National Religious Retirement office gives $24M to orders in need

August 18, 2015

HOUSTON — The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed $25 million in financial assistance to 394 religious communities across the country. 

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston donated $629,724.44, its highest total ever. Since the collection was launched in 1988, total Archdiocesan contributions have amounted to more than $10.5 million.

“ Your generosity, combined with that of Catholics across the nation, enables our office to distribute critical funding to help religious communities meet the day-to-day needs of senior members,” Sister Janice Bader, CPPS, executive director for the NRRO, said in a letter to the Archdiocese. “It also enables us to provide education, resources, and consultative support to help religious communities plan for long-term retirement expenses. The good we are able to do is in direct measure to the good we have been given. For this, we offer abundant thanks.”

The funding is made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious collection, an annual, parish-based appeal benefitting more than 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests. 

The latest collection was held in the majority of U.S. Catholic parishes in December 2014 and raised $28.3 million.

The funding disbursed the week of June 22, known as Direct Care Assistance, represents the majority of financial support distributed by the NRRO. Additional funding will be allocated for religious communities with the greatest needs and for ongoing education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery. Ninety-three percent of donations aid elderly religious and their communities, while the remaining seven percent are used for administration and promotion of the annual appeal.

The U.S. bishops launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to address the profound deficit in retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. The NRRO coordinates the annual collection and distributes the proceeds to eligible communities. 

The organization is sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).