Upcoming collection for retired religious to aid 30,000

Women religious participated in World Day for Consecrated Life on Feb. 2, 2020, with a liturgy at St. Gregory Church in Samuels, Ky. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, set for Dec. 12 to 13, benefits nearly 30,000 senior sisters, brothers and priests in religious communities in the United States, according to a press release from the National Religious Retirement Office.

The office, which disburses the collected funds, indicated last year’s appeal raised $26.2 million, including $100,000 from the Archdiocese of Louisville.

In June, $25 million was disbursed to 341 religious communities, according to the release. Among those receiving assistance in 2020 were elderly monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County, Ky., and the Discalced Carmelite Sisters.

Additional funding is used to help communities “improve eldercare delivery and plan for long-term retirement needs,” according to the release. For example, a recent webinar offered professional care guidance related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The generosity of U.S. Catholics enables us to continue our ministry for aging women and men religious,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, the NRRO’s executive director. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude.”

“During these trying times, we know the best way to support senior religious is to continue helping their communities address retirement and eldercare challenges,” said Sister Still. “Our grateful prayer is with all whose love and generosity sustain this mission.”

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