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Why we Ask You to Help

Skyrocketing Costs

  • There are nearly 33,000 religious past age 70 living in the United In 2015, the average annual cost for their care was over $41,000 per person.


  • For each of the last seven years, the total cost to support women and men religious has exceeded $1


Insufficient Income

  • Since 1985, the number of religious needing care has risen sharply while the number able to serve in compensated ministry has steadily In 2015, 68 percent of the religious communities providing data to the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) had a median age of 70 or older.


  • For most of their lives, elder religious worked for small stipends. There were no 401(k) plans or


  • Religious communities are financially autonomous and solely responsible for the support and care of all

members. Income, earnings, and expenses are managed separately from the parish and diocesan structures of the Catholic Church.


  • The average annual Social Security benefit for a religious is $6,312, while the average S. beneficiary receives


How the RFR Makes a Difference

Generous Donations and Careful Stewardship

  • Catholics in the United States have donated more than

$785 million to the RFR since the first appeal.


  • Roughly 95 percent of donations to the RFR aid elder religious, with 5 percent used for


Financial and Consultative Support

  • Since 1989, nearly $659 million has been distributed to support the day-to-day care of elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order


  • An additional $86 million has been allocated toward self-help projects initiated by religious communities, including collaborative health-care facilities and comprehensive retirement


  • In 2009, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) implemented a new process to help religious communities that are critically underfunded for retirement address their funding shortfalls. Since then, the NRRO has helped 127 communities develop long- range retirement


Data on women and men religious obtained from the NRRO database of participating religious institutes as of December 31, 2015.