Annual collection helps religious communities address retirement shortfall
Now in its 26th year, the collection benefits more than 34,000 senior sisters, brothers,and priests, known collectively as women and men religious-
Last year, the Diocese of Manchester contributed $242,336.12 to this collection.
Additionally, women and men who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may benefit from the appeal.
“When I think of how religious women and men have enriched the lives of so many Catholics, I thank God for their service to the church. Now, we have a real opportunity to give back to those who served so well for so long.
Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities.
More than 93 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their communities.
Communities use these funds to bolster retirement savings and to subsidize day-to-day expenses such as prescription medications and nursing care.
In the past, Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests served for small stipends that did not include retirement benefits. Their sacrifices now leave their religious communities without adequate savings for retirement.
At the same time, the number of religious needing care is on the rise. In 2012, 61 percent of the religious communities providing data had a median age of 75 or older.
By 2023, the National Religious Retirement Office projects that retired religious will outnumber wage-earning religious by four to one.