Support Us

The Sisters of St. Francis Foundation was created to provide support for the sisters’ ministries, their retirement, and other designated needs. With the help and support of the foundation’s board of trustees, the foundation seeks to develop methods of raising funds that increase awareness of the sisters’ ministries and enhance the congregation’s presence in communities through the United State and around the world.

Why Do the Sisters of St. Francis Need a Foundation?

Prior to 1994 the congregation did not engage in formal fundraising efforts.  By the early 1990s, circumstances warranted that the Sisters of St. Francis introduce a department specifically tasked to raise funds in order that the congregation could continue to fund sponsored and cosponsored ministries as well as to meet the sisters’ retirement needs.

Mary Vandergeest, OSF, Foundation Executive Director (2000-2016)
Philip Leach, Foundation Board Chair (2011-Present)

We Consider Fundraising a Ministry

“Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen – A Spirituality of Fundraising


For more information about the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation contact:

Deborah Krist, OSF
Director of Mission Advancement
Sisters of St. Francis Foundation
609 S. Convent Road
Aston, PA 19014
(610) 558-7713
(610) 558-5357 (fax) 

More Important Information


Introducing Sr. Deborah Krist, OSF,
Director of Mission Advancement, Sisters of St. Francis Foundation

SrDKristphoto NEW

In October 2016, Sr. Deborah Krist, OSF, took over leadership of the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation. Professed in 1984, Sr. Debbie’s previous ministry includes teaching at Philadelphia-area schools, vocation ministry, and lastly principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish School (six years) and at Our Lady of Angels Regional Catholic School (four years) in Morton, Pennsylvania.
Attending Philadelphia’s Little Flower High School was a pivotal time in her life during which she first came in contact with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Following graduation she entered the congregation and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Neumann University and a masters’ degree from Villanova University.


What are Sr. Debbie’s hopes for the foundation? 

A major element of her five-year plan is to attract younger donors. “I think it’s important that the younger generations know that our sisters are making a positive difference in the world,” she explained.  “Hopefully many of them will realize that their involvement—either through direct participation or by donation—will bring our Franciscan spirit into the world and keep it alive in future generations.”

As a new director at the foundation, Sr. Debbie is overwhelmed by the generosity of donors.  “We can never thank people enough for their continued generous support of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia,” she said. “Our lives are enriched and we are truly blessed because of all those who journey with us!”