"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Mass Chat: Retirement Fund for Religious
Share in the care.
This is serious - very serious. Women's religious orders - and men's too - comprised of those generous souls who gave up everything to enter religious communities which taught us or nursed us, desperately need out help today.
The sister Director of Pastoral Ministry at my parish - who has been there for over 17 years BTW - spoke before Mass Saturday evening. She is a School Sister of Notre Dame, professed in 1960 and still working after a stroke and an aneurysm, just a few years apart. She is a wonderful nun - so charitable and joyful. Her name is Sr. Deanna. I love her. If you knew her or could hear her speak you would never again look down on older women religious. We imagine all sisters without habits, who live in apartments and work in parishes, are these terribly modern, anti-traditional religious, and yet I am always pleasantly surprised to find they are dedicated, devout Catholic religious, ever-faithful to their vocation.
Yes their numbers have depleted, yes there are fewer vocations, but these women who gave their lives for the Church are aging and are facing an uncertain future - not unlike many of our elderly poor. The thing is, these women gave their lives in service and never foresaw the day when religious life declined, they never anticipated the day no one would be there for them as they were for their elder sisters in religion. I think the SSND have just over 600 vocations in this province right now. Almost 250 of them are in skilled care, nursing care, or assisted living. The remaining sisters, not all of them employed, are aging as well. These women are very much in need.
Not every one of these sisters are flaming liberals - I expect most have simply lived in obedience to their superiors and followed the direction of post-Vatican II religious training. When I meet such sisters one on one, I understand they are faithful to the Magisterium as well as their vocation. It is by their charity and fidelity - indeed their works - that they are recognized and known. A habit doesn't always make a religious.
Instead of feeding the birds, why not donate to the Retirement Fund for Religious.