The following comes from a Jan. 26 story by John Woolfolk of East Bay Times.

San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath has turned what he called an error in judgment into a $50,000 donation to a charity that helps house the poor in Silicon Valley’s pricey real estate market.

The goodwill comes after the Diocese of San Jose sold a $2.3 million, five-bedroom home in San Jose’ desirable Willow Glen neighborhood, that it had bought for the bishop’s retirement, but turned around and sold after parishioners learned about the pricey purchase and expressed outrage.

A day after this news organization reported parishioners’ concerns in August, McGrath said he had “erred in judgment” and that after he had “heard from many on this topic,” he decided to sell the house and donate any profit to Charities Housing.

The house sold Dec. 3 for $2.35 million, according to, $50,000 more than the diocese paid for it last year. The diocese said this week it donated $50,000 from the proceeds of the sale to Charities Housing, a division of Catholic Charities.

Charities Housing Executive Director Dan Wu said it plans to use the fund towards housing support services for low-income families.

The Diocese of San Jose‘s purchase of the home for the bishop in San Jose’s desirable Willow Glen neighborhood was within church policy to satisfy its obligation to care for retired clergy, and came from funds dedicated for that purpose.

But in a valley wracked by housing affordability woes and homelessness, housing the retiring bishop in a “Tuscan estate” with a “grand-sized chef’s kitchen,” “luxurious master en-suite” and “spa-like marble bathroom” didn’t sit well with many parishioners.

Some of them noted that the diocese had appealed to them for donations to ease a financial shortfall in funds for clergy retirement.

McGrath has been keenly aware of the housing affordability woes plaguing his Silicon Valley diocese, and has lent his voice to efforts to ease it.

McGrath said that when he steps down he will live in a church rectory, which serves as the home of parish priests.