Donations for Retired Religious

December 6, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos

December 6, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - You may have seen new billboards while driving around Western New York. They say "Please Share in the Care".

"I think it's important for people to give to show their appreciation for religious men and women," Sister Timothy Howard with the Oblate Sisters of Providence said.

It's an advertisement for the Retirement Fund for the Religious, which gives financial aid to retired nuns and priests. Sister Timothy Howard is part of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, which is with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. She has been teaching for more than 60 years and will eventually benefit from this fund.

For many of these men and women, these donations are a necessity.

"Now, a lot of the sisters cant get out to do the things they used to do," Sister Timothy said.

Sister Jean Thompson with the Diocese said many of these religious workers have nothing to fall back on financially.

"Many of the these people, in fact most of them, they worked with no compensation, no pensions. The thought in those days was on the present not on future needs," Sister Jean said.

Last year, the Diocese of Buffalo raised more than $800,000. This year, their goal is loftier. They are hoping to raise about a million dollars, locally. If these people don't get the funds from donations they may have to look elsewhere, costing more money overall.

"We're asking them to assist helping them with some kind of support so we don't have to have these people go on public assistance," Sister Jean said.

Sister Timothy said although their service to the community is winding down, there is one thing that will always stay strong.

"They do a lot of praying," Sister Timothy said.