Dear Midtown Catholic parishioners,
I wanted to give all of you an update on my plans. As of July 1, 2023 I will be going onto the Priest’s Pension Plan. This will not change what I had committed to for the coming years. I will still be working at both parishes and Bergan Hospital. I will still be a chaplain for OPD, UNMC, and the Serra Club of West Omaha. I will still be able to do funerals for the parishes. Most importantly I am still planning on taking three months of vacation per year. The biggest difference is that Midtown Catholic will not be paying me a salary or paying for my health insurance.
I made this decision after realizing how much need there will continue to be for me to cover for Masses in other parishes around the area. Just in the last ten weeks I have had Masses at St. Bridgets, St. Benedict the Moor, St. James, Christ the King, and St. Geralds. And that doesn’t count the places that I been at to hear confessions. As some of you have noticed, this does take me away from Midtown Catholic. But having these Masses provides me with the extra income that the pension plan doesn’t cover.
So starting in July, the only cost to Midtown Catholic would be in providing room and board as I stay in whichever rectory is best for the parishes. This would be the only compensation I would ask for whatever Masses and confessions and other work I would do for STM & SJA as I continue to try and take whatever burden off of Fr. Jindra that I can. Making this change will actually ease my conscience. I don’t want to be double-dipping by working as a Senior Associate, and as a retired priest who earns income like a retired priest.
I had previously let you know that I will be taking three months of vacation per year. This will stay the same, but now the book-keeping will be easier. I also hope this will help compensate for the loss of revenue that each parish is feeling with the decreased Mass schedule and even the decrease in the number of parishioners/donors over the years. My goal is to help out Midtown Catholic and the Archdiocese as much as possible, for as long as possible.
I do have a challenge for some of you. Many of you are already doing this, but the challenge comes from what I have heard from many of you. You bring up the point that priests are priests forever, so you hope that priests will continue to work after they hit retirement age. Many priests are doing this, but I challenge you to do the same. You are Catholics forever. When you hit retirement age, spend some of that extra time in serving the Church. As I said, many of you are already doing that but many more could. Remember, the rewards will be great in heaven.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Frank Baumert