Parishioners help boost religious retirement fund

Religious sisters, brothers and priests will have a more secure retirement thanks to parishioners across the Archdiocese of Omaha and around the country who contributed last December to the Retirement Fund for Religious.
People in the archdiocese gave $184,170, part of the more than $28 million collected nationally. 
In June, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed $25 million to 360 religious communities to help them care for their senior members. That included $144,625 to the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Bellevue and $95,749 to the Servants of Mary in Omaha. The office also distributed $16,234 to Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey and $8,999 to the Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, both near Elkhorn. Members of religious communities who serve or have served in the archdiocese but whose congregations are based in other cities also receive funding. 
In addition to the June distribution for direct care, additional funding is allocated throughout the year based on need, as well as education the fund offers to religious orders for retirement planning and eldercare delivery. 
“Traditionally, women and men religious served for little or no pay,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, NRRO’s executive director. “Today, hundreds of religious communities lack sufficient retirement savings. Proceeds from the annual collection enable our office to distribute financial assistance that helps communities provide for aging members.”
The office is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
About 94 percent of donations directly aid senior religious and their communities. Administration and promotion of the annual appeal accounts for the remainder.
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