Archdiocese honors retired priests and raises money for Serra Clergy House at 13th annual Priests Retirement Luncheon

By Rod Linhares

Fr. Joseph Bradley and Fr. Anthony McGuire were the honorees at the 13th annual Priests Retirement Luncheon on Friday, October 13! 

More than $250,000 was raised, bringing the total since the first luncheon in 2011 to more than $2.7 million.  This provides medical and living expenses for our retired priests and helps ensure that they are cared for in the same way that they have cared for us. 

In the words of retired Auxiliary Bishop, the Most Rev. William Justice, “Your support makes a real difference in my life and the lives of my fellow retired priests.  We are grateful for your tremendous generosity and your prayers.”

Fr. Michael Liliedahl, pastor of St. Stephen parish in San Francisco, served as emcee for the nearly 400 attendees.  There were touching personal and video tributes to our honorees, lively performances from the Good Shepherd and Stella Maris School choirs, recognition of all the retired and active priests and deacons, compelling words from Seminarian Leandro Calingasan, and more.  

The luncheon’s largest financial supporters included Phil Hudner (whose piano playing before the luncheon set a wonderful tone!), Marcia and Julianna Jervis, Moira Conzelman, the Knights of Columbus, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Noonan, and Fr. Kieran McCormick. 

Along with the donors’ generosity, the commitment of the luncheon’s volunteer team was an inspiration.  A sincere thanks to Norma Guerrero and Freda Motak, who headed the organizing committee, to Grace Andrade for her spectacular flower arrangements, Diane Luporini and the Cathedral staff, and everyone who lent a hand.

All funds raised in conjunction with this year’s luncheon are being directed to renovating and repairing the Serra Clergy House in San Mateo.  Built in 1954, the Clergy House’s roof, windows, and electric panels are original and must be replaced.  Other critical needs include – but are not limited to – seismic upgrades, an alarm system, and insulation for the windows.  The safety, security, and comfort of our retired priests are paramount. 

On behalf of our retired priests and everyone committed to their care, we thank you for making the luncheon – and the lively social event that preceded it – a fantastic celebration for our retired priests and everyone who comes to honor them.  Join us in 2024: We’ll gather on Friday, October 11!

Rod Linhares is the director of mission advancement for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.