Author thanks religious who taught, guided

| Beth Blair | December 3, 2014 | 0 Comments
Mary Murray Bosrock of Lumen Christi in St. Paul is grateful to all of the priests and nuns who taught her during her 16 years of Catholic education. She wrote about her experiences in a book she recently published called “Mortal Sin On My Soul.” Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Mary Murray Bosrock of Lumen Christi in St. Paul is grateful to all of the priests and nuns who taught her during her 16 years of Catholic education. She wrote about her experiences in a book she recently published called “Mortal Sin On My Soul.” Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Author and St. Paul resident Mary Murray Bosrock has been writing for years. However, it wasn’t until she penned her most recent book, a memoir titled “Mortal Sin On My Soul” (Beavers Pond Press, 2013) about being raised Catholic in Sandusky, Ohio, during the 1950s, that she realized how instrumental Catholic school, nuns and priests were in her upbringing.

“I took for granted the amazing culture I grew up with and the love and devotion my teachers showed all of us,” she admitted.

The influence Bosrock’s religious role models had on her, from discipline to concern for others, didn’t end with childhood. While Bosrock is a member of Lumen Christi parish, she also is a self-described world church hopper, due to her frequent travels, and enjoys visiting schools to share her writing with young people while addressing today’s issues, such as bullying and showing respect for all God’s creation.

“I think those of us who were taught by nuns and priests, myself for 16 years, know the unselfishness those people offered us was beyond imagination, especially the nuns,” Bosrock recalled. “They devoted their entire lives, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to God and us kids. And they never received any financial reward. The least we owe them is a decent retirement, and there is no better time to do that than now.”

In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection is Dec. 13-14. Catholics will be speaking at parishes and reflecting on the impact the religious have had on their own lives.

Sister Midge Breiter, coordinator of the Office of Retirement Fund for Religious in the archdiocese, explained the need.

“As you will notice, the pictures on the posters and the envelopes are of elderly religious in their 90s who taught long ago. Religious communities of women and men did not receive an equivalent salary as others in the society,” Sister Midge said. “They were given a stipend (about $300-$600 per year) for many years with no retirement benefit, so this has put an extreme burden on their health care expenses. Our senior religious have served our Church faithfully, and so our archdiocese asks you now to share in their care.”

In 2013, Catholics in the archdiocese contributed $412,997, $70,000 less than 2012. The national fund still aided many in need.

“The retirement fund for religious was able to give $23 million for direct care to communities of women and men who applied for assistance,” said Sister Midge. That money helped 35,000 religious women and men nationwide.

Bosrock reminds peers that the devoted men and women of our Church shouldn’t suffer due to others’ bad decisions.

“I think most Catholics have a bit of media fatigue,” Bosrock said, urging others to feel confident that their generosity is going where intended.

Sister Midge also reassures donors.

“There is a concern that money donated on the appeal Sunday does not go to the religious but stays in the archdiocese. That is not true,” she explained, “as all the money except for salary and other expenses incurred in the diocese goes to the national office and is distributed from there. It is the most successful annual appeal that is held in the Catholic parishes.”

“Just like our veterans who served our country deserve excellent health care, homes and jobs after serving our country,” said Bosrock,  “the religious who served so faithfully and unselfishly deserve a decent retirement.”

For more information about the Retirement Fund for Religious, visit http://www.retiredreligious.org.

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