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Rhode Island

Collection benefits elderly religious here at home

Sister Lidia Ortíz, left, and Sister Silvia Juárez of the Sisters, Servants of Mary go away the nunnery in Kansas City, Kansas, and head into the night time to look after these in want through the peak of COVID in 2020 On the weekend of December 10-11, the archdiocese will maintain its annual nationwide pension fund for parish religious collections. This assortment helps fund the retirement of elderly religious such because the Sisters, Servants of Mary and Monks of St Benedict’s Abbey at Atchison. PHOTO BY LORI WOOD HABIGER

by Joe Bolling
[email protected]

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – There’s an previous adage well-known to parishioners of the Kansas City Archdiocese of Kansas: The household takes care of itself.

The identical is true of the household, which is the Church.

Catholics have an extended custom of caring for others, however particularly the retired religious and ministers of assorted orders who’ve served them faithfully.

On the weekend of December 10-11, the archdiocese will maintain its annual nationwide pension fund for parish religious collections. Last yr parishioners donated $100,712.

Two religious orders within the archdiocese benefited from the gathering. In 2022, the Sisters, Servants of Mary for the Sick, and Benedictine Monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison acquired a complete of $272,803 in monetary help from the nationwide assortment.

The Sisters, Servants haven’t met 86.52% of their retirement wants. The Benedictine monks are 60.81% unfunded.

“Since the beginning of our institute and under the inspiration of our founder, Saint Maria Soledad Torres, we have dedicated ourselves to the free, loving and devoted care of the sick in their own homes,” stated Sister Ema Munoz, Superior of the group.

“Today, our older sisters are happy and content because of the care they receive,” she stated. “This is partly because of the sort donations that are available yr after yr from the Religious Pension Fund. We proceed to belief in God’s windfall manifested by [parishioners’] Generosity.”

The Retirement Fund for Religious and the National Religious Retirement Office had been fashioned in 1988 to deal with a disaster: most religious orders within the US had critical shortages of retirement financial savings and had been unable to care for his or her elderly.

How did it occur? There had been a number of components.

For a few years, religious orders served for low wages that included no pension. In addition, there at the moment are extra retired religious of their congregations than energetic members. As a end result, many religious communities discover themselves in a quandary between falling earnings and rising prices for the care of their elderly members.

“Caring for our aging nun represents a tremendous financial responsibility,” stated Sister Stephanie Still, NRRO govt director and member of the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco. “It is our privilege to minister to those who have given a lifetime of tireless service, and I feel deeply blessed by all of the Catholic donors across the United States who have tirelessly contributed to this fund.”

Fortunately, Catholics have responded generously annually. In 2021, the enchantment raised almost $28.5 million, and funds had been distributed to 271 US religious communities.

What would occur to the older sisters and servants if they didn’t obtain assist from the gathering?

“Probably the quality of their care would not be what we would like,” Sister Ema stated. “Since our home nursing service is free of charge, we could not provide the quality of care we want for our sick and elderly.”

The religious who profit from the gathering – particularly the elderly in want of care – are deeply grateful for the love proven to them by beneficiant Catholics who donate yearly to the trigger. Sister Ema hopes that this love will likely be expressed once more.

“These sick and elderly sisters gave their lives for others – in many ways – according to our charism: ‘I was ill and you visited me,’” Sister Ema stated. “Would you like to help them as they have helped others, through financial help and a generous donation?”

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