Annual Retired Religious Collection to be taken up Aug. 14-15

Appeal assists elderly sisters, brothers, priests in religious orders


The Diocese of Jefferson City will take up the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection the weekend of Aug. 13-14.

The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) coordinates this annual appeal and distributes the proceeds to assist eligible U.S. religious communities with their retirement needs.

Some 26,000 senior sisters, brothers and religious order priests benefit.

Last year, the Diocese of Jefferson City donated $129,446.73 to the collection.

“We are humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of U.S. Catholics during such difficult times,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, the NRRO’s executive director.

The 2020 collection raised more than $20 million, and in June of this year, the NRRO disbursed financial assistance to 321 religious communities across the country.

Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated for resources and services that help communities improve eldercare delivery and plan for long-term retirement needs.

Historically, Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests served for little to no pay. Today, many religious communities lack sufficient retirement savings.

Of 531 communities providing data to the NRRO, only 27 are adequately funded for retirement.

Rising healthcare costs and a growing number of senior members compound the challenge to meet retirement expenses.

The Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the Retirement Fund for Religious collection in 1988 to help address the deficit in retirement funding among U.S. religious congregations.

Each congregation is responsible for the care and support of its members.

Financial distributions from the collection are sent to a congregation’s central house and may be applied toward immediate expenses — such as medications or nursing care — or invested for future eldercare needs.

“We know the best way to support senior religious is to help their communities address retirement and eldercare challenges,” said Sr. Stephanie. “Our grateful prayer is with all whose love and generosity sustain this mission.”

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