Collection for retired diocesan priests April 24-25
The annual second collection to serve the needs of retired diocesan priests will be taken up in all churches of the Archdiocese of New Orleans April 25-26.
That weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday – the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The Gospel reading from John has Jesus speaking of himself as the “good shepherd.”
Since the collection was begun in 2007, it has raised nearly $1.8 million to help defray retirement costs for diocesan priests. Last year’s collection raised $232,000.
There are 50 retired diocesan priests, many of whom remain active in celebrating Masses, funerals and hearing confessions in parishes.
Two of the retired priests are archbishops – Archbishops Francis B. Schulte and Alfred C. Hughes. The retired clergy also includes former Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Carmon.
Msgr. Terry Becnel said he purposely did not commit himself to any sacramental ministry for a few months after his July 2014 retirement, but he has since helped out at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Hahnville and at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Luling.
“It’s been wonderful,” Msgr. Becnel said. “You don’t have to worry about going to any meetings, but you can still do the things you were ordained to do. I’m retired, but I’m still a priest.”
Msgr. Becnel even had time last week to take the first cruise of his life – to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.
“I’ve heard people say they don’t want to go because they’ll feel all locked up, but it was tremendous,” he said.
Father Patrick Williams, vicar general of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said active priests would be stretched thin in fulfilling the sacramental needs of the archdiocese without the ministry of retired diocesan priests.
Father Otis Young, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Covington and chair of the Priestly Life and Ministry Committee, said many parishes with multiple weekend Masses would have difficulty offering the Eucharist so frequently without retired priests as celebrants.
Who are the retired priests?
The other retired diocesan priests are Father Joseph Benson, Father Ronald Braud, Father H.L. Brignac, Father Paul D. Calamari, Father Charles J. Caluda, Father Francis Carabello, Father Jerry Dabria, Father Joseph de Water, Father Danilo Digal, Msgr. James Dixon, Msgr. Charles Duke.
Father J. Luis Fernandez, Father Francis Ferrié, Father John P. Finn, Father Bernard Francis, Msgr. T. Gaspard Glasgow, Father Adrian Hall, Msgr. Lawrence Hecker, Father Carroll Heffner, Father H. Brian Highfill, Father John Hinton, Father Patrick J.R. Kennedy, Msgr. Louis LeBourgeois, Father Raul Venust Lobo, Msgr. J. Anthony Luminais, Father William McGough, Father Leo Meyer.
Father Brendan Morgan, Father Dominic Huyen Duc Nguyen, Father William O’Donnell, Father Michael O’Neill, Father Denver Pentecost, Father Denzil Perera, Father Vincent Qui, Msgr. Allen Roy, John Sax, Father James Schott, Father Anthony Serio, Father David Texada, Father Curtis Thomas, Msgr. John Tomasovich, Father Joseph Tranchina, Father Paul Trinchard, Father Jules Vitte, Father John Baptist Han Vu and Father Anthony J. White.