NFPC Appeal Letter December 2017

My dear brother in Christ,

If you are like me, you have been inundated with the usual year-end pleas for donations. This is another one of those pleas. But this one is a little different. While there are many good causes that would benefit from your generosity, none of those has an impact on your life and ministry as a priest. The NFPC does.

Since our founding nearly 50 years ago, the NFPC has worked tirelessly for the communion, brotherhood and solidarity of priests in the United States. We began as a response to the call of Vatican II to greater collaboration. Along the way, we have advocated for wages and benefits, a code of conduct, priest personnel boards and much more.

We live in a fast-changing society and the priesthood has changed with it. The NFPC has endeavored to keep pace. As over 50% of us move through our 60s and 70s, our concerns have changed. And the NFPC continues to take up these concerns. Topics like pensions, living arrangements in retirement, long-term care issues. And in the meantime, the NFPC continues to be in the forefront of the conversation about multi-parish pastoring and the effects it is having on the American church.

Far from just advocacy, the NFPC continues to be a place where these conversations can happen. Through my travels around the country, talking with priests and councils about the issues they are struggling with, I have gained a perspective that I willingly share with all my brother priests. That is the genius of the NFPC – to be a conduit of communication, to tell people that the issues they are working on are also issues for others. In essence, to make our brothers across the country not feel isolated or alone.

This advocacy, communication and information do not come cheap. In a time when many dioceses continue to cut costs by ceasing to support the NFPC, I must turn more and more to the generosity of people like you to help me and the staff continue to be able to research on the very topics that will have an impact on your life and ministry as a priest. Recently, we received a request from a brother priest who had a rare form of cancer that impacted his ability to minister. He called to ask if we knew of any other priest that might have the same difficulty. Because of our formidable connectedness around the country, we were able to connect this man with someone who had found a way to minister with this condition.

So you see, even though we provide excellent workshops and publish important research studies (which you can read more about at nfpc.org), I am most proud of our ability to help a brother priest when he needed it most.

And so I ask you to help support the NFPC so that we can continue to make a difference in the life and ministry of priests, whether it be advocacy to help change the system or simply connecting a brother priest to the resources he needs to minister effectively where he is.

And finally, I invite you to join us and your brother priests for four days of rest, relaxation, world-class speakers and great conversation in a world-class city. On April 23rd, we will gather at The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, the city of our founding, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. You owe it to yourself and your parishioners to return to your parish with new ideas and new contacts, renewed and refreshed and ready for the Easter season. I promise you will be home in time for the weekend Masses. Check out the Convocation schedule and speakers at nfpc.org.

Thank you for all you do as a priest of Jesus Christ. Thank you for continuing to support your NFPC and investing in
a healthy, holy priesthood.

Yours truly,

Rev. Anthony E. Cutcher
President