As the Church begins the celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, the women and men of the Diocese of Buffalo are most grateful for the generosity that has been shown over the past 26 years through the Retirement Fund For Religious collection. During the 2013 campaign, the Diocese of Buffalo submitted $848,000 to the national office for the care of the retired religious.
Approximately 95 percent of this amount was given in Direct Care Assistance to Congregations of Women and Men in the Diocese of Buffalo. Additional funds were provided to women's congregations in the diocese for purposes of planning for future needs.
The amount submitted, mostly from parishes and individual donors within the Diocese of Buffalo, placed Buffalo second only to Chicago in the national rankings. Donors both within the diocese and throughout the United States have also contributed generously online through the shareinthecare.org website hosted by the Diocese of Buffalo.
There are several hundred religious sisters, brothers and priests within the Diocese of Buffalo over the age of 70, but most are not really "retired" in the usual sense of the word. They continue to minister to the people of Western New York as parish and liturgical ministers, educators in schools and faith formation programs, health care and social workers, and hospital and nursing home chaplains and visitors.
Others assist in food pantries, GED and refugee programs, pro-life activities, Kairos retreats, and organizations that assist the poor. Most of all, these retired religious continue their lifelong commitment to a life of prayer.
Each year thousands of prayer requests are made to religious congregations in the Diocese of Buffalo and retired religious continue to daily present these requests to God during the celebration of the Eucharist and their private prayers.
The 2014 Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be taken up in the Diocese of Buffalo on Dec. 13 and 14. It is a weekend during which the people of the Diocese of Buffalo can express their gratitude for the women and men religious who have served the Diocese of Buffalo since its beginning in 1847.
To donate to the Retirement Fund for Religious, visit Share in the Care.org.