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Donor Stories

Pastor of 29 Years Provides for Future Retired Priests

Fr. John Abe has spent his whole life in the Diocese of Richmond. As a child he attended St. Thomas More Catholic School in Arlington (this is when the Diocese of Richmond covered Northern Virginia) as well as Bishop O’Connell High School. Since he was ordained in 1984, Fr. Abe has served as pastor in six parishes: Immaculate Conception (Hampton), St. Mark (Virginia Beach), St. Andrew (Roanoke), St. Francis of Assisi (Staunton), St. Bede (Williamsburg) and St. Matthew (Virginia Beach) where he has served as pastor since 2010.

As a priest in the Diocese for 29 years, Fr. Abe understands the realities facing many priests as they near retirement. “On a priest’s salary, many cannot save the full amount required for retirement. We don’t want to see those who have served faithfully for so long become impoverished or be denied what they need.”

One of the most urgent priorities currently facing the Diocese is providing a pension plan and health insurance for its 42 retired priests and 6 who require long-term care. To bestow future assistance to the Diocese in meeting this challenge, Fr. Abe has made a provision in his will to transfer a portion of his assets to the Priests’ Retirement Fund upon his passing.

“We are a brotherhood and we have the responsibility to support each other.  In this way we honor those who came before us, those who have made what we have today possible. I am hopeful that our clergy and lay people will join with me in creating their own legacy gift. These gifts will shape the overall legacy we leave to future generations of our Catholic Church”, said Fr. Abe.

Making a provision in your will for your parish, a Catholic school or Diocesan ministry (such as retired priests) is easy and can truly have a transformative impact. To learn more about joining Fr. Abe in creating a legacy gift for the benefit of the Catholic Church, please contact Alex Previtera, Director of Development at (804) 622-5127 or aprevitera@richmonddiocese.org.

- John Abe

Lifelong Relationship with Priests Inspires Gift for the Future of Seminarians

As a young man Charlie Bush considered entering the seminary.  Ultimately, he decided to serve his country in the Navy instead.  After the Navy, Charlie became a police officer with the Virginia Beach police force where he served for 25 years.  Now retired, Charlie was looking to give back to all of the pastors who have influenced him throughout his life.

“The experience I had when I visited Rome many years ago as well as the weekly gatherings to celebrate Mass continues to have a profound impact on my life as a Catholic Christian.  Throughout my life I have had the pleasure of knowing many of the pastors in the Diocese.   Their commitment to serving the people of God not only in Virginia, but throughout the world is truly inspiring”, said Mr. Bush.

The commitment from one pastor in particular at Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach impacted him in a much different way.   “When my brother passed away, it was a hard time.  I could not have gotten through that experience without the support of Father Jim Parke and our parish family”, said Mr. Bush.

To honor the memory of his brother and the many priests who have influenced his life, Charlie decided to set up an endowment fund through a bequest which will serve to

  • Financially support seminarians in major theology (2nd, 3rd and 4th year of theology studies and pastoral year) with their training and education to become priests.
  • Pay for health insurance and stipends for seminarians in major theology.

“We as Catholics must always give thought to the future of our Church.  The foundation we build today will have a major impact on the Church our children and grandchildren will experience.  I am proud to make a gift that will have a lasting impact on the future leaders and parishioners of our Diocese”, said Mr. Bush.

To find out how you can create a legacy of giving for your parish, school or the ministries of the Diocese, please contact Alex Previtera, Director of Development at (804) 622-5127 or aprevitera@richmonddiocese.org.

 

- Alex Previtera