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Information Bulletin 95

September 2011 (No 95)

This Information Bulletin is available in PDF format: 201109.pdf

Dear Brothers in Ministry,

I understand that when US actor George Burns was in his 90s he was asked about his plans for retirement. He replied: “retiring at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples!”

Contrary to popular hopes and dreams, preparing for retirement can be detailed work! It just doesn’t happen! American evangelist Dwight Moody once remarked that “preparation for [retirement] should begin not later than one’s teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”

It is clear that priests’ lives are not empty of purpose, and yet our interests can be narrow, task centred, and focused solely on ‘the job’, with no hobbies or outside interests. If that be so, imagine waking up one morning and not a soul wants to engage you; there’s no job to go to, no phone calls to answer, no demanding schedules, and no people to be with! I imagine some priests may say, bring it on! But everyday experience is different: it’s more a case of ‘what on earth will I do next?’

While priests often retire from responsibility rather than from work, preparation is still very necessary. The Australian Government’s Seniors’ website suggests that preparation should begin at about age 35. And given that retirement is for healthy people, how well do we shape up? ... This Information Bulletin looks at a different ideas in the hope that, assisted by our dioceses, we may prepare well for happy days ahead. Otherwise the ‘response to the psalm’ may well be what it is for many unprepared single men: “Lord, free me from depression, alcohol abuse, and sleeplessness!”

With personal best wishes, 

Frank Devoy

  • Created: 17 February 2012
  • Modified: 23 February 2012