Retirement looks like this for priests of the Diocese of Oakland: Those who are able are serving wherever they are called. Those who are less able are serving in place.

Although responsibilities as a pastor may go away – the roof leaking is someone’s else’s business these days – the retired priests of the diocese continue to serve the people of God.

In parishes throughout the diocese, the weekend of Sept. 7-8, a second collection will be taken up to support the Priests’ Retirement Fund. There are 49 retired priests in the diocese. Supporting the collection is a way to thank them and honor them for their service.

It’s quite possible it might be a “retired” priest celebrating Mass.

Their readiness to serve has been witnessed time and again in the Diocese of Oakland this past year. Two pastors of large, vibrant parishes died; three pastors or parochial administrators have been placed on temporary administrative leave.

“We don’t retire from the priesthood, that’s for sure,” said Rev. Paul Vassar, who celebrates four to five Masses a weekend.

In addition to filling in where someone is lost, the retired priests also keep an eye out for their active counterparts.

“We do a lot of relief work, giving a break to our fellow priests who are still in the trenches,” he said. “It’s just what you do.”

Full story at Catholic Voice Oakland.