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In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

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Give to the Retirement Fund for Religious

12/01/2010

Think back. Is there a religious priest, brother or sister in your past who helped you realize a goal; taught you a lesson; encouraged you to face a challenge? Are there religious men or women who helped build your faith, strengthen your character, and without whom you’d be a very different person today? Those faithful men and women of our youth are facing their own challenge at present — funding their retirement. They need your help now as much as you needed them then.

Each December, Catholics are asked to help defray the health care and other unfunded retirement liability of the tens of thousands of aging religious women and men throughout the United States. The Retirement Fund for Religious benefits those women and men who, as vowed members of Catholic religious communities, have dedicated their lives to prayer and ministry. Even amidst today’s great challenges, religious women and men -- including those who are officially retired -- continue to witness to God in faithfulness and hope. The following stories are about two such special individuals who continue to serve the Diocese of Gaylord.

Sr_Catherine_Anderson_2_1.jpgSister Catherine Anderson, OP –

Sister Catherine is a Traverse City native and has been a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister for 57 years. One of eight children of Rose and Charles Anderson, she graduated from St. Francis High School in Traverse City. In 1953 she entered the Dominican Order at Marywood in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Aquinas College, and received a Masters in Special Religious Ed. from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She taught elementary school for 26 years.

Sister Catherine served as Director of Religious Education with Handicapped Persons for the Diocese of Gaylord for seven years. In 2004 she was certified as a Spiritual Director through the Dominican Center at Marywood. Though officially retired, Sister Catherine continues to provide Spiritual Direction for individuals and groups; teaches for the REDD (Religious Education with Developmentally Disabled adults); is a Eucharistic Minister for the homebound; is an Artist and does volunteer work at the Luther Community Manor where she has lived for the past four years.

“Catherine was such a wonderful teacher and kids just flocked to her. She is an extremely gentle person who is very sensitive to the needs of others, typically putting them before her own,” said Sr. Chris Herald, Diocesan Director for the Retirement Fund for Religious Collection. “I remember planning a gathering at Higgins Lake for religious sisters and Catherine had arrived early. Everyone else got snowed out and it was one of the rare times that I saw Catherine actually take a day off and just enjoy herself in a beautiful setting,” Sr. Chris recalled.

Reflecting on the Retirement Fund for Religious, Sr. Catherine said, “It is with a grateful heart to the Retirement Fund for Religious and the many generous people who donate that we are able to continue to serve the Church, the local and world community.”

Wiese_3.jpgFather Miro Wiese, OFM –

If you arrive at the Cross in the Woods, Indian River, for a tour, you just might get Fr. Miro Wiese, OFM as your tour guide. At 81 years old, that is one of the many hats he wears while living at the National Shrine. He also celebrates Masses both in Indian River and in surrounding communities when there is a need for a fill-in priest and is on-call for confessions.

Fr. Miro was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He made his Solemn Profession to the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) in July, 1954 in Teutopolis, Illinois, and became a priest of that order in June, 1957. For the next 38 years he was assigned to different communities around the country as either an Assistant Pastor or Pastor. He served in parishes in Memphis, St. Louis, Muskegon, Chicago, and Hermann, Missouri, before coming to the Diocese of Gaylord in 1995 where he served as Pastor of Holy Family, Klacking Creek until retiring to Senior Priest status in August, 2009.

Fr. Miro enjoys living and working at Cross in the Woods. He especially enjoys the interactions he has with the visitors and has many stories to relate, which he delights in sharing with great humor.

“Over the summer I was giving a tour to a family, and there were two girls, 3-year-old cousins, who were part of the group,” Fr. Miro said. “It happened that we were in touring the doll museum at the time. I asked the girls – ‘would either of you like to be a Sister when you grow up?’ And the one little girl pointed at the other and said, ‘well, she’s going to be a sister in about three weeks!’”

Father Miro encourages the faithful to give generously to the Retirement Fund for the Religious “to enable religious to continue to minister for Christ.”

The Fund benefits both contemplative and active religious communities. Today, nearly 35,000 religious, mostly women, are past age 70. More than 5,600 need skilled nursing care.

The decline in the number of wage-earning members, combined with the fact that many institutes have divested themselves of property and spent down their savings, has forced the orders to reluctantly seek support for their escalating health care needs.

share_poster_materials.jpgThe annual Retirement Fund for Religious, launched in 1988 by the U.S. bishops and leaders of national associations of religious orders, helps retired sisters, brothers and religious order priests by distributing the monies collected as grants to more than 500 religious institutes. Parishes across the Diocese of Gaylord are providing parishioners an opportunity to “Share in the Care” of these men and women who played such an important role in growing the Catholic faith here in our diocese and across the country, as well as living examples of Christ love by caring for those in need.

To make a donation, contact your parish office or send your gift marked "Retirement Fund for Religious" to: Diocese of Gaylord, 611 West North Street, Gaylord, MI  49735.  You may also click on the "Make a Gift" link on the left of this page and make a donation online.  Simply note it is for the Retirement Fund for Religious.  Thank you for your support!

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