Retirement Fund for Religious is a way to say thank you

Your generosity helps us care for our Sisters

by Sister Mary Kabat
published December 2016

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See related story, "Sister returns Sisters' kindness"

I want to express my thanks to the religious Sisters, priests and brothers who have blessed my life:

  1. Thank you, Franciscan Sisters from Springfield, Ill., who founded St. Vincent Hospital where I was born and received health care through the years.
  2. Thank you, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters and Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, who taught me at Annuciation and St. Jude schools, respectively.
  3. Thank you, Carondelet Sisters from St. Louis, who taught me at St. Joseph Academy.
  4. Thank you, Norbertine and Jesuit priests, who founded St. Norbert and Boston Colleges from which I have my education degrees.
  5. Thank you, Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, whose charism and ministry allowed me to follow God’s call. 

How many ways are you thankful for religious men and women? How many ways have they blessed you and your family’s lives? The Advent Religious Retirement Appeal gives you the opportunity to put your thanks into action. 

Our Bishops continue this appeal begun in 1988 as the need to help retired religious with daily life and medical expenses remains great. 

But, you say, the bishops or dioceses provide for the members of religious communities, don’t they? No, each individual religious community is responsible for the care of their members. Religious have always depended of the generosity of others. Yes, we are each doing all we can to provide for our own retired members. The fact is we need help. What active religious earn in their church ministries today cannot make up for the years the members received little or no compensation, no health insurance, and no retirement benefits. 

This chance to speak for them is my way of saying thank you. You can say thank you with your gift to the National Religious Retirement Appeal in your parish or with your gift to the religious community whose members have blessed you and your family. And I can assure you, they say THANK YOU!


Stay in touch -- This story originally appeared in the Sisters' newsletter. Subscribe to our FREE printed newsletter (issued five times a year) and our FREE e-spiritual reflections (weekly). We enjoy hearing from you so visit our “Send a Greeting to Sister” page and say hello. Thank you and God bless!

How you can help:

There are several ways you can support the Retirement Fund for Religious:

1. Make a gift at www.gbfranciscans.org. Select “Donate Today.” From there, you can choose to make a safe, secure online donation through our friends at Caring Habits (select “Retirement Fund”) or you may print the form and mail your gift to us.

2. Participate in the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection to be conducted in parishes Dec. 10-11. We receive a portion of these gifts. Dioceses may choose to hold the collection on different dates. If you donate by check, please write RFR on the memo line.

3. Donate to the Retirement Fund for Religious at www.shareinthecare.org/donate-to-share-in-the-care which is hosted by the Diocese of Buffalo.

Did you know? 

Since 1985, the percentage of religious institutes with a median age of 70 or older has risen from 7 percent to 68 percent.

The average annual Social Security benefit for a male or female member of religious order is $6,312, while the average U.S. beneficiary receives $16,092.

In 2015, the average cost for the care of a religious was over $41,00 a person.

 -- National Religious Retirement Office