Catholics of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia donated $132,314 to support retired religious women and men this year, according to a letter of thanks dated July 6 from Most Precious Blood Sister Janice Bader, executive director of the National Religious Retirement Office to Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Sister Bader, whose office sponsors the annual national appeal, said Catholics of the Archdiocese have donated more than $3.53 million to the collection since 1988.

“Your generosity,” Sister Bader said to the Archbishop, “surely helps religious address the many challenges religious face as they age. Religious today, as always, continue to make an impact on society. Even as they age, their commitment to the ministry of their community, their prayer and spiritual life are vibrant testimony to the faithfulness they promised so many years ago. Your commitment to them is a heartfelt testimony to their faithfulness. Each religious, young and old, are grateful for your support!”

She added that support of parish pastors, priests and deacons was essential to the retirement collection’s continued success.

Sister Bader concluded the letter by pledging the prayers of more than 34,000 religious over the age of 70 in the United States, “and the ever-increasing numbers of religious who will be retiring very soon,” she said.

 –Matthew Gambino