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In good times and bad, Sister Theresa and the senior religious shown above here have dedicated themselves to God's work. Together with nearly 30,000 elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests in the United States, they educated the young, tended the sick, and ministered to the needy. Today, they pray for a world that is hurting. Yet many religious communities do not have enough retirement savings and struggle to provide for aging members. Covid-19 has only increased these challenges. Your tax deductible gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious helps furnish medications, nursing care, and more. Please be generous.

Donations can be sent to the address or click the button below to learn
about others ways you may donate:

National Religious Retirement Office, 3211 Fourth Street NE, Washington DC, 200017 - 1194
Please make your check payable to Retirement Fund for Relgious.

Retirement Fund for Religious - Why We Ask

  • In 1988, Catholic bishops of the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious to address the significant lack of retirement funding for Catholic sisters, brothers, and priests in religious orders.
  • For most of their lives, elder religious worked for little to no pay. There were no 401(k) plans or pensions.
  • Religious communities are financially responsible for the support and care of all members. Income, earnings, and expenses are managed separately from the parish and diocesan structures of the Catholic Church.
  • Only 5 percent of the religious communities providing data to the National Religious Retirement Office are adequately funded for retirement; 40 percent have 25 or fewer members. Many small communities struggle to care for elder members due to a lack of financial resources and personnel.
  • Today, religious past age 70 outnumber religious under age 70 by nearly three to one.
  • There are 28,418 religious past age 70 living in the United States. In 2019, the average annual cost for their care was roughly $47,000 per person; skilled care averaged $72,000 per person.
  • Since 2009, the annual cost to support senior women and men religious has exceeded $1 billion.
  • In 2019, 72 percent of the religious communities providing data to the National Religious Retirement Office had a median age of 70 or higher. The average annual Social Security benefit for a religious is $6,843, whereas the average US beneficiary receives $18,034.

How Donations Help

  • Each year, hundreds of US religious communities receive financial assistance made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious. Communities can use this funding for immediate retirement expenses or invest it for future needs. Since the first collection, US Catholics have donated almost $899 million.
  • Almost $762 million has been distributed since 1989
    to support the day-to-day care of elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. An additional $101 million has been allocated toward self-help projects initiated by religious communities, including collaborative health-care facilities.
  • In addition to direct financial assistance, proceeds from the annual appeal underwrite educational programming, services, and resources that enable religious communities to evaluate and prepare for long-term retirement needs.
  • Support from the Retirement Fund for Religious helps religious communities care for senior members while continuing important ministries to the People of God.