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Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 30, 2007, Cincinnati, OhioIncarnation celebrates 50 years Page 14 Catholic serving 500,000 catholics in the archdiocese of Cincinnati 176th year no. 48 november 30, 2007 giving Back to those who gave their All annual Appeal for elderly Catholic religious set for dec. 8-9 by Eileen Connelly Osu archdiocese a the 20th National annual Appeal for the retirement fund for religious will be conducted in Catholic parishes dec. 8-9. Coordinated by the National religious retirement office of the . Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington the retirement fund Appeal benefits the projected $9 billion retirement liability of the nation s religious orders. While the unfunded retirement liability is difficult and painful for Many catholics to comprehend the annual Appeal has helped ensure that this liability can become a Quot manageable concern Quot rather than the Quot crisis Quot that writer John Fialka described in his groundbreaking article in the Wall Street journal in 1986. The crisis in unfunded retirement for Catholic women and men religious became evident in the Early 1970s. The crisis in unfunded retirement for Catholic women and men religious became evident in the Early 1970s. Catholic schools operated primarily by religious orders were educating More than 10 percent of the student population in the United states. Catholic hospitals were becoming the largest group of not for profit hospitals in the nation. But the salaries and stipends to religious were earmarked primarily for Good works new ministries and training and education that prepared religious for ministries. Catholic schools operated primarily by religious orders were educating More than 10 percent of the student population in the United states. Catholic hospitals were becoming the largest group of not for profit hospitals in the nation. But the salaries and stipends to religious were earmarked primarily for Good works new ministries and training and education that prepared religious for ministries. For generations the care of elderly members had been carried out by those entering religious life. Today however elderly religious far outnumber wage earning religious. Health care costs have skyrocketed and the number of elderly religious in assisted living or nursing facilities has risen dramatically. Retired religious today receive on average one third of the social Security Benefit paid to the average social Security recipient. In 1988, Church officials launched the retirement fund for religious. The National religious retirement office which sponsors the mfr Appeal returns 94 percent of donations directly to its Mission far exceeding the average nonprofit in the percentage of donations applied directly to Mission. Special Grant awards Are used to meet emergency needs. Since it was established Nero has expanded its services to assist strategic planning for retirement the office tracks emerging trends in elder care property utilization and publicly funded programs. The Nero database is one of the most Complete sources of information about the status of religious life in the United states today. Catholics in the archdiocese of Cincinnati have always been extremely generous in their support of the retirement fund said precious blood sister Mary Garke director of the archdiocesan office of religious and local coordinator of the Appeal. Among the congregations that receive assistance from the retirement fund Are the ursuline of Brown county and Cincinnati. Both communities Are grateful for the support that enables them to provide Quality compassionate care for their retired members. The Brown county ursuline currently have six members residing at the mount notre Dame healthcare Center in Reading where the Sisters of notre Dame de Namur have offered space to congregations without their own formal healthcare centers. Sister Agatha Fitzgerald of Brown county said their Sisters have been warmly welcomed into the caring spiritual environment at the Center. She also made note of How much the retirement fund has meant to her congregation and others saying Quot the gracious generosity of those who help support our elderly religious women and men Lightens our hearts As Well As our financial burdens because the gratitude expressed gives us the courage to believe our lives have made a sister Mary Jerome Buchert general minister of the ursuline of Cincinnati agrees. Quot the generous support of those who contribute to the Appeal affirms the Faith and dedication that our elderly members brought to their ministries through the years and helps ensure we can provide the care they need Quot she said. Quot we Are overwhelmingly grateful to those who help share in the care of our for the past two years retired members of the Cincinnati ursuline have resided at mercy Center Theresa in Mariemont where they moved after the congregation determined it was no longer financially feasible to maintain its health care unit at the Mother House. Sister Mary Jerome acknowledged that while it was difficult for the Sisters to leave the place that Many had called Home for years they adapted to life at St. Theresa with characteristic courage and openness and have found it to be a place where they can Pray celebrate and continue to minister to others. Since the first National annual Appeal took place in Catholic parishes in 1988, Nero has raised More than $529 million. The retirement fund for religious collection has been the most successful Appeal in . Catholic Church history. Donations have enabled Nero to seed and stabilize retirement funds at religious institutes leverage local fund raising and As Courtesy photo Sist capital campaigns. Grant awards have assisted investment and supported collaboration among religious institutes and helped ensure Quality of life and adequate health care for thousands of women and men religious formerly at risk. During the past two decades however the Gap Between assets available for retirement and the Cost of living health care for elderly women and men religious has widened from $2 billion to $9 billion and is expected to grow. In 2023, the combined social Security benefits of All retired religious is projected to be $184 million a year but Cost of care will total More than $1.6 billion annually. More than 37,000 Catholic religious Are now past age 70. More than 5,000 women and men require skilled nursing care. While costs for care in a skilled nursing facility in the . Average More than $65,000 annually religious institutes have kept their average Cost of skilled nursing care to $49,850. The average social Security Benefit for religious women and men is approximately one third that paid to the average . Beneficiary. A
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