Pope Francis, in his Message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, on July 25, 2021, highlighted the role older adults play in conveying faith from one generation to the next. He noted that “there is no retirement from the work of proclaiming the Gospel”. As we approach the annual Retirement Fund for Religious Collection, an appeal that benefits some 26,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests, we are reminded that senior religious never retire from their vows.
Instead, the prayer and ministry of older religious are an ongoing witness to the Gospel. In their younger years, they laid the foundation for Catholic Schools, hospitals, and works of Mercy. Today, many serve in volunteer ministry. Others are frail and need assistance. Yet all remain committed to their vocations, accepting the limitations of aging and embracing the opportunity to spend time praying for our Church and world.
Most senior religious worked for little pay, and now their religious communities do not have enough retirement savings. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious offers support that helps religious communities provide loving care for older members while ensuring younger ones can continue the good works of their elders.
The Retirement Fund for religious will take place next weekend, December 11th, and 12th. We live in difficult times, and many worthwhile causes vie for our limited resources. You are encouraged simply to share what you can and pray for God’s blessing on our elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.