The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is calling on local parishioners to complete a $14 million fund-raising campaign designed to support young priests in training and older priests in retirement.
more than 110,000 Catholic households in the 12-county Diocese, church
officials are hoping to bring in at least $3.5 million to add to
donations of $10.5 million already raised for the “Our Legacy, Our
Future, Our Hope” campaign.
know the good and gracious people of God share my pride at our priests,
who serve them at every stage of their lives,” said The Rev. Robert
Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse and Apostolic Administrator of the
Rochester Diocese. “We must support these men as much as we can.”
fund will be split with $7 million to support seminarians seeking
ordination to the priesthood. There are 25 seminarians from the
Rochester Diocese currently in school, the largest class in years,
church officials said.
The remaining $7 million will help ensure that senior priests will receive stipends in retirement.
Emeritus Matthew Clark initiated the campaign before his retirement in
As a result, more than 300 families and individuals
contributed more than $10.5 million. Joseph Lobozzo, a Rochester-area
businessman and philanthropist, donated $750,000 to the fund.
served on the Diocese’s Stewardship Council for many years, I’ve been
acutely aware of our struggles to find men who are willing to answer the
call to enter the priesthood,” said Lobozzo. “We need such men to carry
on our faith for the future. Now that we have been blessed with 25 such
men studying to be priests, I believe we have an obligation to that
their education and formation needs are met fully.”
men enter the seminary after graduating from college and may have
student debt to pay.
The cost per seminarian is $40,000 a year during
the six years of required preparation.
Montanaro, 26, a native of Ogden, is in his second year of seminary at
the Theological College at Catholic University in Washington D.C. He is
currently doing his pastoral service at St. Joseph’s Church in Penfield.
take classes, a lot of classes, but seminary is really about a total
human formation necessary for anybody in any kind of ministry,”
“We are sent out to work with real flesh and blood human
beings, people of every age and circumstance, the poor, in hospitals,
in churches, in schools. So I ask every Catholic to pray for priests in
seminary and to support us in any way they can.”
The Diocese is sending videos to area churches in support of the campaign. For more information, go to www.dor.org.