Dear Friends in Christ,
Many of us know or recall a Sister, Brother or order priest who has shown us the ideal of love, generosity and responsibility — a love that demanded trust in providence and acceptance of financial insecurity. They gave heart and spirit to those in their care and invested in people rather than pensions.
By 2019, it is projected that religious past age 70 will outnumber those under age 70 by nearly four to one. In keeping with their vows and traditions, all religious who are able continue to minister and to pray. However, there are among our elderly religious many who suffer the same pain and indignities associated with aging that you might see in your own families. Their institutes are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the challenge of rapidly escalating healthcare costs.
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has noted, “Indeed, the provision of care for the elderly should be considered not so much an act of generosity as the repayment of a debt of gratitude.” Soon, our parishes will be taking up the annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious, an opportunity to honor and thank thousands of senior Catholic Sisters, Brothers and religious order priests for their faithful service.
I ask you to “be with” our elderly women and men religious as we conduct the appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious, especially those who are frail and in need of skilled care. Support this appeal and hold our religious in your hearts and your prayers, journey with them in hope and grow with them in love.
This is our opportunity to share in their care; let us speak for them and care for them. Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Davenport will conduct the 24th annual national appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious on Dec. 10-11. Please be as generous as possible in supporting the Retirement Fund for Religious collection.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport