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Bishop Koenig on collection for retirement fund for religious: ‘Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish’

A group of priests and religious from the Diocese of Wilmington celebrating jubilees ranging from 75 to 40 years, gather for Mass with Bishop Koenig, left, and Bishop Malooly, right, at Church of the Holy Child on Sept. 21, 2021. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

November 2022

Dear Friends in Christ,

On the weekend of December 3-4 our parishes will hold the Retirement Fund for Religious Collection – an annual appeal that benefits some 25,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests who never retreat from a life of perpetual commitment and service to the church. Our senior religious are a treasure — both for their service to our church and for the ways they enrich our faith. “Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit even in old age” (Ps 92:14-15).

As I reflect on the ministry of women and men religious — past and present — I am grateful for the ways they have shaped my own faith. I also value the tremendous service they have offered our diocese. Perhaps you, too, recall an older religious who made a positive difference in your life.

Most senior religious worked many years for little pay, leaving their religious communities with a shortage of retirement savings. Rising health-care costs and decreased income compound the challenge to meet day-to-day needs for medications, nursing assistance, and other necessities. Donations to the Retirement Fund for Religious provide financial support that helps religious communities care for aging members while ensuring younger ones can continue the good works of their elders.

I understand you are asked to support many worthy causes. I invite you to give what you can. Most importantly, please pray for God’s continued blessing on all our women and men religious. Rest assured that they are praying for you.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend William E. Koenig, D.D.

Bishop of Wilmington