Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Winter Appeal


Eastern Bluebirds in snow

Someone was surprised to learn recently that the retreat house here is not supported financially by the Catholic Church. This guest even thought the Pauca Verba blog was the work of a diocese, underwritten by a bishop. O my goodness, no! The retreat house is kept alive by my Social Security check, the few retreats that come here and the now and again sharing of benefactors. Pauca Verba is my own creation and work. I don't receive anything from the Church. 

Then the fellow kindly asked, "Can I help then?" Yes, of course, and I'd be so grateful. We're all familiar with the litany of home and property costs, and this place is no different: oil and electric, summer lawn cutting and winter plowing, insurance, building maintenance. I even pay taxes, as removing 56 acres from the tax rolls wouldn't be appreciated by the folks who live in this remote area. Even the extra costs of keeping a chapel open are not insignificant: cases of wine and candles...

So at years end if there are folks out there who'd care to help keep the place and its work going - your gift would be very much appreciated. The retreat house remains a 501C3 organization, so a gift is tax deductible.

Christ of the Hills Retreat House
P.O. Box 55
Lakewood, PA 18439

I send a blessing, good wishes, my prayer and my thanks.
Father Stephen Morris

13 comments:

  1. Abomination that the Church does not support your work or you! Would it helped if my family and friends lobbied Bishop Murphy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A priest may retire at age 73 and must retire at 75. I got my bishop to allow me to retire at 62 for my own reasons. I'd be receiving a priest salary were I to take a parish in the diocese. So please don't lobby the bishop - it wouldn't help. But thank you for your concern.

      Delete
  2. I will pray that you find the generosity of heart that you seek. May God continue to shine his light upon you and your work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why is it that you are left on your own? Doesn't the Catholic Church provide for their priests?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Church provides for its priests, yes, but I've asked to retire early, albeit with a bishop's reluctant permission. Bishops want their priests doing parish work in the diocese, especially with the priest shortage. I pressed sufficiently to be allowed to return to my retreat house. And while I remain a priest in good standing, I can't access my retirement account, such as it is, until at least 73. I wouldn't expect more from a bishop.

      Delete
  4. I must do something for your ministry. It has been feeding me over the past few months. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You must certainly believe in the work you do to give up a parish position while you still had to wait for your retirement funds. Godspeed and may people find it in their hearts to support you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do believe in this work. Priesthood has to take many forms today as the world has changed rapidly and people (especially young people) are not sitting in churches waiting for the priest to take over and make it happen for them. The priest has to find a new way to connect. It happened in France during what's called the Priest Worker Movement, when priests worked in factories - men having given up on Catholicism lived out in parish life. That movement was shut down in the 60's.

      Delete
  6. I think you are a wonderful priest and life guide. I am happy that you have enlightened us regarding your situation. I would bet that most people who read your blog are unaware that some priests who have taken an independent path are not given church funding and do rely on the generosity of benefactors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pope Francis has said, "The problem is not atheism but that we have not satisfied the thirst people have for God and so they have gone elsewhere." I understand that. Our church is spending itself, exhausting itself in the maintenance of a very expensive parish system that is often not satisfying the thirst of people. The costs of maintaining huge and old buildingsis astronomical. If we put that money and effort into reaching people in creative ways with a real spiritual message....When I was a young priest in 1979 I'd sit in my front room and listen to the whistle of the 5:25 train (the "Red Eye" the parish men called it) and I'd think, "Do I belong at that station, handing out tracts for men to read on the train?" From my earliest priest days I sensed we weren't making a real connection with people - we were waiting for them to come to us when it had to be the other way around. It's taken all of these 30 something years for a pope to come along who really gets that and calls the priest to it - but the structures of parish maintenance still don't allow for it. We're called "parish priests" but "parish" in a cyber world is very different. God has blessed the efforts of this blog (these posts) as they are read everywhere. And this blog is different because it doesn't treat of church problems and in house church agenda but simply the love of God in Christ.

      Delete
  7. Hello Father Is Christ of the Hills Retreat considered a charity? Do you have a Tax Id/EIN?

    ReplyDelete