The 33rd annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held in most U.S. Catholic parishes from December 12-13. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the appeal assists hundreds of religious order communities in providing for the ongoing needs of their aging Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.
The U.S. bishops initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious orders. Distinct from retired priest collections held in respective dioceses for the care of retired diocesan priests, this annual collection benefits eligible religious orders to help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses for nearly 30,000 elderly religious.
The 2019 appeal raised $26.2 million, and this past June, the NRRO distributed $25 million in financial assistance to 341 religious communities across the nation. The beneficiary religious order communities combine this funding with their own income and savings to help furnish day-to-day necessities, including medications and nursing care, and the distributions may be applied toward immediate retirement needs or invested for future eldercare expenses.