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Does a priest ever retire?

Does a priest ever retire?

We unpacked our meager belongings after returning the U-Haul and plugged the landline phone into the wall- well before cell phones. I took the receiver off the hook and the dial tone signaled that we had our own phone number, our own address, and our own home.

“The phone works!” I said to my bride, ready to start our life together.

“Oh good, I want to call my Mom. I need to ask her how to cook rice.”

“When you’re done, let me know. I want to ask your Dad about the garage door opener.”

Just because we had our own place didn’t mean we didn’t still rely on our parents. Do parents ever retire, actually?

For that matter, does a priest ever retire?

“You never retire from the priesthood,” one priest explained. “You retire from administration, but not from the priesthood.”

The term “retired priests” is a bit of a misnomer, then. Retired priests still say Mass. They still hear confessions. “I’ve got a wedding this Saturday, and on Sunday I’m doing a baptism.” Clearly, he was still devoted to his former parishioners. “I couldn’t say ‘no’ to the family. I’ve known them for years.” Just as active in celebrating the sacraments in his retirement as when he ran a mid-sized parish in the suburbs, this “Retired Priest” was still an important part of the community.

“I don’t know any priest that doesn’t want to continue being involved in the Priestly Ministry.” Gr. Gerald Haemmerle serves at St. Leonard in Dayton.

“It’s been a great life and I hope I have some more time left to contribute.”

Right now, more than 100 retired priests serve the Archdiocese despite being retired from the administration of a parish.

The CMA helps support them in their retirement.

Click HERE to learn how the CMA supports Retired Archdiocesan Priests & Senior Clergy.