September 17, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 23
Retired Religious collection to be held Sept. 29-30
The 25th annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be taken up September 29-30 in the Diocese of Richmond.
The parish-based appeal is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) in Washington, D.C., and offers financial support for the day-to-day care of over 34,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.
Last year, the Diocese of Richmond contributed $146,310 to the collection, an increase of more than $40,000 over 2010 donations.
The Comboni Missionary Sisters in Richmond and Our Lady of the Angels Trappistine Monastery near Crozet received financial assistance made possible by the national appeal.
Additionally, religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may also benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious.
The collection was initiated in 1988 by Catholic bishops of the United States. Proceeds are distributed to eligible religious communities to help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses. Nearly 95 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their communities.
Contributions to the 2011 appeal totaled $27.4 million and enabled the national office to distribute $23 million in financial assistance to 453 religious communities. Nearly $2.9 million was disbursed to assist religious communities with the greatest needs and to support ongoing education in retirement and elder-care delivery.
Since the collection began, Catholics in the United States have donated over $671 million to support senior religious.
“Words cannot express our gratitude,” said NRRO Executive Director and Precious Blood Sister Janice Bader. “We are humbled by the generous and prayerful support that so many people share with our elder religious each year.”
Last year’s distributions amounted to approximately $907 per eligible religious. Yet the average annual cost of care for a senior religious stands at $37,200 per person, while skilled care can exceed $56,000. In 2011 alone, the total cost of care for women and men religious was over $1.1 billion.
Religious communities are financially autonomous and thus responsible for the care and support of their elder members. Traditionally, senior religious worked for small stipends, and any surplus income was often reinvested in community ministries.
As a result, many religious communities now lack adequate savings for retirement and elder care. Annual distributions from the Retirement Fund for Religious offer religious communities supplemental retirement funding and help to furnish various necessities, such as prescription medications and nursing care.
Faithful Citizenship program to be held at five parishes
The Virginia Catholic Conference will present a series of talks “Living Our Faith, Loving Our Neighbor in an Election Year” at five parishes in the Diocese of Richmond and two in the Diocese of Arlington.
Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, and Jay Brown, director of the Richmond Diocesan Office of Justice and Peace, will focus on the seven key themes of Catholic social teaching.
The talk will help point out ways in which Catholics can responsibly participate in the political process that are in keeping with the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”
Earlier programs have already been held in early September at Sacred Heart, Norfolk; St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlottesville, and Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke.
Remaining sessions will be held Thursday, Sept. 20, at St. Bridget Church, Richmond, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Holy Cross Church, Lynchburg, both at 7 p.m.
The Bishop’s Cup
Father David Stanfill, pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Richmond, and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, hold “The Bishop’s Cup” trophy to be awarded to the winning parish division team in the Bishop’s Cup Inaugural Golf Tournament to be held on Monday, Oct. 8, at Independence Golf Course in Midlothian. The Bishop has agreed to come to the tournament and bless all the golfers before tee off.
The tournament is being co-sponsored by Holy Rosary and the Knights of Columbus, Council No. 6457. All proceeds will be used to support the church and its ministries serving the Church Hill area of Richmond. For Early Bird registration or more information, go to the parish website www.hrccrichmond.org and click on the Bishop’s Cup! PHOTO BY JUDY LINDFORS
St. Anne Catholic School in Bristol has “remembered 9/11” ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This year’s focus for the Prayer Service was on the victims. The Art Club and eighth and fourth grade religion classes painted large cardboard boxes as part of an installation project. Each box was decorated with handprints of the students who designed the project. The hands placed randomly over the three 12-foot structures show the humanity lost. Graffiti of sentiments, both positive and negative, were painted in black over the colorful box structures. The final part of the design was to print out a list of all the names of the victims to be glued around the memorial structure. Students could walk around these structures and see if anyone with the same last name was on the list and offer a prayer for all the victims who died on 9/11.
The 5th grade students of Holy Cross Regional School in Lynchburg participated in Reading Olympics, the annual celebration recognizing the reading accomplishments of our elementary students. From left are Ashley Laneve, Rachel Williams and Carynne Posey. Over the summer, students in grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade read a total of 1,791 books while the 3rd through 5th graders read 45,885 pages.