Collection is Dec. 10-11
When Catholics in the Diocese of Davenport contribute to the Retirement Fund for Religious, they may not know that Sisters in the diocese receive a larger portion in grants than the total donated within this diocese.
During the 2010 collection, Davenport Diocese Catholics contributed $70,870.69. Overall across the U.S., $26.7 million was donated.
Of that grand total, 469 religious institutions in the U.S. received $23 million in direct care assistance. Within the diocese, the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in Davenport received $99,482.95 and the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Eldridge received $6,592.82.
According to the website of the National Religious Retirement Office in Washington, D.C., the appeal asks Catholics to “Share in the Care” of more than 34,000 women and men religious past age 70 who benefit from the collection.
“We are continually humbled by the generosity shown in this appeal,” said NRRO executive director Sister Janice Bader, a member of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O’Fallon, Mo. “Since the fund was launched in 1988, Catholics have donated $643 million to assist religious communities in caring for their elder members.”
In addition to the $23 million given to religious communities to help support the day-to-day care of senior members, an additional $2.7 million was allocated toward initiatives targeted for religious communities with the greatest needs this year. Ninety-three cents of every dollar aids elderly religious, the website noted.
“The real challenge for many religious communities is a lack of retirement savings,” explained Sr. Bader. “Most senior religious worked for years for small stipends. There were no retirement plans.”
By 2019, National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) data projects that retired religious will outnumber wage-earning religious by nearly four to one.
“For this reason, the NRRO implemented a comprehensive initiative to provide education, consultation and financial assistance to communities that are 50 percent or more underfunded for retirement.”
Since that program began in 2009, 55 communities, representing some 7,000 women and men religious, have initiated targeted strategies to address their funding shortfalls.
The Retirement Fund for Religious collection will take place this weekend, Dec. 10-11 in parishes.
At the link below, read about one Sister of Humility who stays active: