Residence welcomes retired priests

April 16, 2013

HOUSTON — Pope John XXIII Residence for Retired Priests is a retirement community owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 
The residence, which along with the nearby nursing home for retired priests, is under the umbrella of St. Dominic Village. The home provides for independent and assisted living as well as nursing home care for clergy.

The residence welcomed Father Rawlin Enette with open arms four years ago when a stroke forced him into retirement. Father Enette, born and raised in Louisiana, is one of 10 retired priests living at the residence.

After his ordination with the Josephite Fathers and Brothers, Father Enette served in parishes in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Baton Rouge, La., before coming to Houston in the late 1960s, ending up at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church.

Father Enette, now 83, is thankful for the comforts that the residence has to offer — the company of the other priests, good food, activities and the opportunity to continue working. He still goes out to hear confession at other parishes.

"I like it just fine," said Father Enette, who uses a scooter to get around. 

Monsignor Paul Procella echoed the sentiment. Kidney failure and a need for regular dialysis eventually stopped Monsignor Procella, 80, from doing his job and brought him to the residence more than two years ago. Monsignor Procella served at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Humble for 18 years and later at the Carmelite Monastery in New Caney.

"I like it here, because you're with a lot of other priests, and they take care of you," he said. "I have everything I need, plus they have beautiful grounds."

Indeed, the residence provides all the comforts of home, along with a caring support staff. Residents, most of them from the Archdiocese, have their own apartments, complete with living room, bedroom, bathroom and private patio. They share a chapel, sitting room and dining room and are provided with three meals a day. 

Pope John XXIII Residence for Retired Priests

Located on a 27-acre wooded campus at 2401 Holcombe Blvd., Pope John XXIII Residence for Retired Priests is part of St. Dominic Village, a residential community for retired lay people and priests. The residence for retired priests includes 17 self-contained apartments with sitting and dining rooms. Maloney Hall nursing home for retired priests also is on site.

"Our priests have done so much for our community, we want to make sure they have a place to retire to, that will support them physically, emotionally and spiritually," said Deacon Ken Martin, coordinator of the Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry.

The outreach ministry celebrates retired priests with monthly birthday gatherings, special holiday meals and private receptions. Residents also go on tours of museum exhibits and churches, and eat at Sacred Heart Society's spaghetti lunch once a month.

"All retired priests of the Archdiocese are welcomed to participate in any of these special events," Deacon Martin said. "We also coordinate an annual fall program with (Daniel) Cardinal DiNardo in which all retired priests are invited to attend."

In addition, the ministry events are extended to retired priests and retired deacons and their wives who live outside of St. Dominic Village.