Make Christmas brighter for retired priests

Published: December 20, 2023

En Español

The annual Christmas collection is the primary source of income for the Clergy Welfare Fund, which supports 17 senior (retired) and infirm priests of the Diocese of Little Rock. This special collection will be taken up during all Masses at Catholic parishes in Arkansas on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

"Many of these priests continue a life of service by hearing confessions, praying for parishes and congregations and even substituting in parishes for pastors absent due to vacation or illness," wrote Bishop Anthony B. Taylor in a letter to be read at all Christmas Masses. "Most of our priests work well into their 70s and beyond, caring for the spiritual life and welfare of their people.

"They have given us the gift of their hearts and their lives of service and dedication, let us give them the gift of assurance that their retirement days are spent with dignity and care," he added.

Last Christmas, $623,405.31 was collected, 100 percent of which goes into the Clergy Welfare Fund.

"Your support will help us continue to provide benefits for our retired priests, and build the fund to meet our future obligations," explained Bishop Taylor in his letter. "I appeal to you to join me in supporting this special collection taken up at all Christmas Masses."

The bishop went on to ask for prayers for an "increase in vocations to the priesthood in our diocese, and for happy and healthy retirement for those who have served us so well throughout the years. Pray also for those priests in active ministry who deserve our support, encouragement and care."

 "I pray daily for you and your loved ones. May you receive the peace and joy of Christ this Christmas season and every day of the coming year," he concluded. For more information, contact Dianne Brady, director of the Stewardship and Development Office, at (501) 664-0340.