WASHINGTON ― At its May meeting, the SOAR! board of directors approved nearly $1 million in grants to assist aging Catholic Sisters, Brothers and Priests.
These grants will be distributed to 52 Catholic religious congregations of men and women in 17 states; they will benefit 2,770 men and women religious whose average age is 78. The grants total $983,167.
SOAR! grants assist religious communities in caring for their senior members. Grants cover expenses for very basic needs such as handrails, hospital beds and emergency call systems.
As a result of this assistance, many more Catholic Sisters, Brothers and religious order Priests will be able to continue to age in place and remain at home with their religious communities. These grants help ensure the safety and dignity of men and women religious.
“We are grateful to SOAR!’s donors for making it possible to assist these elderly Catholic religious women and men in dire need. In our time of need, they have helped us in our school and hospital communities, in our parishes, and through their prayers,” said Kathryn Pirrotta Caballero, chairperson of the SOAR! board.
“As we celebrate SOAR’s 30th anniversary, we give thanks for the work of these elderly women and men and for the generosity of our faithful donors.”
As the cost of care continues to rise, the majority of men and women religious lack adequate funding for retirement. Meanwhile, the number of religious to support them in the workforce is dropping. A recent study projected that by 2020, religious past age 70 will outnumber those younger than them by four to one.
The SOAR! board of directors and the grant recipients are deeply grateful to all SOAR! contributors for making the grants possible. Members of the organization’s board of directors hand delivered grant checks to many congregations around the country.
SOAR! was formed in 1986 by a group of concerned lay people to help ensure the financial stability of Catholic religious congregations in the care of their elderly and infirm members. In the past 30 years, SOAR! has awarded 1115 grants, totaling more than $16 million, to congregations across the country.
The organization is separate from the annual retirement collection coordinated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
SOAR! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to assuring the safety, security, and well-being of elderly and infirm members of Catholic religious congregations in the United States, and augments the efforts of the institutional Church.