FADICA’s Contribution to American Religious Highlighted in NCR Story

Washington, DC – Among the many achievements of FADICA over its thirty-six year history has been its substantial role in mobilizing the church to help thousands of retired religious across the nation.

FADICA’s influence in starting the Religious Retirement Office and national annual appeal to benefit religious orders figured prominently in a March 28, 2012, story by correspondent Jerry Filteau of the National Catholic Reporter.

The article paid tribute to FADICA’s retired president, Francis J. Butler, who led the organization of 42 private foundations and three donors for thirty-two years.

Filteau pointed out that FADICA’s intervention led to the biggest annual national collection ever, the collection for retired religious, as well as the creation of Support Our Aging Religious, a charity providing grants for medical equipment and other necessities for aging women and men religious.

Restoration of ministries of women religious in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was also cited as a unique contribution of FADICA.

Working in cooperation with the SC Ministry Foundation, and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, FADICA members raised $7.5 million to jump start the rebuilding of New Orleans-based Catholic schools and social services sponsored by sisters.

The sisters were without resources when the deadly and devastating storm hit New Orleans because the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that the sisters were ineligible for assistance, the NCR story reported.

To compound the problem, reporter Filteau said, a special parish collection taken up nationally at the time was mainly designated for dioceses rather than religious orders.

Sr. Sally Duffy, SC, a key FADICA leader who directed much of the rebuilding work in New Orleans, reported to the NCR that subsequent to the initiative to help women religious, FADICA played a role in establishing new rules that would allow future relief donations from the nation’s parishes to be distributed to religious order ministries. Access the full NCR article here.