Diocese of Ogdensburg organizing 30th annual appeal for clergy retirement fund
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 11:37 am

OGDENSBURG -- The 30th appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held Dec. 9 and 10 in Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

The annual, parish-based collection is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) and benefits 32,000 aging Catholic sisters, brothers and priests in religious orders.

The United States Bishops began the collection in 1988 to help retirement savings among the nation’s religious congregations. Proceeds are distributed to help underwrite always rising retirement and health-care expenses.

“The North Country has been and continues to be blessed by men and women who give their lives in service to the Lord as consecrated religious. Now is our turn to support them through the Retirement Fund for Religious,” said Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg.

The 2016 appeal raised more than $30 million. The NRRO provided assistance to 390 religious communities across the country. Religious communities combine this funding with their own income and savings to meet a host of eldercare needs, including medications and nursing care.

Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated to provide expanded assistance to religious communities with significant retirement-funding deficits. A portion of the proceeds also supports education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery.

While support from the Retirement Fund for Religious has helped many religious communities stabilize retirement accounts, hundreds of others continue to lack sufficient resources to fully provide for older members.

Most senior religious worked for little or no pay, leaving their religious communities with inadequate retirement savings.

At the same time, religious communities are challenged by the rising cost of care. Last year, the average annual cost of care for senior religious was $42,000 per person, while skilled care averaged more than $63,000. In 2016, the total cost of care for women and men religious past age 70 exceeded $1.2 billion.

“Our goal is to help religious communities meet today’s retirement needs while preparing for the ones to come—so that religious young and old can continue to serve the People of God,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, the NRRO’s executive director.

More information is available at www.retiredreligious.org.