Clergy Pastoral Outreach
SEPTEMBER ORDINATION ANNIVERSARIES
Rev. Frank Guenter
SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS
Dcn. Leon Arceneaux, Jr.
Dcn. James Bart
Dcn. George Blandford, PhD
Dcn. Albert Bottjer
Dcn. Elie Calonge
Dcn. Hector Cantu
Dcn. Robert Dunham Dcn.
Gregory Jelinek, M.D.
Dcn. Richard Lopez
Dcn. Robert MacFarlane
Dcn. Julio Matallana
Dcn. John Pistone
Dcn. Donald Ries
Dcn. Lonnie Weaver Jr.
Dcn. Justin Wewer
Welcome Message from John Descant
Please accept my warmest greetings to all the retired priests and retired deacons and their wives of the Archdiocese of Galveston - Houston and abroad. My staff and I are proud to serve and minister to you as you continue on your journeys serving the Lord.
The Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry is an exciting ministry. Currently, we are active with the retired priests residing at St. Dominic Village by virtue of our locale. One aspect of our ministry involves making sure that the retired priests of the Archdiocese get appropriate medical care, so we provide transportation and assist with scheduling visits when needed. We also focus on the social aspects of retired life. We celebrate with monthly birthday gatherings, special holiday meals and private receptions, take tours of museum exhibits and churches. All retired priests of the Archdiocese are welcomed to participate in any of these special events. We also coordinate an annual program in the fall with Cardinal DiNardo in which all retired priests are invited to attend.
In addition, our ministry is extended to retired priests and retired deacons and their wives who live outside of St. Dominic Village. Activities include home visits, lunch gatherings, and social service support (e.g., gathering of resources to meet clergy needs). We plan to develop activities and/or programs for the retired deacons in the near future.
I also want to welcome any visitors to the website who may have an interest in learning more about the Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry. I invite you to come by for a visit or contact me for more information. We are occasionally in need of volunteers to help with activities or transportation.
Please come back and visit us as we will continue to update the website with more information. It is my hope that the website will not only be a place for you to gather information but also an avenue to stay connected with your fellow clergymen. If you have any ideas for the website or how my office can better serve you, please let me know!
About the Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry
The Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry office was created in December of 2006 by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and is supported by the Diocesan Services Fund. John Descant, the former Ministry Administrator/Secretary for the ministry, was selected to serve as the Coordinator for the ministry. He is charged with addressing the needs of the retired priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Galveston - Houston by personally contacting each clergy member at least semi-annually to discuss their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Mr. Descant is assisted at this time by Dcn. Mark Clancy (Aide to Retired Clergy), and Deborah Castillo (Support Specialist).
The ministry office is ideally situated in the Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Priests Retirement Residence at St. Dominic Village which also provides for independent and assisted living as well as nursing home care for clergy and lay residents. Mr. Descant and his staff currently serve 65 priests and 140 deacons and their wives; however, with the aging population, these numbers are expected to double over the next five to ten years. The retirement age for priests is 75 years old and for deacons it is 70 years although the majority chooses to remain involved in ministry.
The Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry promotes the social teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church by addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all retired diocesan clergy residing within and outside the Archdiocese. It also opens and enhances channels of communication regarding special events, archdiocesan news, and community resources in order to keep retired clergy informed and connected with the Archdiocese. Through visitations, phone calls, mailings, group events, and personal assistance, the department staff work toward cultivating relationships with retired clergy to ensure an optimal quality of life that is healthy, secure, and hopeful.