Do you support the ailing and/or retired religious?

This isn’t a poll or anything of that nature, but I’m just curious about how many readers here at CAF financially (or otherwise) support the retired or aging religious communities…whether that be Sisters, Priests, Brothers, etc. that may have taught you in school or ministered to you in your lifetime.
I suppose I’m more concerned about the Sisters communities since many of them appear to have financial difficulties due to various reasons.
From what I’ve read, many of these orders are in need of financial support for their ailing and retired members to keep them afloat in todays economy and vocation “crisis”.
I personally feel that we are obligated to “return the favor” (so to speak) and do what is within our means to help them out given the years of service they put in and the benefits we reaped from their vocations, the educations we received from these women.etc. etc.
Just something to think about ! THEY were there for US, now WE need to be there for THEM.:slight_smile:

As a matter of fact, I do: My work place has a charitable drive for employees, and there is a booklet they give out every year which gives the various charities to which you can direct your donation. One of the charities is the retirement fund for religious in my diocese, and I direct a portion of my payroll-deducted donation to that fund.

Additionally, my SD is a retired priest. We confer weekly via Skype. I can’t do confession with him via the internet, obviously, but the discussions we have and the reading assignments and prayer exercises are really making a huge difference in my life. We discussed briefly last week what we are both getting out of going through the Exercises, and he tells me that doing direction with me and a few other people via Skype is helping him to continue to have purpose in living. He has a stable but serious physical illness, and does not have the stamina to continue active ministry in a parish and take care of his own needs, but he is still able to maintain the work of a spiritual director in this way. He has the full support of his superior in this, still has a very acute mind and intellect (as well as a grasp of technical computer knowledge that would be the envy of any techno-nerd,) and it would be a crying shame to have him waste this God-given talent in a supported living situation.

I would be interested in doing that. How does one go about supporting the aging religious communities?

I think in most dioceses there is an annual (or maybe more often…) collection or “drive” where people can donate to a “general fund” for these religious and the $ is evenly shared with local communities/orders within that particular diocese.

Many orders have websites you can visit which often have a newsletter type of feature that indicates what is currently going on with an order and how onw can make a donation to them. They are all very grateful for ANY size donation their former students etc. are able to make. I’m assuming donations of this sort are probably tax deductable and even if they’re not, it’s still a nice gesture for us to make.

In addition, I’ve seen where many orders have “associates” of lay people who provide various forms of aid to these religious (not necessarily financial) by doing things like driving them to Dr.'s appointments, taking them on pleasurable outings, taking them food for their pantries, and all the usual things elderly people require in their advancing years…which are normally provided by family members.

I think most of us were never aware of how these orders sustained themselves as it was never a topic of discussion “back in the day”, and to my knowledge I don’t think the members received salaries or paid taxes, social secirity, etc.but the needs still exist for them.

Yes, and especially the SSND. Those sisters taught me. :slight_smile:

There are a number of ways.

Donate generously to the parish collection for retired religious.

Personally donate to the congregation of your choice.

Donate to SOAR (Support Our Aging Religious)