22 October 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Soon our parishes will be conducting the Retirement Fund for Religious collection. This annual appeal benefits some 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priestswomen and men who have consecrated their lives to serving God and the Church.
During this Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis calls on the faithful to recognize the special witness that consecrated women and men offer our Chmch and world. In a letter marking the inauguration of this special year, he says, "I ask the whole Christian people to be increasingly
aware of the gift which is the presence of our many consecrated men and women." He goes on to note the spiritual influence that religious such as Saint Benedict and Saint Teresa of Avila continue to have on our Church and faith today.
As we reflect on the saints of the past, many of us may also recall women and men religious whom we would consider saints in our day. With gratitude, we remember the sister who patiently helped us learn our multiplication tables or the brother who coached our high school team, teaching us that faith must be lived out even on the basketball court.
Today, many of these sisters, brothers, and religious order priests-these saints in our midst-are elderly. While some continue in volunteer ministry, others are frail and need care. Most worked for years for smal 1 stipends, leaving their religious communities without adequate savings to meet growing retirement and eldercare needs.
So, I ask you to join with Pope Francis in acknowledging the gift of consecrated life. Please pray for God's blessing on all religious and give generously to the Retirement Fund for Religious.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mul y, STL, DD
Bishop of Corpus Christi