By Elizabeth Lowe
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Kathleen Haughey calls the Retirement Fund for Religious collection a blessing for religious sisters, brothers and priests, one made possible by the kindness of others.
“It’s an incredible example of the generosity of so many people who have profited from the religious ministry,” said Sister Kathleen, 81, who noted that presence in nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other pastoral ministries. “It (the collection) is a wonderful way of remembering our services, a wonderful way to say thank you and a wonderful way to thank God for just so many blessings in our lives.”
The annual collection in the Archdiocese of Baltimore is at Masses Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15.
Last year, the archdiocese contributed more than $447,000 to the collection, according to the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO).
In 2013, the Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore, Oblate Sisters of Providence, Order of Friars Minor Conventual, School Sisters of Notre Dame and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, among others, received nearly $594,000 in aid from the NRRO.
“Some of this money has come to my community right here in Baltimore,” Sister Kathleen said. “Can you imagine how grateful I am and how grateful we are that we are cared for and remembered?”
The collection, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops began in 1988, works to address the lack of retirement funds among U.S. religious communities, according to the NRRO. Funds are distributed to eligible communities to help finance retirement and healthcare expenses.
Catholics nationwide have contributed $698 million to the collection, which benefits more than 34,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests, according to the NRRO.
For information, visit retiredreligious.org.