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Religious never retire from thier vows

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

December 8, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Pope Francis often highlights the role older adults play in conveying faith from one generation to the next. Recently, he noted that “there is no retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel.” As we approach the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, an appeal that benefits some 26,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests, I am reminded that senior women and men religious never retire from their vows.

The prayer and ministry of older religious are an ongoing witness to the Gospel. In their younger years, they laid the foundation for Catholic schools, hospitals, and works of mercy. Today, many serve in volunteer ministry. Others are frail and need assistance. Yet all remain wholly committed to their vocations, accepting the limitations of aging and embracing the opportunity to spend more time praying for our Church and world.

Most senior religious worked for little pay, and now their religious communities do not have enough retirement savings. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious offers support that helps religious communities provide loving care for older members while ensuring younger ones can continue the good works of their elders.

Many fine religious women and men have served and continue to serve the people of God here in the North Country as teachers, health care providers, pastoral associates, administrators, pastors, and assistant priests. We are richly blessed to have a community of contemplatives, Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, supporting us through their ministry of prayer. We are also grateful to those missionaries (Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Heralds of the Good News) who have left their home countries to minister here.

I recognize you may be experiencing your own financial difficulties. I ask only that you give what you can. Most importantly, please join me in praying for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.  

Gratefully yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg


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