Originally published at Orange County Catholic

St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Tustin recently organized a gala to celebrate their former pastor, Fr. Bao Thai, on his birthday and appointment this year as rector of Christ Cathedral. The gala included a fundraising auction, and Fr. Bao wanted all the auction proceeds to benefit priests’ retirement.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the cathedral campus’ Chapel in the Sky, St. Cecilia parishioners presented a $5,000 check of funds raised from the auction to donate to The Orange Catholic Foundation (OCF) in support of retired priests.

Also present were Bishop Timothy Freyer, who celebrated the noon Mass; Fr. Bruce Patterson, episcopal vicar for priests whose office takes care of retired priests; and Carrol Nuss, the event producer of Fr. Bao’s gala and auction.

Currently, there are about 40 retired priests in the Diocese of Orange. In the next eight years, 80 priests will have reached retirement age. Many people may not realize that the priests of our Diocese live independently in retirement.

After active ministry, they no longer rely upon their parish for housing and other needs. They need to support themselves when they retire, relying on personal savings, a modest social security and