Annual Catholic Appeal

Update by Jim Morgan, Coordinator

Hi everyone.

As of May 18, 2021 our pledges to the Bishop’s Appeal has reached a total of $48,928 which is 75% of our goal of $65,000. That means that we have 7 more months to raise an additional $16,072.  I thank everyone who has contributed and hope that we as a Parish can continue each week to increase our totals so that we can reach our goal.

This month I would like to talk about the Diocese’s role in caring for retired priests.  Most parishioners are very much aware of the shortage of priests in America but few are aware of what happens when a priest reaches the retirement age.

Upon retirement a priest in the Trenton Diocese has the option of living with their family, living in a Parish Rectory, living on their own, or living at Villa Vianney.

The complex at Villa Vianney (named after St. John Vianney the Patron Saint of Parish Priests) is located in Lawrenceville, NJ and opened its doors in 1995 with 19 living units.  The facility was expanded in 2011 with the addition of 17 more units or suites (13,250 sq. ft.) at a cost of four million dollars. In addition to the living units which consist of a living room, bedroom and bathroom, the complex has a beautiful garden area for meditation, prayer and contemplation.  There is also a chapel, various community sitting rooms, and a dining area for use by the residents. The Diocese, through donations such as the Bishop’s Appeal, subsidizes the rent for the priests who chose to live there.

Two names which I am sure many of St. Mary parishioners will remember chose Villa Vianney as a place to live after their retirement, Bishop John Smith, the 9th Bishop of the Trenton Diocese, lived there until his death in June 2019. Bishop Smith was famously known for his extensive library at Villa Vianney as he was a lover of books. Our own retired priest Father Mike Burns is a current resident of Villa Vianney.  I have talked with Father Mike on several occasions and he is very happy there.

Most priests upon their retirement continue to assist in the diocese by covering Masses and  helping out with Church

business whenever possible

A big projected problem in the future, however, is the fact that over the next ten years the number of priests who retire will become even greater each year and thus more living facilities will need to be built which will cost millions of dollars.

Thanks and I will give you another update towards the end of June.