Sunday, July 30, 2006
Financial Crisis - Lack of Nuns

The Church desperately NEEDS nuns (those that live in cloistered communities) and religious sisters (those that don't live in cloistered communities). Religious sisters are excellent teachers and help the Church tremendously not only in teaching but in making altar bread and various other areas. The sacrifice of prayer of nuns certainly brings us many graces.

Article via Yahoo News article:

Though billions of dollars have been salted away, there still remains an unfunded future liability of $8.7 billion for current nuns, priests and brothers in religious orders. The financial hole is projected by a consulting firm to exceed $20 billion by 2023.


In some ways, religious orders face the same problem as many governments: increasing numbers of older retirees need benefits, but there are fewer workers to support them. America's younger workers pay now for the Social Security benefits of seniors, while younger religious support their older generations by caring for them.

Sisters, who make up 82 percent of retirees, are especially vulnerable.

Between 1965 and 2005, their numbers plummeted from 179,954 to 68,634, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

With far fewer younger novices being recruited, the majority of sisters are now more than 70 years old, the retirement office's new survey said. Even though sisters usually work until age 75, caring for the retired population is a huge task.


Some religious orders are financially healthy, but Fries' office reckons that only 4 percent of current sisters are adequately funded for their retirement needs. Typically, the problem is worst in smaller orders.

Religious orders are totally independent from dioceses in administration and finance. But they often serve in schools and other parish or diocesan institutions, so bishops and parishioners naturally feel a responsibility to help.

The religious orders' plight first gained national attention with a 1985 Wall Street Journal article by John Fialka. Contacted by fellow Catholics who offered donations, Fialka helped organize SOAR (Support Our Aging Religious), which pioneered in fundraising and last year received $1.4 million to aid retirees.

The U.S. bishops then followed suit, sponsoring their first annual collection in 1988 under the new retirement office, co-sponsored with three organizations of women's and men's orders.

The annual December collection was scheduled to cease next year, but at their June meeting the bishops agreed to extend the program another 10 years. Also, the retirement office plans to increase training for orders on how to manage investments, buildings and other assets.

Hundreds of orders have been forced to sell off assets to cover expenses
If you are considering a vocation as a nun or as a religious sister, please pray about it. We desperately need you! Please pray for vocations. And, pray for traditional vocations - people that will actually wear a real habit and remain faithful to Rome.

In addition, please see my well known post entitled "Nuns Should Wear the Habit."

Image Source: Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus


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