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Archives Collection supports 50 retired priests

December 20, 2023

By Mark T. Mashaw
Diocesan Fiscal Officer

The 40 retired priests of the diocese currently receiving pensions from the Priests’ Retirement Fund will be direct beneficiaries of the generosity of Catholics in the North Country who contribute to their parishes Christmas collection.

Also, 10 priests aged 70 and older who remain active in their ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg are receiving partial retirement benefits.

Your gift this year will help support not only priests currently receiving support from the Priests’ Retirement Fund but also priests who will retire in the future.

This Christmas, parishes will contribute 75% of their Christmas collection to the Priests’ Retirement Fund, with the parish keeping the balance.

While your gift helps pay pensions to retired priests, it also helps the diocese make provisions for pensions for other priests as they retire in the future.

Actuarial studies are performed annually to assure the diocese is preparing for its future obligations to retired priests. The firm of Frank J. Walters Associates, Inc. has determined that adequate provisions are being made in 2023-24 to fund the Plan.

It is the diocese’s goal to provide an annual pension increase when able to do so. On July 1, 2022, an increase of $30 in the monthly benefit paid to retired priests of the diocese became effective. The diocese is currently planning an increase for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Estimated pension payments in this fiscal year amount to approximately $1 million. In addition, 100% of the cost of health insurance for retired priests is funded through the Plan. The 2023-24 fiscal year estimate for this benefit is $250,000.

Retired priests of the diocese receive pensions from the Social Security Administration. Because priests’ income is typically modest, their Social Security benefits are not large, and most priests rely heavily on their diocesan pension for a good portion of their financial support.

The value of investments in the Priests’ Retirement Fund decreased over a one-year period from $9,260,721 on June 30, 2022, to $8,753,850 on June 30, 2023. The diocese’s Investment Advisory Committee, diocesan administration, and the investment portfolio’s investment managers closely monitor monies invested in support of the Plan.

The Priests’ Retirement Fund of the diocese is also assisted through extraordinary gifts. Information about gift opportunities to benefit the Priests’ Retirement Fund is available from the diocese’s Executive Director of the Development Office, Scott Lalone. Scott can be reached in Ogdensburg at (315) 393-2920 or by email at info@rcdony.org.

Your personal generosity to the Christmas collection in your parish will support all retired priests of the diocese and will benefit in the longer term the diocesan religious priests serving you today. Your priests, retired and active, will appreciate your support tremendously!

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