As a young priest, retirement always seemed like it would never happen — age 70 seemed like the distant future. I remember thinking, “How do you retire from being a priest? Do you retire from being a grandfather or a father?”
As I’ve matured and grown in my priestly life, I now see my “retired” brothers not in a sense that they are no longer active in priestly ministry but rather they now enjoy a different stage in priestly life. Most are still very active in the life of the Church — helping in parishes, celebrating Masses, hearing confessions, visiting the sick and serving has a great source of spiritual wisdom and experience.
Many of our retired priests live independently in privately owned homes and, in some cases, in a rectory if space is available. An option that does not exist here is a place to retire in community — to live with brother priests as we age, pray together and offer fraternal support to one another. Regina Cleri is just that — an option to live and pray together, socialize and support one another. In addition, it will provide basic services that are needed — meals, basic health guidance and an environment that allows for ease of physical movement as we age.
The “Together Let us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign is helping us fulfill the dream of establishing Regina Cleri as a place for priests to live in community and be cared for in this important stage of life. It’s a beautiful way for brothers to be together. We are grateful for the love and support the faithful provide for us in our life long journey as priests.