A moment of thanks for a lifetime of service

"Where would we be without the Sisters? They taught me and formed me in the Catholic Faith. Their sacrifices made me the person I am today."

Through their prayer and ministries, Sisters can be found wherever Jesus is found. From staffing Catholic schools and teaching tens of thousands of children to working in healthcare facilities and caring for the souls of countless people, it is easy to appreciate the incredible gift that a Sister's life of sacrifice brings to the Church and our world. Embracing God's call to religious life, our Sisters pour everything into their ministry, forgoing their own needs for the sake of others.

Today, nearly 1,800 Sisters from more than 80 communities live, work, and pray within the Archdiocese of Boston. Most senior Sisters worked for many years for small stipends, leaving a substantial gap in retirement savings. With rising costs of healthcare and limited income from Social Security, many religious communities are struggling to meet the ever-rising costs of care for their elderly sisters.

On Nov. 23-24, a special collection will be taken up at parishes across the Archdiocese of Boston to benefit the Sisters who have served us so well for many years. The funds raised through this collection assist religious communities in providing needed care for retired Sisters, such as prescription medications, nursing assistance, and specialized services.

This special collection provides us with a wonderful opportunity to be there for the women who are exemplary witnesses to the Gospel in their daily lives. Even in their retirement, Sisters carry on their mission and continue to volunteer as tutors, as support staff in schools and hospitals, and as visitors to the sick and dying. By supporting the special collection, we honor the vocation and life's work of the Sisters who have made a difference in our lives and of those we love.

Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, is the Delegate for Religious of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Retired Sisters Special Collection will take place on Nov. 23-24. To contribute, please make a gift at your parish or make a check payable to "The Archdiocese of Boston" and send c/o Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184.