Each Easter, we ask for your support of our priests -- the many wonderful men who answered God's call to this vocation so that they could help bring each of us closer to him.
I am honored to have joined the archdiocese earlier this year to serve as executive director of Clergy Trust, which provides on-going care and support for the health, well-being, and retirement needs of 536 active and senior priests in good standing across the Archdiocese of Boston.
Growing up and living in West Roxbury, the priests at St. Theresa and Holy Name Parishes played a prominent role in the important milestones of my life -- teaching me about my faith, administering the Holy Sacraments, and providing comfort and solace when loved ones passed away. As one of six siblings, much of my childhood involved activities at St Theresa. Priests helped to shape the education I received during my high school and college years. As I began to raise my own family, my appreciation grew as I witnessed the faith and values that our priests were helping to instill in my children. I continue to gain a greater appreciation for the multitude of ways these men of God serve and support our community. From anointing COVID patients to connecting with at-risk teens, from providing spiritual guidance to our troops to leading service trips, from advocating for social justice to defending the rights of the defenseless -- our Catholic priests continue to have a positive impact on our communities in countless ways.
The past year has rekindled an appreciation in many of us for the importance of our faith and the role of the Church in our lives. As the pandemic began to spread, when many of us most needed solace and spiritual renewal, our churches were forced to close their doors. Yet our priests and parishes never stopped serving us even when we were unable to gather in person. They found ways -- online Masses, outdoor Masses, drive-up blessings -- to continue to serve our religious needs and keep us close to the presence of God. With our churches now open, we look forward to a return to normalcy and reinvigorated communities as we thank our priests for their perseverance throughout the past year.
Keeping our priests healthy keeps our communities healthy. Never has this been more important than during a pandemic. With 536 priests across the archdiocese, the needs are significant. Donations to Clergy Trust help to fund the Intentional Living Program, which provides preventative health and wellness programs for active and senior priests. Navigating today's healthcare system can be a daunting task for even the most sophisticated patient. Clergy Trust's Dedicated Care Team provides one-on-one support to priests experiencing health concerns, enabling them to locate and receive the specific care they need. In addition to keeping our active priests healthy and well, Clergy Trust funds the Regina Cleri Community for senior priests, where more than 57 priests are able to continue living their faith in community.
Each Easter, we ask for your support of our priests -- the many wonderful men who answered God's call to this vocation so that they could help bring each of us closer to him. Donations to Clergy Trust ensure that we can care for the health and well-being of those who care for us.
Your support of our Easter collection -- by responding to the letter you receive at home, going online at clergytrust.org, or using the envelope enclosed in this paper -- will help us continue this important work. I hope you will join me this Easter in supporting the wonderful priests across our archdiocese who have done so much for us, our families, and our communities. May God bless you and all those who faithfully serve our Church.
- Mike Scannell is Executive Director of the Archdiocese of Boston's Clergy Trust.
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