The Committee for
Priests’ Welfare

We all know there are holy and hardworking priests. Priests who pray. Priests who celebrate the sacraments with love and devotion. Priests totally dedicated to their mission.

The priests that CANELA supports have no fixed source of income and are very poor.

  • Because their parishioners are poor and often can only contribute a chicken, or some eggs
  • And because their bishops are poor as well

CANELA started its Committee for Priests’ Welfare (CPW) so that poor, holy priests can spend their days administering the sacraments rather than driving a taxi or shucking corn to buy essentials such as food, toiletries, and socks.

We work to find hard-working, pious priests suffering extreme poverty in Latin America and Africa and support them with a very modest subsidy of around $7 a day.

That might not sound like a lot, but it is a game-changer in these countries.

This is how it works:

  • Through our network of associates, CANELA finds holy, impoverished priests
  • We provide them with a modest subsidy of about $7 per day
  • We regularly monitor their situation to learn if their extreme poverty persists before continuing support

A Few of the Priests We Help

Father José Refugio

Fr. José is pastor of the parish of the Immaculate Conception, in the Prelature (mission diocese) of Nayar in northern Mexico. His parish services villages spread over several hundred square miles. Most of is parishioners are Tepehuana Indians.

Father José Refugio is a humble and hard-working priest, very conscientious about his mission. He regularly visits the different villages of his parish, sometimes on foot and sometimes on horseback. Most of the paths are inaccessible to cars.

His sole source of income is the collection at Mass, which never adds up to more than $50 a month.

CANELA supplements Father Jose Refugio’s income with a $250 grant every month.

Father Misael

Fr. Misael pastors Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in the diocese of Zacatecoluca in El Salvador.

Founded 11 years ago and made up mostly by subsistence farmers, Father’s parish still lacks many essentials, and has no real church building or rectory. Father Misael lives in a small, attached room with a makeshift wall separating it from a larger room used for celebrating mass.

The parish community is still small and cannot cover Father Misael’s modest living costs. Most of the parishioners are poor farmers. 

CANELA supplements Father Misael’s income with a monthly grant of $200.

Father Edward

Father Edward was ordained in 2018 for the diocese of Karonga in the north of the small, densely-populated country of Malawi in southeastern Africa.

Father Edward’s bishop has put him in charge of the catechetical training of lay people in the diocese. This is a formidable task, since many villages are difficult to get to. The people, who are mostly farmers and fishermen, have very little free time and in many cases very limited formal education. Father Edward also has his own parish to take care of.

In most countries in the world, the parishes are able to cover the living costs of their priests. But this is not possible in many of Malawi’s parishes.

CANELA supports Father Edward with a monthly grant of $200.

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