be sure to keep them in our prayers, and give them our support in their retirement years. Thank you for your generosity!