Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
At the center of our faith is the conviction that God loves us and calls us to love one another. God gives us a sign of his love and affection by giving us priests who serve as our spiritual fathers. They lead our parishes. They offer us support and encouragement in times of need. So often, without thinking of themselves, they serve with great generosity the people entrusted to their care. Now, this weekend we have an opportunity to express our gratitude for this gift that we have received. We will take up a special collection to support the priests who have supported us across our lifetime. This collection benefits both our active and retired priests and is directed to the Priests’ Retirement and Mutual Aid Association (PRMAA).
The PRMAA supports our 500 active and 225 retired diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago. PRMAA provides for the healthcare needs of our active priests as well as the medical and housing needs of our retired priests. This is the only collection that supports the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is separate and distinct from other initiatives for retired religious order priests, sisters, and brothers.
The active priests of the Archdiocese serve throughout Cook and Lake counties by proclaiming the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and offering a shepherd’s care to our faith communities. Many retired priests continue to serve in their own way and have become indispensable resources for our communities. The health and well-being of all our priests are integral to their ability to work for us and serve our growth in faith.
Join me, then, in making a generous contribution to this weekend’s second collection to support our priests. Let it be a sign of gratitude to them and to the Lord for the priestly ministry which has benefited all of us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Blasé Cardinal Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago