WASHINGTON (AP) -- Martin Sheen of television's ''West Wing'' recorded TV and radio public service announcements to promote a Dec. 8-9 parish collection for retirees in Roman Catholic religious orders.
The actor said the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and Marianist Brothers who taught him in Dayton, Ohio, ''had a profound impact. I've been inspired and nourished by them,'' according to a release from the U.S. bishops. Sheen taped the spots May 1, the 20th anniversary of his return to the church.
Of some 70,000 U.S. sisters, 53 percent are now past age 70, as are 35 percent of priests and brothers in religious orders (men serving under dioceses are handled separately).
Retirement care in religious orders cost $718 million last year. Since 1988, the annual collection has raised $351 million.
National Religious Retirement Office: http://www.usccb.org/nrro
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