Four religious orders benefit from collection

Four orders of religious in the Archdiocese of Omaha benefited from December’s collection for the 28th annual Retirement Fund for Religious.

Parishioners across the archdiocese contributed $181,736, up 16.5 percent from $155,935 the previous year. Nationally, the collection raised nearly $30.7 million, the sixth time donations topped $30 million since the collection began in 1988.

Local orders helped by the recently distributed funds: the Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare in Omaha, $10,565; Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey in Elkhorn, $14,049; the Servants of Mary in Omaha, $99,720; and the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Bellevue, $109,759.

Religious sisters, brothers and priests who serve or have served in the archdiocese but whose communities are in other cities also receive funding.

Over the last 28 years, people in the archdiocese have donated more than $3.75 million to the fund.

"This collection is important because it allows men and women who have served the church for many decades without counting the cost to retire comfortably without the stress of trying to make ends meet," said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor.

Across the country, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), which coordinates the campaign and provides financial planning and eldercare expertise to religious communities, distributed $25 million in financial assistance for more than 33,000 sisters, brothers and priests in 401 religious communities.

Aging priests, sisters and brothers now make up more than half of the country’s religious. But their communities lack sufficient retirement savings to offset declining incomes and rising health care costs.

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