Parishioners help boost retirement fund for religious

Retired priests, brothers and sisters of four religious orders in the archdiocese will have a more secure future thanks to parishioners who last December gave to the 29th annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious.

People across the archdiocese contributed $196,630, 8 percent more than the previous year’s $181,736. Over the last 29 years, the archdiocese has donated nearly $3.95 million.

"The generosity of Catholics living in northeast Nebraska provides vital financial assistance to retired members of religious communities who deserve to have their basic living needs met," said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor. "A sacrificial contribution rewards retired religious for their sacrificial service."

Nationally, the 2016 collection raised nearly $30.7 million, topping $30 million for the second straight year and the seventh time since the collections began in 1988.

Orders in the archdiocese receiving funds were: Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey in Elkhorn, $13,167; the Servants of Mary in Omaha, $80,485; the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Bellevue, $108,254; and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – West Midwest Community, based in Omaha, $340,847.

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

Across the country this year, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which coordinates the campaign, distributed $25 million to 390 religious communities that support more than 32,000 retired sisters, brothers and priests.

The NRRO also provides financial planning and eldercare expertise to religious communities to help them meet the challenge of declining incomes and rising health care costs.

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