Alex Previtera, Special to the Catholic Virginian

As part of the Living Our Mission campaign, the Catholic Community Foundation established three funds: Seminarian and Advanced Education Endowment; Priest Health Care Endowment; and Priest Long-Term Care Endowment. Together, these endowments serve as a key to the future education and care of priests at the various stages of their ministries.

Due to the unprecedented support from the Catholic community through the campaign, over $6 million will be secured to provide health insurance and long-term care for retired priests, as well as additional funds for the Priest Pension Plan. For the education of our future priests, the new endowment will receive over $4 million to support seminarian education and priests’ advanced education.

Of the various gifts contributed through the campaign to these endowments, one of the most special was from Bishop DiLorenzo personally. In addition, he left his entire estate to the Diocese of Richmond. The combination of his outright gift and legacy gift will total over $250,000.

When he made the gift to the campaign, he reflected that “the Living Our Mission campaign is allowing our Diocese to fulfill its financial obligations for the future. With so many people from across our Diocese willing to join in this effort, it was important for me to stand with them. That is why I chose to participate in this campaign in a meaningful way.”

Bishop DiLorenzo had a special place in his heart for priests. One of his most important priorities during his time as bishop was to ensure that adequate health care was provided for our retired priests as well as ensuring their pension plan was fully funded.

In addition, he focused significant energy on building vocations to the priesthood. This devotion to cultivating priests of the diocese led to a steep increase in seminarians — from nine in 2004 (when he was installed as bishop) to 31 at the time of his death.

“As Bishop, I know the sacrifices our men make for the Church and its people, and that is why I chose to support them as best I could,” said Bishop DiLorenzo.

To honor Bishop DiLorenzo’s commitment to our priests, the Catholic Community Foundation established the Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Memorial Fund for Priests. The income from this endowment fund will be used to support priestly vocations and the retired priests of the diocese.

To learn more about how you can contribute to this fund, please contact Margaret Keightley, executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation at (804) 622-5121 or mkeightley@ richmonddiocese.org.