December 8 Collection for Religious Retirement Fund

Thank You Gathering for Sisters of St. Joseph, Oct. 2010

The priests who have served St. Charles in its almost 150 year history have been “diocesan” priests. That means that they were ordained to serve the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The bishop and people of the diocese have the responsibility of caring for us when we are sick or infirm. Your generosity in the “Generations of Faith Campaign,” 40% of which went to build up the trust funds for priests, was deeply moving to us all.

The sisters and brothers as well as priests from religious orders who were not ordained for the diocese were not covered in this campaign. As members of religious communities, they can come from anywhere and serve anywhere. A national solution was needed to help them. This is the origin and meaning of the collection for retired religious which will be taken up next week in every parish in the country. It is, to me, the most important collection of the year and will be taken up next week, Dec 8th.

The religious women, who did so much to form me and my sense of vocation, and the religious men, who I met later in life worked incredibly long hours for little payment. If there were any plans for retirement at all, it would have been based on new members filling the ranks. As we know the numbers have declined and they now need our help.

Although this collection is national and it may seem to bring in considerable money, it really does not even touch the surface of the problem. Orders have had to sell off property and join together to save money. This collection is helpful financially but, as my “religious” friends tell me, it is usually the largest special collection and they take that as a sign of support and love.

Let be so generous that they will all know our love for them and gratitude to them. You can give online at or at the collection taken up at Mass next Sunday, December 8.

In Christ,
Fr. Bill

PS – A letter – hand written the way they taught so many of us – means more than anything else. If you know the address of a religious who taught or inspired you: WRITE HIM OR HER NOW!