Our Legacy, Our Future, Our Hope






Support the education of our seminarians

Currently, the Diocese of Rochester has 25 seminarians and pre-seminarians studying for the priesthood. The Diocese had as few as four in 2007. We are truly blessed to have these men stepping forward to answer God’s call to serve.

The Diocese believes that financial impediments should not stand in the way of young men willing to respond to their call to the priesthood. The average cost to educate a seminarian at the graduate level today is about $40,000 per year – a cost shouldered by the Diocese.

As the number of seminarians and pre-seminarians dramatically rises in our Diocese, the cost of the vital obligation of educating these men also increases. in 2012/2013, the costs exceeded funds set aside for seminary education by approximately $400,000. in order to continue attracting outstanding applicants and give them the best training and education possible, this fundraising initiative aims to raise $7 million to supplement our seminary education funds.

Help Care for our Retired priests

The Catholic faithful have long been noted for their loyal support of the priests who have baptized and taught their children, preached the gospel, presided at their weddings, comforted them in their sufferings, forgiven their sins, and week after week celebrated the eucharist. at a certain point in life, however, even the most tireless of servants needs an opportunity to rest from his labors. The ordinary retirement age for our Diocesan priests is 70, though many serve well beyond.

All incardinated priests in the Diocese participate in a non-qualified defined benefit pension plan that provides a maximum monthly benefit of $1,200 at age 70 with 30 years of service. This amount is well below the national average of $1,600 and significantly below many of our neighboring dioceses. We have a moral obligation to provide adequately for the welfare of our priests during their retirement.

Photos by Mike Crupi/Catholic Courier

Due to shifting demographics and recent market trends, the priest pension trust is now underfunded. in order to meet the anticipated needs of our retired priests, including occasional cost of living increases in their monthly benefits, the trust requires an infusion of $7 million from this special fund-raising initiative.