Community service trumps salary millions for Melbourne priest

Service to the community provides greater happiness than money, says parish priest Fr Mick Kalka from Bundoora in Melbourne's north, and no one could possibly need the $30 million plus salary of an investment banker.

The Herald Sun reports that Fr Kalka doesn't have much spare cash for luxuries on his annual income of up to $26,800.

So it is just as well that his hobbies, swimming and stamp collecting, don't require much money.

But Fr Kalka, 50, said people did not do his job for the money.

"This is a lifestyle, this is a commitment," Fr Kalka said.

"I don't believe that money is going to provide me with a greater happiness than I already have because I'm serving the community at large."

Catholic priests in Melbourne are given a $15,500 annual living allowance, paid out of a remuneration fund set up in the late 1960s.

They can also claim up to $10,000 in car running costs.

Accommodation, meals and health insurance costs are provided free.

"I enjoy swimming and have been stamp collecting since I was a kid," he said.

"Neither of these are expensive hobbies, so I guess because I've never had a higher income I don't miss it."

Asked what he thought of the $33.5 million salary paid to Macquarie Bank's Allan Moss, Fr Kalka, 50, said: "I have no idea what it would be like to draw that sort of wage.

"So I can only hope that the person who does is using that wage responsibly for the benefit of the wider community.

"Because no one person and no one family could possibly need that sort of income."

Good life has its rewards (Herald-Sun, 5/7/07)

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Macquarie Bank

5 Jul 2007