With five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a big outdoor pool, the New Jersey house of Newark Archbishop John Myers is valued at nearly $800,000, records show, reports NCR.
But it's not quite roomy enough for the archbishop. Archbishop Myers, who has used the house as a weekend residence since the archdiocese purchased it in 2002, is building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition in anticipation of his retirement in two years. He will then move in full-time, a spokesman said.
The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits.
The price tag, the records show, will be a minimum of $500,000, a figure that does not include architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping.
Construction is progressing as Archbishop Myers asks the 1.3 million Catholics of the archdiocese to open their wallets for the 'archbishop's annual appeal,' a fundraising effort that supports an array of initiatives, including religious education, the training of future priests and feeding the poor.
More significantly, it comes at a time when Pope Francis has made profligate Church spending a target of his early tenure.
Francis, who eschewed the papal palace for a modest guest apartment and who gave up a Mercedes in favour of a Ford, has criticised bishops for living 'like princes' and has called for a 'poor church for the poor.'
FULL STORY New Jersey archbishop's retirement home includes $500K addition (NCR)