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Retired priests grateful for support

Local

Retired priests in the Archdiocese are “very grateful” for the ongoing support they receive from parishioners, according to the convenor of the Senior Priests’ Group, Monsignor John Swann.

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Retired for the past 11 years, Mgr Swann, who is also a member of the Clergy Care Council, told The Southern Cross the establishment of the Archdiocese’s Priests Retirement Foundation was a blessing for priests in their ‘twilight’ years.

“COVID has highlighted the importance of ongoing care and support for priests’ welfare, and shows how reliant we are on people’s regular giving,” he said.

“Retired priests are very lucky in this diocese that our health care and accommodation is paid for by the Foundation, and that we have the security knowing that we will be cared for in our old age.”

The Priests Retirement Foundation was established to ensure all priests receive the accommodation, health care and support they need in their retirement. All donations are tax deductible.

Currently there are 25 priests in the Archdiocese who have passed the retirement age of 75.

Mgr Swann said some of these priests –including Mgr Bob Rice, Mgr Rob Egar and Fr Bob Wilkinson – continued to be active in their ministry and were supporting parishes in various capacities, while others were less able to due to ill health.

Now living in Kapunda, Mgr Swann, 86, is another priest who continues to serve, celebrating one or two Masses every Sunday and a couple of weekday Masses in the Northern Light parish, while also the chaplain for Gleeson College.

Ordained 63 years ago, his ministry has taken him to parishes in Mount Gambier, Parkside, the Adelaide Hills, Tranmere and Kapunda and for 20 years he served in family welfare services for the Archdiocese.

Chaplain for the local Teams movement for the past 44 years, Mgr Swann said many members would be taking time on Sunday September 6 (Father’s Day) to honour the important role fathers play in the family unit.

“One of the roles of Teams is to help people fully appreciate what it is to be a mother and a father and a lot of that comes from sharing stories and experiences, which is one of the valuable things about the groups,” he said.

To make a tax deductible donation to the Priests Retirement Foundation go to www.adelaide.catholic.org.au or email jjuniper@adelaide.catholic.org.au or phone 8210 8223.

For information about Teams, email Petra Ball at petrajaneball@gmail.com

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