The long-awaited new wing of the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence in Stamford is taking shape and is expected to be completed in September.
“This is a very exciting time for the diocese and for our retired priests who are looking forward to moving into their new home at Queen of the Clergy Residence,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
“It’s a beautiful residence and a place of great dignity where our retired priests can live in prayer and continued service.
“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the commitment of our donors to retired clergy of the diocese. The priests in turn recognize the wonderful generosity of people in our diocese, and they continue to serve in our parishes, schools, nursing homes and other settings.”
Construction of the 16-suite addition began in January of this year. Dedication of the new wing is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 9.
According to William McLean, chief development officer of the diocese, the capital campaign for the residence has raised over $3,350,000 in gifts and pledges to date, and another $400,000 is needed to complete the expanded scope of the project.
Msgr. William Scheyd, pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan, who serves as episcopal vicar of senior priests, said that, “last fall, as a result of a property condition assessment and planning process, the decision was made to continue our capital campaign in order to fund a number of important repairs in the current building.”
Needed improvements to the current structure include replacement of the existing roof; expansion of the kitchen to accommodate service for additional residents, with new refrigeration and appliances; new carpeting and furnishings in the common area; interior and exterior painting; and upgraded fire alarm, HVAC and electrical.
Msgr. Scheyd said there are 80 priests in the diocese over the age of 75. Some retired priests continue to live in parish settings, while others live on their own or with family. The current residence provides 17 suites for independent living for retired priests.
Michael O’Rourke, a member of the diocesan Finance Council who also sits on the capital campaign committee for the residence, says that he has great admiration for what priests do on a daily basis, and he hopes that people across the diocese will make a contribution to complete the campaign.
“There are so many great priests that do so many great things for us, even when they don’t have to. They truly go out of the way to serve the diocese,” O’Rourke said. “Now we have an opportunity to do a great thing for them in expanding the Queen of the Clergy Residence for retired priests, serving them after they’ve spent their lives dedicated to the diocese. The priests are always saying yes to the needs of the diocese, so now we are saying yes to their needs.”
(The Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence is located at 274 Strawberry Hill Ave., Stamford. For more information, phone 203.358.9906. To make a gift online, go to www.bridgeportdiocese.org/queen-clergy/home.)