The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) announces that on December 10-11, the Diocese of Harrisburg will hold the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection in its parishes.
Last year, parishioners of the Diocese of Harrisburg donated $47,854.58 to the collection. NRRO Executive Director Sister Stephanie Still, a member of the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco, said, “The care of our aging religious presents an enormous financial responsibility. It is our privilege to care for those who gave a lifetime of tireless service, and I feel we are deeply blessed by all the U.S. Catholic donors who have steadfastly contributed to this fund.”
Historically, Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—known collectively as women and men religious—served for little to no pay. With rising health-care expenses, hundreds of U.S. religious communities face a large gap between the needs of their older members and the funds available to support their care. As a result, many now lack adequate retirement savings.
There are 24,924 religious over the age 70 living in the United States. In 2021, the average annual cost for their care was roughly $50,000 per person; skilled care averaged $78,000 per person.
The 2021 appeal raised nearly $28.5 million, and the NRRO distributed funding to 271 U.S. religious communities. Donations also underwrite resources that help religious communities improve elder care and plan for long-term retirement needs.
The National Religious Retirement Office coordinates the annual national appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious and distributes financial assistance for retirement needs to eligible religious institutes. To help address the deficit in retirement funding among U.S. religious orders, Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the Retirement Fund for Religious Collection in 1988.
For more information, or to donate online, visit retiredreligious.org.