Hilton Foundation Gives $2.5M for Retirement Costs of Religious

Grant Recognizes ‘Outstanding Contribution Catholic Sisters Have Made to Human Development’

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The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) recently received a $2.5 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, payable over three years.

The grant will support the NRRO’s ongoing efforts to help religious communities in the United States address serious retirement-funding shortfalls. Specifically, the funds will be used to assess the impact of existing programs for critically underfunded religious communities in order to improve future services and identify best practices. Funding will also underwrite the development of educational opportunities and resources that promote effective property management and utilization.  

The grant is part of the Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative, which was launched in 2013. The Hilton Foundation recognizes the outstanding contributions Catholic sisters have made to human development through their spiritual witness and their service to those in need. The new initiative seeks to enhance the vitality of congregations throughout the world, enabling sisters to minister more widely and effectively. It furnishes strategic support for three primary areas: membership, resources and congregational leadership. The Hilton Foundation’s grant to the NRRO will help religious communities reduce their retirement-fund deficits, thus promoting ongoing viability for congregations in the United States and ensuring that today’s members can continue the good works begun by their elders.

School Sister of Notre Dame Rosemarie Nassif, program director for the Catholic Sisters Initiative, said, “This (grant) testifies to the stellar reputation and great work of the NRRO.”

Traditionally, Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests—known collectively as women and men religious—served for small stipends that did not include retirement benefits. As a result, many religious communities now lack adequate savings for retirement and elder care. The NRRO furnishes financial, educational and consultative support to help religious communities provide for the current and future care of older members. 

“Words cannot express our gratitude to the Hilton Foundation,” said NRRO Executive Director Sister Janice Bader, a member of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O’Fallon, Missouri. “This grant will enable us to enhance our outreach in ways that will impact the current and future viability of numerous religious communities.” 

About the National Religious Retirement Office
Based in Washington, the NRRO coordinates the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, which is held in Catholic parishes across the country each December. Catholic bishops in the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among religious communities. The NRRO distributes proceeds from the collection to eligible communities to help bolster retirement savings. Over 93 percent of donations directly support senior religious. The NRRO also furnishes educational resources and consultative support that promote long-range retirement planning. 

The NRRO is sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

Visit www.retiredreligious.org to learn more. 

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $83 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2012. The Foundation’s current assets are in excess of $2.2 billion. For additional information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.. . . 

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