By Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond
November 30, 2019
To: Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Archdiocese
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On the weekend of Dec. 7-8, our parishes will hold the Retirement Fund for Religious collection, an annual appeal that benefits some 30,000 senior sisters, brothers and religious order priests.
As Christians, we are called to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps 100:2). Our elderly religious offer a shining example of what it means to answer this call. During their days of active ministry, they worked tirelessly to build Catholic schools and hospitals, promote social justice and embrace the neediest among us. In retirement, many continue in volunteer ministry, and all pray for the needs of our Church and world. Inspired by love, their service – past and present – is marked by joy and a deep desire to do the will of God.
As you may know, many religious communities find it increasingly difficult to provide for aging members. Most older religious worked for little or no pay. Today, their communities do not have enough retirement savings. At the same time, health-care costs continue to rise, and fewer members are able to serve in compensated ministry.
Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious provides vital funding for medications, nursing care and more. It also helps religious congregations plan for future retirement needs, even as they continue to serve the people of God.
I understand you are asked to support many worthy causes. I invite you only to give what you can. Most importantly, please pray for God’s continued blessing on all our women and men religious. Rest assured, they are praying for you.
Wishing you God’s blessings and with the assurance of my prayers, I am,
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans