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Advocacy Catholic Life Features Health Ministry News Press Release Specials

Retirement Fund for Religious collection to be held Dec. 12-13.


The parishes of the Diocese of Buffalo will hold the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection this weekend, Dec. 12-13. Please visit Share in the care site to make an online donation anytime.

In 1988, Catholic bishops of the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious to address the significant lack of retirement funding for Catholic sisters, brothers and priests in religious orders. Religious communities are financially responsible for the support and care of all members. Income, earnings and expenses are managed separately from the parish and diocesan structures of the Catholic Church.

Today, religious past age 70 outnumber those under 70 by nearly three to one. For most of their lives, elder religious worked for little to no pay. There were no 401(k) plans or pensions. Only 5 percent of the religious communities providing data to the National Religious Retirement Office are adequately funded for retirement; 40 percent have 25 or fewer members. Many small communities struggle to care for elder members due to a lack of financial resources and personnel.

In 2019, there were 792 religious sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Buffalo. Each year, hundreds of U.S. religious communities receive financial assistance made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious. Communities can use this funding for immediate retirement expenses or to invest it for future needs. Since the first collection, U.S. Catholics have donated almost $899 million