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Diocese Thanked for Generous Donation for Retired Religious

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The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) has sent a letter of appreciation to the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, thanking the Diocese of Raleigh for its generous collection to the annual Retirement Fund for Religious (RFR). The collection, taken in December 2010, amounted to $205,627.36. In her letter, Sr. Janice Bader, CPPS, Executive Director of the NRRO, noted that the amount was $17,000 higher than the previous two years.

“We are very grateful for this generosity,” Sr. Janice wrote, adding that the support of the Diocesan RFR coordinator, pastors, parish priests and deacons are essential to the fund’s continued support. Most important are the people who gave so generously to provide for the retired, infirmed and aging Religious Men and Women whose “prayer and spiritual life are vibrant testimony to the faithfulness they promised so many years ago. You can surely rely on the prayers of the over 34,000 religious now over age 70 and the ever increasing numbers of religious who will be retiring very soon,” Sr. Janice said.

Religious orders are facing a dire situation as their members retire. Many work until the age of 75, if their health allows. The NRRO website provides an overview and explanation of the financial need, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). Two of the most commonly asked questions and their answers are:

Why do retired religious need financial help now?

  • Traditionally, religious worked for modest stipends or maintenance that did not include pension benefits.
  • The average Social Security benefit for religious today is approximately $4,559; for other Americans, the average benefit is $13,968.

How much has been donated to the Retirement Fund for Religious and how are monies distributed?

  • Since 1988, Catholics have donated $617 million to the Fund.
  • Approximately 95 percent of donations have been distributed to religious institutes for retirement needs.

Learn more about the Retirement Fund for Religious.