Collection provides needed support to religious congregations

by SISTER JEAN THOMPSON, OSF
Fri, Dec 8th 2017 08:00 am
Vicar for Religious, Diocese of Buffalo
Sister Jean Thompson, OSF
Sister Jean Thompson, OSF

For 30 years, the National Religious Retirement Fund has provided much-needed financial assistance for religious congregations. During those years, the generous donors in the Diocese of Buffalo have contributed more than $25 million to assist women and men religious with the care of retired members, who ordinarily have no pension and minimal Social Security benefits.

During the 2016 appeal, the collection in the Diocese of Buffalo amounted to more than $794,000. More than 100 percent of that amount was distributed by the National Religious Retirement

Office in Washington, D.C., via direct grants to congregations with membership in the Diocese of Buffalo. The vast majority of these congregations are women religious.

Since no funding is received from the Diocese of Buffalo through its priests' retirement fund or the Upon This Rock campaign, the national appeal to be taken up on the Dec. 9-10 weekend is one way in which people in the Diocese of Buffalo can offer their financial assistance to congregations that have staffed Catholic schools, hospitals, parishes and social service organizations for more than 150 years.

Many of the women receiving assistance through this retirement appeal were the active teachers, nurses, catechists and social workers who contributed to the faith formation, education and health care of those who themselves are now well into adulthood or reaching retirement.

These religious are very grateful to the faithful of the Diocese of Buffalo for their past contributions and again ask that this generosity continue, since the need remains very great. Most of the religious who benefit from this appeal are no longer able to continue an active ministry, but continue to be an important source of spiritual support for the people of the Diocese of Buffalo and elsewhere. Again, they thank you for sharing your resources in this time of financial need.   

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