A Heartfelt Gift


Father Cunniff

Father Cunniff

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life," reads Father Cunniff, a 97-year-old World War II veteran and retired priest. He cradles a missalette in his hands, which appear gnarled from 64 years of priestly service that drew him to many parts of the state, including St. Mary, Our Lady of the Dunes Parish in Florence and St. Peter in Eugene.

In 1980, Father Cunniff moved into a new residence called St. John Vianney Retirement Center. This Beaverton residence is a collection of 14 individual one-story apartments for retired priests. Almost always joyful, Father Cunniff’s mood parallels a new vibrancy found today at St. John Vianney. The full occupancy and growing number of retired priests, in residence or nearby, are contributing factors for plans to construct a cohesive meeting space to accommodate large groups. The common building—containing a lounge, kitchen and chapel—is in great need of a new roof.

These needs do not escape Father Cunniff’s eagle eye. As a child of the Great Depression, he lived frugally and managed to save enough to start the modest Endowment for the Housing of Retired Priests. His goal is to address some of the necessary repairs, maintenance and upgrades needed at St. John Vianney.

If Father Cunniff can manage to give back to the Church after a lifetime of service, could you? Please prayerfully consider a planned gift in this life and beyond to the local Catholic Church. If you have any questions about planned giving, please contact Carmen C. Gaston at 503-233-8332 or cgaston@archdpdx.org.

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