|Pastors Desk |
A MESSAGE FROM BISHOP PERSICO -
Dear Brothers and Sisters in
Soon our parishes will be hosting the Retirement Fund for Religious
collection. This annual appeal, to be held on the weekend of December 5th and
6th 2015 in the Diocese of Erie, benefits some 33,000 senior Catholic Sisters,
Brothers, and religious order priests—women 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 Church and world. In a letter marking the
inauguration of this special year, he writes, “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 in
need of care. Most worked for years for small stipends, leaving their religious
communities without adequate savings to meet growing retirement and
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
+The Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, JCL, Bishop of Erie
THERE IS AN ENVELOPE IN YOUR AUTUMN PACKET FOR THE RETIREMENT FUND FOR