One of the greatest strengths of our Archdiocese is the priests who have dedicated their lives to serving God and our community of faith through their priestly vocations. They gave up family to serve God’s people. So now, we must come forward, as a family would, to care for them in their senior years. Priests’ salaries have always been very low. Many could not have saved the full amount required to provide for an appropriate retirement. And, in fact, few priests ever fully retire. They continue to serve the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile by exercising their priestly vocation for as long as they are physically able.
The Catholic faithful have long been noted for their loyal support for the priests who have baptized and taught their children, preached the Gospel, presided at their weddings, comforted them in their sufferings, forgiven their sins and celebrated the Eucharist. Many labor tirelessly in the Lord’s vineyard, living lives of service and sacrifice. At a certain point in life, however, even the most tireless of servants needs an opportunity to rest from his labors.
In order to meet the retirement and healthcare needs of our clergy, the Generations of Faith – Endowing Our Future with Hope campaign will raise $9,000,000 in support of the Priest Retirement Endowment.
Costs & Impact of Priests
Seminarians and our parish priests are great blessings, but one of the key challenges we face today is the cost of their education and retirement. As an Archdiocese, we need to make supporting the education of our future priests a priority. Additionally, we need to assure our priests a comfortable retirement after the many years of service. Below is a summary of costs for educating a seminarian and caring for a retired priests.
Our resources have been outpaced by His blessing and we must be proactive in our approach when preparing for the future. Let us be sure that no calling from God to the priesthood will be held up for financial reasons. Through our generous support of our priests, we are investing in the sacramental life of our children, our children’s children, and generations of faith to come.
Today, the Catholic population in our Archdiocese totals more than 87,000. We currently have 57 active archdiocesan priests, supplemented by 36 extern and religious order priest serving the faithful. In 2017 these priests baptized 1,095 infant and minors and 129 adults, shared the eucharist for the first time during 1,237 first communions, sealed the grace of the Holy Spirit during 919 confirmations, presided over the marriage of 282 couples, and proclaimed Christ’s victory over death at the funerals of 593 faithful departed. Below is a table that shows the impact of a priest related to sacraments over an average career of 40 years.