The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) coordinates this national appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious and distributes financial assistance for retirement needs to eligible religious institutes.
Last year, the parishioners in the Fall River Diocese donated $93,326.67 to the collection. About the upcoming 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. To help address this deficit in retirement funding, Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the Retirement Fund for Religious Collection in 1988.
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.