Annual Diocesan Appeal: Support is critical for priests of the diocese
March 23, 2020
Contributions to the Annual Diocesan Appeal are used to support active and retired members of the clergy.
The Diocese of Des Moines pays 100 percent of the health care premiums for all active and retired priests – an expense of more than $700,000 per year. About half of the $700,000 comes from the Diocesan Priests’ Medical Endowment Fund and the remainder of the expense is covered by the ADA.
An additional $60,000 is set aside for the Priests Pension Fund from the ADA. The Priests Pension Fund supports the financial needs of 34 retired priests and two retired bishops of the diocese.
Retired priest Monsignor Ed Hurley, who serves as vicar of finance for the Diocese of Des Moines, said it’s extremely important to support our retired priests.
“These guys work 50 years serving our faith community and they deserve to retire and have their needs taken care of – part of the deal is offering a pension to them,” he said.
Many people may not realize our retired priests continue to serve, despite their “retired” status, he added.
“We really rely on our retired priests for help with coverage,” Monsignor Hurley said. “Most of them are pretty darn busy doing coverage. If you’re halfway healthy, you’re busy. The parishes still rely on you for help.”
Father Larry Hoffmann, co-vicar for retired priests, said the retired priests’ current way of life would not be possible without the generous support of the people of the Diocese of Des Moines. Priests would be in financial trouble without the assistance of the ADA and other generous donors.
“Without help with the cost of healthcare and without the pension, Social Security wouldn’t begin to cover the costs of hardly any of those things,” he said.
“The retired priests are very appreciative and thankful for the ADA so they can care for themselves well into their retirement and not become a burden in other ways,” Father Hoffmann said.
Most people work for many years to enjoy the last few in the comfort of retirement. In the case of our priests, they work until they are 70 if their health remains good.
Please prayerfully consider a gift to the ADA to support our priests in active and retired ministry today. A growing number of aging priests in our diocese require additional funding to ensure the Priests Pension Fund and Priests’ Medical Endowment Fund can meet the full need into the future. Please also prayerfully consider a bequest or beneficiary designation for one or both of these fun