What you don't know about the Clergy Trust

Three times a year, parishes across the archdiocese hold collections to benefit the Clergy Trust. You've probably heard a little bit about the Trust, but there is so much to know! As we prepare for our Easter collection, I thought I'd share with you five interesting facts about the Clergy Trust -- the entity responsible for the healthcare, overall wellness, and retirement needs of all active and senior priests in good standing who are incardinated within the Archdiocese of Boston.

The way we care for our priests is different from most dioceses

In most dioceses, the healthcare benefits and retirement needs of priests are supported and handled internally as a responsibility of the bishop or archbishop. Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Seán O'Malley established and delegated this responsibility to the Clergy Trust as an independent entity, overseen by a lay majority board of trustees to ensure excellent quality of care, full transparency, and fiscal accountability. This unique model allows for us to offer our priests a team that is totally and completely dedicated to their care and support from ordination until they are called home to God.

We don't receive funding from the annual Catholic Appeal

While the independence of the Trust is a strength in many ways, it also means that it is funded independently and does not receive any funding directly from the archdiocese through the Catholic Appeal. Primary funding comes from parish assessments, three parish collections throughout the year at Easter, Christmas, and a special second collection in September. There is also an annual fundraising event each September -- the largest Catholic fundraiser in New England -- called the Celebration of the Priesthood. So, the Clergy Trust relies primarily on the generosity and support of faithful benefactors to carry out our mission.

Clergy Trust operates and funds the Regina Cleri Residence for senior priests

Located in Boston's West End, the Regina Cleri Residence is a home and fraternal community for our senior priests. While most residents are priests who have reached "senior status," there are also six guest rooms dedicated for the respite care of any priest recovering from surgery or other medical issue, as well as for any priest in need of a place to "get away" for a personal retreat for a day or two. Regina Cleri is thriving, filled to capacity with priests, and even holding public noontime Mass every Tuesday and Thursday. This June, we will be celebrating Regina Cleri's 60th anniversary of serving our senior priests.

We are on the leading edge of care for priests in the United States

The services and support Clergy Trust provides our priests are vast and multi-faceted, all focused on their daily and overall wellness to ensure they can continue their vocation in an effective and meaningful way. We truly believe that "healthier priests build stronger communities" so we make a concerted effort to offer innovative programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle, including proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise, as well as preventative programs to address high blood pressure, diabetes, and weight management. We also provide all priests with access to legal resources through an elder care attorney along with advice and support around proactive financial planning. We are also extremely cognizant of emotional wellness and offer our priests a great network of professionals who specialize in the care of clergy. The Care Team that creates, implements, and maintains these programs and oversees the Regina Cleri Residence includes a registered nurse, certified wellness coach, a licensed clinical social worker, and a licensed nursing home administrator. The concept of caring for priests so that they are at their best to care for their communities of faith is a core operating principle of the Clergy Trust.

Our Team acts as an extension of family for many of our priests

The Clergy Trust team is made up of business and healthcare professionals with deep experience and domain knowledge and who genuinely care for the priests they serve. Members of the team who work directly with the priests become more like an extension of their family, often accompanying them on medical appointments, checking in on them and helping them navigate health issues, and working with their family or healthcare proxies to ensure proper care and recuperation.

Providing for the needs of our priests is one of the most important things we can do as a Catholic community. Especially in today's world, being a priest can be somewhat lonely, particularly when it comes to personal matters involving physical and emotional health. Our Clergy Trust Team serves as a comprehensive system of support for any and all needs that our priests may face.

Our priests help us live our faith, they bring Christ's presence to our communities, and they are there for us whenever we need them. Through your generosity to this year's Easter collection, you can help Clergy Trust be there for them.


- Mike Scannell is Executive Director of the Archdiocese of Boston's Clergy Trust.