Clergy Trust is comprised of four individual trust funds:
- The Clergy Benefit Funding Trust
- The Clergy Medical/Hospitalization Trust
- The Clergy Retirement Trust
- The Regina Cleri Trust
These Trusts finance the health, wellness, and retirement benefits of all active and senior priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) who are in good standing.
Effective July 1, 2010, Clergy Trust was established with an independent Board of Trustees comprised of local business leaders and members of the clergy who oversee the Trusts. Clergy Trust is managed on a daily basis by an Executive Director and staff at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.
Currently, there are 528 diocesan priests in good standing (325 active and 203 senior) in the Archdiocese who are eligible for benefits.
“Senior priests” refers to priests who are no longer on active assignment within the Archdiocese. Although priests may request senior status beginning at age 75, we do not refer to them as “retired” because many continue to serve in ministry and fulfill their lifelong commitment to their vocation well past the age of 75.
While many priests take a less active position in their senior years, they still fulfill an important role in enriching the spiritual life of their local community. They celebrate Mass at parishes throughout the Archdiocese when called upon, bring Holy Communion to the housebound and sick, and offer an ongoing source of wisdom and support to those that they encounter throughout all of their daily activities.
Senior priests at Regina Cleri are also on-call 24-hours a day for Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as a visible sign of God’s presence among us during life’s joys and sorrows. This ministry is valued deeply by patients and their families who turn to their priests during some of life’s most critical circumstances when support is most needed.
Three annual parish collections (at Easter, Christmas, and in September), as well as the annual Celebration of the Priesthood event comprise 60% of the funding for Clergy Trust. The remaining 40% of the funds come from a medical insurance assessment for all active priests, paid for by the parish or organization to which they are assigned.
Benefits available to eligible diocesan priests include: medical and dental coverage; a Comprehensive Emotional Wellness Program; support and maintenance of the Regina Cleri Residence; stipends, housing and retreat allowances for senior priests.
In 2008, Cardinal Seán O’Malley made the financial stabilization of Clergy Trust one of his top priorities. Clergy Trust is managed in a fiscally responsible way to allow for current and future sustainability. Through continued fiscal discipline, Clergy Trust seeks to generate a surplus that will allow it to fund future benefits for our retired priests and continue to keep our promises to all priests.
Stability of Clergy Trust was made possible by a variety of factors. The use of government programs to which all priests are entitled, such as Medicare and Medicaid, reduced overall expenses significantly. The addition of a third collection in September as well as the annual Celebration of the Priesthood event also increased the revenue.