Collection to help religious communities care for aging members


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SAN DIEGO — The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held Dec. 7-8 in the Diocese of San Diego.

The parish-based appeal is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), and proceeds help hundreds of U.S. religious communities to care for aging members. Some 30,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests benefit.

Last year, the Diocese of San Diego donated $335,463.26 to the collection. In 2019, four congregations located in the diocese benefitted directly from the collection: The Carmelite Monastery of San Diego, Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists), Prince of Peace Abbey and the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament received financial support made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious.

The 2018 appeal raised $27.7 million, and 360 religious congregations across the nation received funding.

Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to help address the profound lack of retirement savings among U.S. religious communities.

Most older religious served for low wages that did not include retirement benefits. Today, numerous communities face a critical shortage in retirement savings. Moreover, retired religious now outnumber wage-earning members, resulting in declining income and a rising cost of care. Sister Kathleen Warren, director of the Diocese of San Diego’s Office for Women Religious, said, “To have this collection so generously funded year after year is a stellar indication of how deeply loved and treasured the presence of religious women has been in the past and is now. I am deeply grateful for the generosity of the people of our diocese to this collection.”

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