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5.13.14 Dealing with Serious Illness or Death

Priests who live in a rectory are responsible for making sure that the vicar f​or clergy, the local dean, the regional bishop, and the archbishop are informed in the case of a serious illness or the hospitalization of a priest living in the rectory. Neighboring pastors/administrators to one-man parishes have the same responsibility. In these two situations, multiple calls from various sources are preferable to never hearing of a serious illness or hospitalization. The same priests have the responsibility for reporting a death of a priest in a parish to the Office of the Vicar for Clergy, the local dean, the regional bishop, and the archbishop. The regional bishop and the local dean will assist the priest and the vicar for clergy in assuring adequate temporary coverage for the parish when illness or death occurs.​

Parish rectories generally do not have the resources, equipment, or staff to provide for the ongoing medical needs of a seriously ill or incapacitated priest. The dean will work closely with the active pastor/administrator, the liaison for sick and retired priests in the Office of the Vicar for Clergy​, and the priest's own medical providers to determine when it is not feasible for the priest to remain in the rectory. The regional bishop will be informed of the matter and, as appropriate, will make recommendations to the archbishop about planning for the priest and his care and residence. In cases of more advanced medical needs, a sick or incapacitated priest normally will be referred to one of the assisted living facilities of the archdiocese. For costs not covered by insurance, by mutual agreement, the priest, the source of salary, and/or the archdiocese will assume financial responsibility.