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Thursday, April 18, 2013

How much money does a priest make?

Life of a Priest

It is interesting to look at the salary of a priest, men called to the priesthood are not in it for the money, but devotion to God and service to his flock. There is a significant period of discernment and for men who end up taking vows. In New York diocesan priests, sometimes called “secular” priests (those who belong to a territorial diocese and are under the direct jurisdiction of a local bishop), may keep what they earn, what they inherit, and what they receive as gifts. Religious or Order priests (those with a vow of poverty or simplicity) are paid, but they may not keep more than is necessary for ordinary living expenses. They may not inherit or accumulate wealth; whatever excess money they receive must be turned over to their respective Religious communities.

A priest’s salary according to HuffingtonPost can range anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 depending on length of service, whether they are a pastor or associate pastor or if they are involved in a special ministry, according to the guidelines of the Archdiocese of New York. A visiting priest however from the Philippines can make between $15,000 to 20,000 a year depending on their contract. Typically, priests receive free room and board, a car allowance, and a modest allowance for professional expenses. It is a common practice for Filipinos, Latinos, Africans and other minorities living in the US to give monetary gift to their visiting priest when he go back to his country diocese for good. We cannot easily condemn the priest if he accepted the monetary gift(s) because the money maybe be spent to help his newly assigned parish and the transitional expenses for starting all over again. We cannot blame him by accepting the money to help our folks back home. It is very important to handle this act of gift giving with due diligence and in accordance with the community & IRS.

The Diocese of San Jose, California, has a recently published “Parish Compensation Program,” a handbook designed to assist the Diocese of San Jose’s pastors, parish administrators, and staff “to administer the salaries of those working with them in an equitable and consistent manner.” For priests, the “basic stipend” this year is $32,616, with a grant of $600 for a “study week,” another grant of $500 for the annual spiritual retreat, and a contribution of $11,718 to the retirement fund. 
Among the leaders of the world's major religions, rabbis tend to have higher annual salaries than their Catholic, Christian and Muslim counterparts.

Some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the life of a priest.
Q. Aren’t priests lonely since they cannot marry?
A. That’s the common perception.  But professionals tell us loneliness knows no boundaries…there are the lonely married and the lonely single.  Avoiding loneliness has more to do with having people you can love and people who love you.  Priests have dozens of people who open their hearts to them and, in turn, priests welcome their parishioners into their lives.  So, priests, like other people, are lonely only if they choose to be lonely.

Q. Can a priest go to bar, casino, race track?

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