Sunday, March 09, 2014

From Opus Bono Sacerdotii: Your Priest for Lent

Work for the Good of the Priesthood
     I am 82 years old tomorrow.  I live alone at the home of my parents in a rural area of the Midwest far from any major city.  Because of my deteriorating health, I can no longer work as a supply priest at the local parish, which is in the small town twenty miles north of here.  I don’t dare drive anymore because of my weakening eyesight.  Thank God I memorized the Mass from all my years as a priest. As a pastor, my meager salary from the poor parish I ministered to was used for a few personal expenses and then I always gave the rest away to the needy families who would come knocking at the back door of the rectory begging for food.  That’s the way it was in those days you know, we never thought of retirement.  Thank God I am still able to pray the Liturgy of Hours, offer my daily Holy Mass, pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and do you know, I still remember every single hymn that we would sing for Holy Mass at my parish! 
    When we were young priests, we opted out of Mr. Kennedy’s Social Security program so others that needed the help more could benefit from it.  There was never any pension of course.  I saved nothing for myself.  My diocese can only give me a little help, I don’t dare ask the pastor of my parish, they’re too poor there.  Now I have to beg.  I’m the beggar at the back door now.  It’s an embarrassment and a scandal.  I don’t want to scandalize anyone, but I need a little help.  I’m a Catholic priest, and I know that doesn’t mean much nowadays, but when I was a boy, I think it meant something more.  I still remember my Dad paying for lunch for a priest he didn’t even know.  He said, “Johnny, that’s a man of God, you owe him respect. Even if he’s not perfect, which he isn’t Johnny, he’s still God’s man and we have to take care of God’s men.”  I miss my father. 
     If you can, please donate to Opus Bono Sacerdotii so they can help me, and my brother priests who are hurting so much at this time.  You can get a tax deduction too because they are a non-profit.  Joe Maher is the president and you can contact him yourself.  All they do is help us priests – thank God!
-Father John
Opus Bono Sacerdotii
411 North Oxford Road, Suite 663
Oxford, MI 48371
Joe Maher
Opus Bono Sacerdotii
P.O. Box 663, Oxford, MI 48371-0663   P 313.937.6305