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In the News2020-09-11T09:44:40-05:00


8/10/20 – Global Sisters Report – Shut up at home by pandemic, sisters find world is still with them

After months of emergency shutdowns, staged reopenings and, in some cases, reversals, sisters are finding ways to cope with the inevitable COVID-19 anxiety, brought on by months under virtual lock and key.

No, they aren’t congregating in gyms, bellying up to the bar or having unmasked beach bonfires. Surprised?

Instead they are sewing masks for frontline responders. Scheduling extra prayer time for those suffering from the ravages of the virus. Ringing the monastery bell to remind townspeople to pray in a pandemic-stricken state.

…In the meantime, women religious are finding ways to connect with others and have fun at the same time, even while maintaining the recommended social distance.

…Navigating the twists and turns of a work life lived largely online — she works with two computers on her desk — hasn’t been easy for Sr. Marguerite O’Beirne, a member of the Order of St. Francis in Aston, Pennsylvania, where she serves as the vice president for mission and ministry at Neumann University. “I never thought I would live that long,” joked O’Beirne, about the dual computers, commenting that she grew up in Ireland without a phone.

The sisters in her order, both active and retired, sent out welcoming notes to approximately a thousand students arriving in the fall, she said. In Palmer Method handwriting, of course.  Read more

7/16/20 – Daily Record –  CHI Franciscan And Virginia Mason Sign Memorandum Of Understanding To Explore Combining And Forming New Integrated Health System

The Washington-based health systems would employ a patient-first approach, an innovative structure, and strong quality and safety performances to transform health care

“Founded 130 years ago by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, CHI Franciscan has served its communities by providing compassionate, high-quality care to those in need, especially those who are vulnerable. Our relationship with Virginia Mason is another meaningful step forward in this journey,” said Dr. Uli Chi, chairman of the board of directors for CHI Franciscan.  Read more

7/13/20 – GreenBiz – Chemical footprinting comes of age

When the Chemical Footprint Project launched in December 2014, it aspired to become the next carbon footprint or the next widely used tool for measuring company performance on a critical sustainability concern — toxic chemical use in the manufacturing of products.

It’s made steady progress since then, with 31 companies, including Levi Strauss, Walmart and HP Inc., using the Chemical Footprint Project’s annual survey to inventory and report on their hazardous chemical use, as well as their progress towards safer alternatives.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia has been linking environmental justice and chemical risk concerns in its work with retailers such as Dollar Tree and oil and gas companies with stores or facilities in communities of color. “We are tying the pandemic, climate change, environmental justice and human rights. They’re very much linked to one another,” said Sister Nora Nash.  Read more

7/9/20 – Pittsburgh Business Times – Investors urge Pennsylvania DEP to expand methane-emissions rules

A group of investors representing nearly $4 trillion under management — including the Pennsylvania state treasurer, Pittsburgh-based Federated Hermes Inc. (NYSE: FII) and the California State Teachers Retirement System — is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen its methane emissions rules in the state’s oil and gas industry.

The 50 investors sent a message to the state’s oil and gas industry — some of whom they invest in — to do more to manage methane emissions. The letter singles out existing sources of methane, including 71,000 older and lower-producing wells that it said was responsible for half of methane emissions from the industry.

This is big news for the State of Pennsylvania and we are signatories and mentioned in the text.  Click here to read more.  A PDF of the article is attached here.

6/15/20 – Catholic News Service – Women religious, inspired by current protests, also see long road ahead

Across the country, women religious have joined in peaceful protests against racial inequality, while others, home for health reasons amid the pandemic, are very much in spirit with the marchers.

But on the streets or not, many of them see the scourge of systemic racism not just as a blight on the nation but something the church must own up to and help eradicate.

…That’s what Sister Marie Lucey, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia and longtime activist, also is recognizing, describing it as a “kind of wakening.” The gray-haired woman religious who attended the same Washington protests as Sister Howard, said she wanted to stand with those seeking change. “As a white person, as a Catholic, as a sister, I have work to do.”

She also said she feels “some kind of hope, not optimism.” She is reading, and discussing with other sisters in her community, the current best-seller: “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”  Read more

5/12/20 – Global Sisters Report – The true gift of sisterhood

I needed a kidney and Franciscan Sr. Deborah Krist gave me one. Sounds so simple, yet so incredible. We are two sisters — not by blood but by vocation. We are both Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. There was no telling that we would be a match at all, but Sister Debbie just knew she would be a good fit. “It was an act of God for sure,” Debbie said. “It has been an amazing journey, which I believe, through the grace of God, has changed both our lives!”  Read

5/10/20 – Delco Times – Acts of Kindess: Sisters of St. Francis help to house nurses, feed the community

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been praying for all those infected by the virus and their loved ones, as well as the health care professionals who willingly expose themselves to the pandemic every day. “Their dedication and commitment is inspiring,” the sisters said in a released statement. “At the same time, the health care professionals are concerned about exposing their loved ones to the virus and putting them at risk. We hear news reports of them moving into hotel rooms, sleeping in their garages, or temporarily living in RVs.” Read

5/10/20 – The Dialog – Heeding God’s call — Sisters of St. Francis housing nurses and ‘helping in any way we can’

As we continue to experience the realities of COVID-19, we pray for all those infected by the virus and their loved ones. While we self-quarantine to avoid encountering the virus, health care professionals willingly expose themselves to the pandemic every day. Their dedication and commitment is inspiring.  Read

5/4/20 –US Catholic – Laypeople, sisters share a common space and mission at the border

This is the 3rd part of a series of stories on sisters at the El Paso-Juarez border, which has been published by US Catholic. Our own Sr. Caroline Sweeney has been ministering at the U.S. /Mexico border as part of a yearlong commitment at border-based nonprofits like Annunciation House and the Loretto Volunteers Program.  READ

4/21/20 –The Dialog – Sisters of St. Francis jump in to make sandwiches for the hungry served by Ministry of Caring

Everyone wants to pitch in and it’s not too easy when you’re being encouraged to quarantine.

But that didn’t stop local parishioners and several Sisters of St. Francis in the Wilmington area when they heard Ministry of Caring was struggling to provide food to the hungry in the time of great need. Read

1/7/20 – U.S. Catholic Magazine -Voices of the Future: Young women religious are reaching congregational boundaries to revitalize religious life

Attached is an article that was published in U.S. Catholic magazine in their January 2020 issue.  The piece is called “Voices of the Future” by Jessica Mesman, and features an interview with our Sr. Anna Maria Dela Paz.At 32, novice Maria Anna Dela Paz is the youngest sister in her congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, by about 20 years. She was drawn to the community’s Franciscan charism and its emphasis on human rights and social justice advocacy, but she says, “I didn’t ever think there were people like me who were discerning.”  Read more

1/7/20 – Time Magazine– ‘Our Work Is Helping People Find Happiness.’ Meet the Leftist Nuns Helping Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Since 2018, more than 700 nuns from LCWR, a 300 member congregations have volunteered their services, some traveling hundreds of miles to join sisters who already lived in border towns. Our Sr. Caroline Sweeney is one of the sisters who has made numerous trips down to minister to those at the border. She is pictured in the article. Read more

1/8/20 – Catholic Philly – Prayer vigil pushes for peaceful solution in Iran crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The gathering outside the White House after dark Jan. 6 to protest U.S. aggression toward Iran was not nearly as big as a parade two days earlier protesting against the warlike moves. It certainly was not as loud.

But, in its own way, the peace vigil was just as strong. The 30-minute vigil, organized by Faith in Public Life, drew about 100 to a park across the street from the Executive Mansion — about one-tenth the size of the Jan. 4 march down a downtown Washington street. Our Srs. Maria Orlandini and Marie Lucey were on hand representing FAN and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.  Read more

3/25/20 – Catholic News Service – Catholic universities, and a high school, donate medical supplies to hospitals

BROOKLYN, NY – On March 24, The Catholic High School of Baltimore also donated personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, goggles and protective gowns to Mercy Medical Center, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, in downtown Baltimore.

The hospital, which treats many of the homeless in Baltimore, has a collaborative relationship with the nurses’ club at the high school, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Several of the students’ parents also work at the hospital.  READ

4/2/20 – St. Kateri Center celebrates Laudato Si’

To celebrate Laudato Si’ Week, Red Hill Farm Manager, Margaret Lilley, the sisters, and the Saint Kateri Conservation Center will plant the beginnings of a Saint Kateri Habitat at Red Hill Farm in May.
The habitat will feature a biodiverse array of native plants, such as milkweed, golden alexanders, and goldenrod, that will boast different heights and colors and bloom at different times of the year. Read more here. 

4/8/20 – Delco Times -Acts of Kindness: Six-year-old Aston girl helps community with pretzels, art and Crown Royal masks

This amazing little girl is working hard for her community during a time of need.  Anina is now busy making masks for the retired and ill Sisters of St. Francis and their staff at Assisi House in Aston. She is crafting the masks out of Crown Royal bags donated by Sundance Saloon in Aston. Read


12/11/19 – The National Catholic Reporter – Coalition cites lack of medical treatment in migrant children’s deaths

Our Sisters Marie Lucey and Maria Orlandini were present at the vigil held for the children and are shown in the accompanying photo. We also remember Sr. Caroline Sweeney who is at the border fighting for justice.

The article states: “It’s been one year since the first child died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, yet the Trump administration continues to put the lives of immigrant children at risk by denying them access to proper care.”

That is what an interfaith coalition, including Rep. Joaquin Castro, Democrat from Texas, said at a December 9 candlelight vigil outside the national headquarters for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The vigil, which mourned for all the children who have died in Border Patrol custody, was co-sponsored by a number of Catholic organizations, including Franciscan Action Network, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Network.”  Read more

9/20/19 – The Dialog – Sister Mary Smith’s gift brings physical reminder of St. Ann School’s spirituality

WILMINGTON — Visitors to St. Ann School in Wilmington have a new face greeting them this year, one that is a physical reminder of a significant part of the school’s history.

A small statue of St. Francis of Assisi sits on a table just inside the front door. It was a gift from Sister Mary Smith, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia who started working this year at St. Ann’s. It was given to her several years ago by her religious community, but she was happy to pass it along.

“When I knew that I was coming to St. Ann’s, and when I realized that our sisters back in 1899 were invited to open St. Ann School — and recognizing, too, that the Franciscan spirit still pervaded these halls — I thought it might be nice to donate this to the school as a reminder of the Franciscan charism, the Franciscan spirit,” Sister Mary said.  Read more

2/28/19 – The Philadelphia InquirerNuns, Teamsters, city government and Vanguard all pressure AmerisourceBergen on opioids

The city’s shareholder resolution to tie legal costs to pay is a new type of proposal, said Maureen O’Brien, a corporate-governance consultant to the pension board. “Shareholders want to be sure that executives are being incentivized to create good returns,” she said, “but also not to get the company into situations where they can create real risk to shareholders.”The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia proposed the report at last year’s shareholder meeting, where it captured more than 40 percent of the vote, said Tom McCaney, the order’s associate director of corporate social responsibility. Vanguard and Charles Schwab funds voted for the proposal — and against management’s recommendation. Read more

1/30/19 – ICCR – Investors Say, if Fully Operationalized, Wells Fargo’s Business Standards Report Can Serve as a Road Map for Its Long Road Towards Redemption

We are celebrating some very good news in the fact that after two years of diligent work with Wells Fargo they have produced a document that “may” hold them more accountable in the future. The company has taken some very important steps to rectify their egregious problems. We’re still working with customers who have lost everything including their dignity.

As indicated, this version includes hyperlinks to the report and WF announcement. Both are now live on WF website and our press release is being distributed.  Click here to read more.

1/30/19 – Market Watch – Wells Fargo Issues Business Standards Report

2/5/19 – GlobeNewsWire – Sisters of St. Francis and other investors warn of health and business risks as AT&T and Disney acquire youth-rated Warner and Fox movies full of smoking

“Our letters list concrete, feasible measures AT&T and Disney can take to protect children’s health as well as shareholders’ interests,” said Tom McCaney, Associate Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. “Like smoking itself, onscreen promotion of tobacco use to young people is a documented health hazard. We are offering AT&T and Disney a public opportunity to demonstrate genuine corporate responsibility.”  Read more

2/11/2019 – NC Catholics – Why her? Durham sister reflects on 65-year jubilee

Helen Jackson was, admittedly, a little surprised. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia had answered, “yes” to her request to join their convent. It was Baltimore in the early 1950s and Jackson, the oldest of four children, was feeling more “alive” than “holy” as she approached her 20s. She enjoyed clubs and dancing, and was engaged for a time. Her acceptance letter seemed even more unlikely when she learned that two friends, whom she presumed to be shoo-ins, weren’t offered the spots they sought. She wondered. Why her? It’s a question she hasn’t stopped asking herself even 65 years after she professed vows. NC Catholics sat down with Sister Damian (her chosen name) Jackson, O.S.F., M.A., in January to discuss grace and vocation.  Read more

2/28/2019 – The Philadelphia Inquirer – Nuns, Teamsters, city government and Vanguard all pressure AmerisourceBergen on opioids

3/19/19 – PivotToday – On University’s 54th Charter Day, Neumann Names Dorms in Honor of First Three Presidents

Neumann University recognized its first three presidents by naming residence halls in their honor last Friday, March 15, the university’s 54th Charter Day.

Previously known as Living and Learning Centers I, II, and II, the residence halls were christened Flynn Hall, Cunningham Hall, and O’Neill Hall after Mother Everilda Flynn, OSF, president from 1965-1970; Sister Madonna Marie Cunningham, OSF, president from 1971-1983; and Sister Margarella O’Neill, OSF, president from 1983-1989.

The first three presidents of Neumann University were Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the congregation that founded Neumann University (as Our Lady of Angels College) in 1965. Read more

High vote behind shareholder proposal seen as a strong call to address human rights risks.

NEW YORK, NY, Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 – At today’s annual meeting for Northrop Grumman, preliminary calculations of approximately 24% of shareholders cast votes in favor of a resolution calling for a report on how the company is implementing its human rights policy. The resolution was filed by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund, faith-based investors and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), that have been engaging the defense company for decades on a variety of human rights impacts. Read more

5/17/19 – The Catholic Sentinel – Tools to strengthen a relationship with God: Spiritual directors, retreats, pilgrimages and workshops are available

Milwaukie, OR – Sister Mary Jo has been a spiritual director since 1996, and meets with 30 to 40 people each month. “I see it as companionship on the journey,” she says. “My role is not to give advice but to listen, to help them unlock their own spiritual journey, which is written on their hearts.” Read more

5/23/19 – The Dialog – Jubilee celebrations highlighted during Mass at Holy Child in Wilmington

Wilmington, DE – Bishop Malooly celebrated Mass on May 22 recognizing religious in the diocese who are marking jubilee years.  Read more

5/24/19 – Catholic Philly – St. Charles Seminary campus sold to Main Line Health

The verdant grounds and stately buildings that comprise the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary property in Wynnewood has been sold to Main Line Health, according to information released Friday morning, May 24.  During this time, “seminary officials and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are exploring the purchase of property owned by the sisters near the university to construct new seminary buildings,” he said.  Read more

5/24/19 – Crux – Catholics join faith leaders gathered to remember child deaths at border

Jesus would be “indignant” and hold accountable those responsible for the deaths of at least five migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, said Sister Marie Lucey of the Franciscan Action Network, one of several faith leaders who on May 23 participated in a vigil to remember the young migrants.

The group says the children’s deaths are the result of U.S. immigration policies and actions at the border.  Read more

5/27/19 – East Oregonian – Sister Monica goes home

Last Wednesday, it was Sister Monica’s time to go home after 84 years on Earth. Many at the hospital were taken by surprise. Except for recent eye surgery, the nun hadn’t skipped a beat. She had arrived at 8 a.m. that morning, checked email, visited patients and readied the chapel for daily mass. She left for home with her typical joie de vivre.  Read more

6/11/19 – National Catholic Reporter – US gun ‘idolatry’ demands more prophetic church stand, some Catholics say

A total of 35,141 people die from gun violence in the United States each year, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which averaged deaths over a five-year period through 2018. That’s 96 people each day.

In 2019, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia took a corporate stand on behalf of gun safety reform, “thereby committing to educate ourselves and others toward a culture of life.” The sisters have taken a number of action steps, such as participating in local witness events, advocating for background checks, and voting to elect officials who support gun safety reform.

Sr. Kate O’Donnell, the congregation’s East Coast coordinator for its Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee, noted the work many individual parishes and congregations of women religious [7] do on gun violence prevention. Nevertheless, she told NCR she would still like to see more of the church commit itself to this issue nationally.  Read more

7/1/19 – St. Louis Public Radio – Catholic Religious Sisters Gather For Conference In St. Louis

Sr. Maria Dela Paz, a novice with our congregation, is quoted in this article which was written about a recent gathering of sisters. The gathering of sisters was about building bridges between religious life and social justice issues. Read more

7/11/19 – 1420 WBSM – Warren Reintroduces Climate Risk Disclosure Act

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has reintroduced legislation on Capitol Hill that would require public companies to disclose “critical information” regarding their exposure and susceptibility to climate-related risks.  The legislation is endorsed by Vice President Al Gore, and over 20 organizations including the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.  Read more

7/19/19 – NCR – Catholic Day of Action protesters arrested in stand against child detention

Stop the detention of immigrant children. Stop it now. The message was made clear by hundreds of Catholics gathered on Capitol Hill the morning of July 18 for what organizers called a “Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children,” as a coalition of Catholic groups began a nationwide campaign to end child detention with a prayer service followed by civil disobedience that saw 70 Catholic leaders arrested.   Srs. Maria Orlandini and Marie Lucey were among those arrested this day.  Read more

8/22/19 – The Trenton MonitorHightstown parishioner answers call to religious life

The smile on Sister Maria Anna Dela Paz’s face and the joyful tone in her voice tells it all. She is beyond thrilled with her decision to pursue a vocation.

Adding to Sister Anna’s joy was the milestone she observed Aug. 10 when she made her first profession of vows as a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in the chapel of the community’s motherhouse in Aston, Pa.  Read more

9/20/19 – The Dialog – Sister Mary Smith’s gift brings physical reminder of St. Ann School’s spirituality

WILMINGTON — Visitors to St. Ann School in Wilmington have a new face greeting them this year, one that is a physical reminder of a significant part of the school’s history.

A small statue of St. Francis of Assisi sits on a table just inside the front door. It was a gift from Sister Mary Smith, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia who started working this year at St. Ann’s. It was given to her several years ago by her religious community, but she was happy to pass it along.  Read more


The Chester Community Coalition (CCC) held its first session recently at Shiloh Baptist Church in Chester for its “Healing after Loss: Discussion Group” program. The session was held to offer counseling services to Chester residents affected by acts of violence. Most of the guests were families of victims of violence in the city. The program was created after receiving a grant from the Catholic Health Initiative, according to Sr. Jean Rupertus, founder of the organization and a sister with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Read more

9/30/19 – The Fig Tree – Joya has new name, logo and director

Washington — In its logo, the sun rising out of a cloud represents the joy and hope parents feel Joya Child and Family Development—formerly the Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center—brings to families of little children with developmental delays and disabilities.

The program for children from birth through their third birthday is expanding. In 2017, Joya purchased the former St. Joseph Family Center at 1016 N. Superior in the University District to build a larger facility to meet the demand for early intervention.

Dick talked with Sr. Pat Millen, OSF, director of St. Joseph over 10 years about the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia selling to Joya as a way to continue the sisters’ mission to help children and families on that site. Read more

1/28/19 – Town Square Delaware – Remembering the Nun who Changed my Life

Last week, I visited the grave of the nun who changed my life. Sister Viola Hespelein was a Franciscan nun, assigned to my home parish school, St. Ann’s, the epicenter of a predominantly Irish Catholic lower middle-class neighborhood named Forty Acres in West Wilmington, Delaware.  Read more

10/16/19 – National Catholic Reporter – Catholics arrested with other faith groups protesting low cap for refugees

Washington, DC —

atholics joined an array of faith communities, human rights groups, clergy, refugees and refugee resettlement agencies gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Oct. 15 protesting deep cuts to the refugee admissions program.

Some shouted “Jesus was a refugee” toward the Capitol as others, including a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, were led from the steps of the U.S. Capitol in handcuffs in an act of civil disobedience.

Susan Gunn, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, was one of the 18 arrested, along with Sr. Maria Orlandini, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, who is a member of the Franciscan Action Network. Read more

10/31/19 – Trenton Monitor Women religious: a call to ‘live in caring for one another’

Trenton-While today’s communities of religious men and women face the same decrease in numbers as many other aspects in Church life, their mission remains just as strong and vibrant as it was generations ago.

“It is about witnessing a way of life in community and how to interact in the society and world,” asserted Franciscan Sister Florence Hee, charism coordinator for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. “It is to live in caring for one another. We value and focus upon social and economic justice, and how to be in relationship with God.”

Sister Florence continued, “We are to care for our brothers and sisters and creation. We want to raise awareness, help others to see how to care for one another and be mindful of needs and that our choices can affect the broader society.” Read more

11/7/19 – PR Newswire – CHI Franciscan Earns Highest Patient Safety Marks in Washington state

TACOMA, Wash.Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — CHI Franciscan earns the most ‘A’ safety grades across all health systems in Washington state according to the fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades report released today by the Leapfrog Group. CHI Franciscan’s top ratings position the system as a leader in patient safety across the state.

The report card uses 27 evidence-based measures of patient safety to assign A, B, C, D, and F grades to more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals across the nation.  Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan is one of the largest health systems in Washington stateRead more

11/15/19 – Bloomsberg – Silencing the Nun: SEC Aims to Curb Small Investors’ Activism

Sister Nora Nash, a Franciscan nun from the Philadelphia area, spent the last 15 years pushing corporations to change their policies on guns, tobacco and fracking. As a shareholder, the sisters’ retirement fund has filed hundreds of proposals at companies from Chevron Corp. to Wells Fargo & Co.

She might not be able to do that kind of activism anymore if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission goes ahead with a plan to limit proposals from small investors like the fund, which often hold just a few thousand shares out of hundreds of millions. Read more

11/21/19 – The Beacon – Tabernacle, monstrance donated for celebration of 525th anniversary of first Mass in the New World

On Aug. 23, Bishop Serratelli received a letter from Bishop Julio Cesar Corniel of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, asking if he could donate a tabernacle for their yearlong celebration of the 525th anniversary of the first Mass offered in the New World, ending on Jan. 6, 2020.  Bishop Serratelli asked the different religious organizations and parishes in the Diocese if any had an extra tabernacle that the Diocese could send to the Dominican Republic. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia responded immediately, not only with a tabernacle, but also with a monstrance. Read more


10/18/18 – Global Sisters Report – Sanctuary ministry that has aided thousands of immigrants needs new home

For more than three decades, the subterranean level of Trinity United Methodist Church in Berkeley, California, is the place the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant has called home. Its simple red door at the bottom of a stairway has been the gateway to safe and secure passage into the United States for thousands of immigrants and refugees.

The lighting is poor, the floors cracked and peeling. The corridors, which feel like dungeons, lead to tiny offices, many of them windowless.

Yet despite its rundown environs, Franciscan Sr. Maureen Duignan, the organization’s executive director, is deeply worried the program may soon lose this space.

“The church is slated to be sold to a developer,” Duignan told GSR. “The plan is for the entire building to be razed to make room for a new housing complex.”

Since 1982, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant has been providing protection, advocacy and support to refugees and undocumented immigrants. The program works with the most marginalized populations fleeing violence and persecution, including unaccompanied minors, members of the LGBTQ community, and victims of torture, domestic violence and female genital mutilation.  Read more

10/5/18 – BNN Bloomberg – Unswayed by Nuns, Wells Fargo Hands Gunmaker New Line of Credit

(Bloomberg) — Wells Fargo & Co. is doubling down on the gun industry, undaunted by criticism of its deep ties to firearm companies and the National Rifle Association.

The San Francisco-based bank last week issued a $40 million line of credit to gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co., according to financial filings. That’s on top of the $431 million in debt that Wells Fargo has arranged for gunmakers since December 2012, when the Sandy Hook school shooting escalated the gun control debate. No other bank lent more to the industry over that time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The new debt, issued to one of the world’s largest publicly traded gunmakers, came as a big surprise to at least one group: nuns who had been talking to Wells Fargo about corporate-responsibility issues. On Sept. 26, the day before the debt agreement was issued, they had met with the bank’s business-standards employees in New York.

“This is shocking news because we are in sustained dialogue with Wells Fargo,” said Nora Nash, a sister at St. Francis of Philadelphia who was at the meeting as a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. “This new business relationship with Sturm Ruger is in direct conflict with ethics, culture and respect for human rights throughout the company.”  Read more

10/5/18 – San Francisco Cronicle – Wells Fargo makes another big gun loan

Wells Fargo is expanding its commitment to the gun industry, undaunted by criticism of its deep ties to firearm companies and the National Rifle Association. Read more

6/29/18 – The News Herald – Operation ‘Shake it up’: VBS kids reach out to military

PANAMA CITY — “Shipwrecked” Vacation Bible School at St. Dominic Catholic Church shakes things up this summer with five days of fun — and its tradition of giving back to the U.S. military overseas.

St. Dominic’s 15th annual VBS is Monday through Friday, June 25-29, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the church, 3308 E. 15th St. “We had to extend it half an hour; we just couldn’t get everything done,” said Sister Jean O’Connor, Religious Education director.  Children from preschool through fifth grade are invited, regardless of church affiliation or religion. The program has grown from 65 to 150 students.  Read more

6/21/18 – Barron’s – Investors Grapple With the Immigration Crisis

Sustainable investors, playing the long game, are engaging with companies to strengthen human-rights practices even after the Trump administration decided to rescind its executive order to separate migrant families at the border, deciding to keep families together in custody.

Sister Nora Nash, who oversees retirement funds for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, told Barron’s that she is working with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), “financial institutions who support legislation on human rights, and asking them to do due diligence on financing prisons.” Earlier this week, Nash says, she had written half a dozen companies, including the two banks, “to ask their CEOs to address the issue at the border.” Read more

5/28/18 – Philadelphia Business Journal – Why is Wells Fargo afraid of this nun?

Sister Nora Nash is part of a collection of disruptors shaking up the banking and finance industry in Greater Philadelphia

Whether advocating for cleaner drinking water, keeping families in their homes, improving working conditions or seeking more transparency from management, you will not find a less likely, or more effective, change agent in corporate America than Sister Nora Nash.

As director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis, an order of about 400 Roman Catholic nuns in Delaware County, Pa., she spends much of her time coaxing conglomerates to behave in a more ethical manner.  Read more

5/22/18 – Commonweal Magazine – Traditional Disobedience: Renewing the Legacy of Catholic Activism

hen forty Catholics holding rosaries were handcuffed and led away by police at the U.S. Capitol in late February during a protest to show support for young undocumented immigrants facing deportation, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, prayed over the demonstrators.

“I ask God’s blessing upon those who are acting in civil disobedience, part of a longstanding tradition of not supporting unjust laws,” the bishop said as television cameras angled in and congressional staff watched from the rotunda balcony in the Russell Senate Office Building. Read more.  Sr. Marie Lucey was one of those demonstrators

5/9/18 –NY TimesSturm Ruger Shareholders Adopt Measure Backed by Gun Control Activists

Sturm Ruger, one of the country’s largest firearms makers, had urged shareholders for weeks to reject a proposal from a group of Roman Catholic nuns demanding more transparency from the company on whether it planned to develop safer products and monitor the ones already in circulation.

But when the votes were counted at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday, a majority of investors sided with the nuns.

Ruger, which makes a variety of weapons, including a style of rifle often used in mass shootings, must now produce a report by February on how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances. Read more

5/9/18 –CNBC–Sturm Ruger shareholders approve proposal for gun-maker to report on risks of its business

A group of nuns and other faith-based investors won a shareholder vote at Sturm Ruger & Co. requiring one of the nation’s largest gun-makers to prepare a report about the risks of its business.

Ruger’s CEO, Christopher Killoy, said at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday that the company will comply and prepare the report. “Shareholders have spoken,” he said.

But, he added, the winning proposal “cannot force us to change our business,” and “cannot change what Ruger is about and what we stand for.”  Read more

4/25/18 –CNBC–Trinity Health and Other Investors Caution Smokefree Disney on Purchase of “Tobacco-Contaminated” Fox Movies

Investors have made public a letter sent to Disney CEO Robert Iger before the company’s March 2018 annual meeting in Houston pressing Disney to protect young audiences from exposure to on-screen tobacco when it acquires Fox’s large film library. Fund managers note that future marketing of these films may be affected by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global health treatyratified by 181 parties.

In their letter to Mr. Iger, forty-six religious and secular investors organized by Trinity Health and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia congratulate The Disney Company for its “good faith” in honoring its own tobacco depictions policy. But they warn, “…amid the myriad details involved in a corporate acquisition of this size and complexity, Disney cannot afford to leave young people’s health and lives unprotected.”   Read more

4/25/18 –The NY Times–There’s No Smoking in Disney Films. What About When It Owns Fox?

Add cigarettes to the list of things that the family-friendly Walt Disney Company has to figure out as it prepares to integrate the sharper-edged 20th Century Fox movie and television studio. Now antismoking advocates want Mr. Iger to extend that rule to all future youth-rated films (G, PG, PG-13) made by Fox and its Fox Searchlight specialty label, which are among the assets that Disney is buying from Rupert Murdoch for $54.2 billion.   Tom McCaney, associate director of corporate social responsibility for Sisters of St. Francis, an activist order helping to lead the antismoking effort, said that Disney’s response to the letter was unsatisfactory. “Disney told us it wasn’t appropriate to discuss until the Fox deal goes through,” Mr. McCaney said. “We disagree.”  Read more

4/22/18 –CBC Radio–Meet the nun who pushes corporations to be socially responsible

​Sister Nora Nash is the director of corporate social responsibility at the Sisters of St. Francis. The order owns shares in a number of different corporations, which allows them to come to their annual general meetings and submit shareholder resolutions.

“We are responsible investors. That means we seek social as well as financial returns on our investments,” she says.  Read/Listen

4/22/18 –Des Moines Register–Wells Fargo faces shareholders in Des Moines in wake of record $1 billion penalty

Rocked over the past two years with revelations of customer fraud and abuse, Wells Fargo has been working to restore trust — with customers, shareholders, employees and, possibly most importantly, regulators.

Last week, as federal regulators slapped Wells Fargo with a record $1 billion fine, CEO Tim Sloan told investors the bank has more work to do.

“It will take time to put all our challenges behind us,” Sloan said. “But our board and company have made significant progress.”  Nora Nash, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and part of a Wells Fargo stakeholder advisory board, said bank leaders can go a long way to re-establishing her order’s trust with a “transparent and honest report” on its reforms at Tuesday’s meeting.  Read more

4/2/18 –The Dialog– Sister Jean Rohe, teacher of generations, celebrates 100

Over the course of her ministry in education, Sister Jean Clare Rohe spent 27 years in the Diocese of Wilmington. What makes that extraordinary is that her first assignment in the diocese began in 1938, and her final one concluded in 2004.

Sister Jean’s three assignments in Wilmington are just a part of what she has accomplished in her first century. She turned 100 on March 12, “a simple farm girl that made good,” she said a few days before the big one. Her congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, celebrated at Assisi House in Aston, Pa., with a day that included Mass in her honor and a party that brought together some 65 family members and friends. Read more

3/26/18 – – In Search of Corporate Values: Wells Fargo Agrees to Listen to Stakeholders

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier recently said in an interview, “There are lots of examples of companies that have lost their souls, which is a funny word to use, but companies do have souls.”

Consider the implications when leaders believe their company has a soul; how that impacts their wanting to be more vigilant against causing harm or ethical meltdowns. When leaders see their company as an organization of stakeholders that bring life to a corporate structure, it isn’t enough to just correct ethical failings. The culture also needs to be healed: a touch-and-go process when its immune system has been shut down. Read more

3/8/18 – Fed up nuns made Wells Fargo write a paper on how it failed to prevent its scandals

The Charlotte Observer –  It’s not your typical homework assignment: A group of nuns upset about the spate of scandals at Wells Fargo just got the bank to agree to write up how it failed to prevent the problems.

This week, the nuns and other Wells Fargo investors announced the bank had bowed to their demands for the report, whose findings are expected to detail the root causes of the scandals, including at the board level.

“We are encouraged that they are finally agreeing to take this first step towards what we hope will be authentic reform,” Sister Nora Nash, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, said in a statement.  Read more

Other related articles:

3/6/18 – Catholic nuns push Wells Fargo to identify ‘root causes’ of scandals

Financial Times –  Roman Catholic nuns have pushed Wells Fargo to publish a report on what caused the scandals that have rocked the US bank after they raised concerns about its ethics with Tim Sloan, chief executive. Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, who led the initiative, said on Tuesday that it had been a “little bit of a struggle” to persuade the bank to conduct the review but she was “most grateful” it had now agreed. Wells, the third-biggest US bank by assets, said on Tuesday that it would publish a standards report that would identify the “systemic cultural and ethical root causes of recent scandals”.  Read more

3/6/18 -Wells Fargo Pushed by Nuns to Report on Its Ethical Lapses –  Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to publicly report on the root causes that led to a rash of ethical lapses in recent years, a group of investors said.  The group, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and including about 20 religious organizations as well as state officials from Rhode Island and Connecticut, said Tuesday they would withdraw a shareholder proposal on the issue following the bank’s decision. They had sought to put it to a vote at the lender’s annual meeting in April.  Read more

2/9/18 -Giving Voice 20’s and 30’s Retreat: Cultivating Courageous Hope – Sr. Maria (Peaches) Dela Paz, OSF

When I was told by my novice director this past October that I would have the opportunity to attend the Giving Voice 20s and 30s retreat in January, I was filled with gratitude for the support of my congregation. I was also excited to finally connect faces with the names I had read on the Giving Voice e-newsletter and seen photos of in the Giving Voice Facebook group. I looked up to these young women during my own discernment of religious life, thinking to myself – Young women in religious life really DO exist!  Read more

2/9/18 – Downsizing national parks erases American history

Catholic – A commentary by Sr. Kathy Dougherty, OSF.

Recently President Trump ordered the reduction in size of two important national monuments in Utah — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

On many levels, his actions serve only to disconnect us from each other and from the land itself. Our system of national monuments helps us not only to care for creation, but also to care for each other by lifting up the stories embodied in the land. History books may contain words, but national monuments are the direct experience of our collective narratives. Read more.

2/14/18 – Shareholder Resolutions On Opioid Risks Scheduled For Vote At Amerisource Bergen

ValueWalk–  Proposal No. 8, The Board Report Proposal, requesting a report on how the board is addressing opioid-related business risks submitted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Trinity Health, JLens Investors Network and Missionary Oblates OIP Investment Trust. Read

2/14/18 – Shareholder Resolutions On Opioid Risks Scheduled For Vote At Amerisource Bergen

ValueWalk–  Proposal No. 8, The Board Report Proposal, requesting a report on how the board is addressing opioid-related business risks submitted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Trinity Health, JLens Investors Network and Missionary Oblates OIP Investment Trust. Read

1/9/18 – Investors Opposing Virtual Shareholder Meetings Notch Wins – Shareholders demanding face time with corporate boards and senior managers are starting to get their way.  The Council of Institutional Investors, which represents managers who oversee more than $3 trillion combined, started a campaign against virtual-only meetings last year. ConocoPhillips’s future annual meetings “will be held in-person with internet availability,” the company said last month in a letter to the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, which objected to the online-only format. Read more


12/25/17 – ‘The Sultan and the Saint’ tells of breaking down the unknown

National Catholic Reporter – What impact can one encounter make? While details are scarce about the meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt in the 13th century amid the Fifth Crusade, it has become an important symbol of interfaith dialogue and the pursuit of peace, even in the midst of great conflict.The historic meeting of the two faith leaders will receive a fresh look Dec. 26 on PBS, at 8 p.m. Eastern, in the new docudrama “The Sultan and the Saint,” which blends scholarly, documentary-style interviews with dramatic reenactments of the story and with Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons as narrator.

A regular presence at many of the screenings throughout the country in the past year was Franciscans. The Franciscan Action Network worked closely with Unity Productions Foundation in promoting the film, and several communities of Franciscan sisters assisted with some of the documentary research.  “In this time, in this climate, in our country — in the world, actually — but in our country of rising Islamophobia, we thought it was very important for Franciscans and other Christians to learn more about true Islam and its commitment to peace,” Franciscan Sr. Marie Lucey, associate director of Franciscan Action Network, told NCR.  Read more

12/21/17 – Wells Fargo Launches Stakeholder Advisory Council

Pensions & Investments- Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) today announced the launch of a Stakeholder Advisory Council, which was formed to provide insight and feedback to the company’s Board of Directors and senior management from a stakeholder perspective. The council’s focus will be to deepen the company’s understanding of important current and emerging issues relevant to the company and its stakeholders, including serving the financial needs of underserved communities, diversity and social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Sr. Nora Nash has been named a council member.  Read more

12/18/17 – Clergy to GOP Reps:  Vote No on Tax Bill

Delaware County Times – Clergy and members of Philadelphia Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER) traveled to the offices of U.S. Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8 of Levittown, Ryan Costello, R-6 of West Goshen and Pat Meehan, R-7 of Chadds Ford delivering a message to the GOP congressmen to vote against party lines.  Read more!

12/18/17 – Sister act: how a Philadelphia nun faced up to Wall Street

The Guardian – Sister Nora Nash regularly meets with CEOs of big banks, arms makers, and tobacco giants, using her order’s position as a shareholder to fight for change.  As director of the corporate social responsibility office for the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, an order of about 160 Roman Catholic nuns located south-west of the city, Nash has worked for years to get the hundreds of companies that populate the nuns’ bulging stock portfolio to behave better.  Read more!

12/1/17 – Religious Leaders Reject GOP Tax BIll, Call for ‘Faithful Budget”

National Catholic Reporter – Interfaith leaders convened on Capitol Hill Thursday to call attention to the enormous harm the proposed Republican tax bill will cause to poor and middle-income Americans. Several Franciscan sisters watched in support of their colleague Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, who was also arrested. We’re hoping to change hearts,” Carolan said.

Franciscan Sisters Marie Lucey and Maria Orlandini, holding signs that read “Franciscans say no to tax bill,” lamented how passage of the bill would affect their ability to support the poor. “It involves so many the things we care about,” said Lucey. Read More.

11/17/17 – Investors to Congress: Bipartisan Dream Act is Both a Business and Moral Imperative

ICCR – A group of 112 institutional investors representing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)–including the Sisters of St. Francis–announced that they have sent a letter to Congress requesting immediate action on the Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440, S.1615), a “clean”, bi-partisan bill unfettered by other amendments, that protects the immigration status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Read More

11/7/17 – Family Rallies for Chester man imprisoned 37 years for murder he says he did not commit.

Philadelphia Inquirer/ – Several women (including our Sisters Jean Rupertus and Maggie Gannon) affiliated with local religious orders also were present Tuesday. They said they were moved by Evans’ ability to forgive. Read more.

11/6/17 – CCHD grants help empower East Bay groups

The Catholic Voice – Sister Maureen Duignan, OSF, executive director of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the CCHD Local Committee during the luncheon. Established in 1982 by five Berkeley churches, the EBSC has been helping asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented minor children with housing, employment, educational and medical needs. The organization has provided legal help for the “dreamers” and has provided scholarships and other forms of support to immigrants and refugees from Haiti.  Read more!

10/25/17 – Corporate Secretary:  Nuns battle online-only AGMs

Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia file resolutions with ConocoPhillips and Comcast

The Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, known for their work with the poor and elderly and giving a voice to those who usually go unheard, are taking their work to Wall Street by campaigning against online-only shareholder meetings.

The order of more than 400 Catholic nuns have filed resolutions with ConocoPhillips, the oil group, and Comcast, the telecoms company, over their decisions to abandon physical AGMs for shareholders, Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine reports.

The nuns want businesses to reintroduce face-to-face meetings with direct access to boards alongside virtual events.

The ConocoPhillips resolution has been co-filed by the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust, which oversees the retirement income of pastors and members of the Brethren community, and the Needmor Fund, a social justice organization.  Read more

9/23/17 – URGENT:  There’s a new Obamacare repeal bill in the senate.  (YES, AGAIN!)  Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to save our healthcare.

The Senate-Cassidy Graham Bill

There would be NO guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Each state that accepts federal block grant funding could waive the ACA’s rules for covering the 10 essential health benefits and other consumer protections. Insurers could take health status into account and raise rates for people with pre-existing conditions. (Note: Pennsylvania already has not been able to pay Medicare $1.2 billion.)

This Jimmy Kimmel YouTube video gives clarity to what is happening:

Call your senators today!

8/10/17 – Tacoma breaks ground for the first free-standing rehab hospital west of the Cascades.

University Place Press – Ketul J. Patel, chief executive officer of CHI Franciscan Health, did thank all of the attending Sisters of St. Francis for having a big hand in developing the reality of this new rehabilitation hospital.  Patel said the sisters have helped CHI Franciscan Health enter into new markets, new programs and new services throughout Puget Sound.  Read more.

6/23/17 – Dollar Tree says it’s protecting consumers from toxic chemicals. Group wants proof. – A group of consumer advocates and a Catholic nun well known for encouraging corporations to behave want the Chesapeake-based retailer to prove it, especially as it relates to keeping harmful phthalate chemicals – often used to make plastics soft – lead, BPAs and other toxic materials out of children’s toys and products.  “We’re not getting any data that tells us they’re doing any work,” said Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia.  Read more.

6/7/17 – Local Investors Both Large and Small Vote for ExxonMobil Climate-Change Analysis

PIVOT.Today – The resolution originated from members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility like the Aston-based Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, which voted on behalf of its 5,900 shares. Malvern’s Vanguard, meanwhile, also voted on behalf of its 299 million shares, or seven percent of all ExxonMobil shares.   Read more.

6/7/17 – Comcast’s 2nd Virtual Shareholder Meeting Gets Poor Reviewed from Activists

Philadelphia Inquirer/ – The Friends Fiduciary is part of a coalition, with the Sisters of St. Francis religious order, that filed a shareholder resolution seeking Comcast to more fully disclose its “grassroots” lobbying expenditures. Comcast says it discloses millions of dollars in lobbying expenditures and has recommended that shareholders vote against the resolution.  Read more.

6/1/17 – Vanguard, Philly Nun Press ExxonMobil to Adopt New Climate Change Practice – Among the shareholders who cast the historic vote is Malvern-based mutual funds giant Vanguard, according to the Washington Post. And as the Inquirer reports, Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia also had a hand in steering the vote against ExxonMobil management.
Read more.

5/31/17 – ExxonMobil Shareholders Vote ‘Yes’ on Climate-Change Analysis, including Vanguard

The Philadelphia Inquirer – Fewer have likely heard of Sister Nora (Nash). She’s no ordinary nun — she is director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.”  Read more.

3/30/17 – Sister Dolora Taylor is the ‘heart and history’ of Immaculate Conception School

The Baltimore Sun – “I love that little nun.” That’s how Immaculate Conception School principal Madeline Meaney describes her affection for Sister Dolora Taylor of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Taylor, who is 84 years old and four-feet ten-inches tall, recently celebrated her 20th year working as a record keeper at the Catholic school in downtown Towson. Read more.

3/20/17 – Wells Fargo Books Plush Resort for Company Meeting – and Some Shareholders Aren’t Happy

The Charlotte Observer – This is an indication that the company didn’t assess the value of being more humble in light of the scandal and are asking shareholders to find a place to stay that is off the beaten path because they don’t want to be exposed to protesters,” said Sister Nora Nash, a nun with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, which owns Wells Fargo shares. Read more.

3/20/17 – PETA Buys Stock in Canada Goose to Protect Use of Down and Fur

TriplePundit Religious orders, including the famous Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, have long used stock purchases to influence corporate policies through the power of shareholder resolutions. Long an irritant to many public company executives and directors, the Sisters of St. Francis most recent quest was the filing of proposals ahead of Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting. The order’s nuns asked for more accountability from the company after a year of scandals rocked the bank, from allegedly bending military laws to the 2 million “fake accounts” fiasco. Read more.

3/17/17 – Wells Fargo Leaders Reaped Lavish Pay Even as Account Scandal Unfolded

NY Times Wells Fargo and its leaders have expressed much contrition about the bank’s misdeeds, which included setting up as many as 2 million bank accounts without customers’ consent. Top executives have surrendered more than $90 million in compensation, fired employees at all levels and vowed to clean house. Read more.

3/16/17 – Wells Fargo shareholders call for a new, broader probe into the bank’s accounts scandal

LA Times – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are disappointed that the Wells Fargo Board recommended a vote against our resolution requesting a Business Standards Review. Read more. – Wells Fargo ‘s board of directors awarded Chief Executive Timothy Sloan $12.8 million for his work last year, a 17% increase.  Read more.
Pensions and Investments – Wells Fargo is asking investors to vote against a pension fund-led shareholder proposal that calls for a comprehensive report from the bank on its retail banking sales practices. Read more.

3/16/17 – Spokane Guilds’ School agrees to buy former St. Joseph Property

Spokane Journal –  Nonprofit expects to develop $15 million facility on property in U District – Read more.

3/7/17 – At Neumann University:  Tea and Franciscan identity

Global Sisters Report – When Neumann University‘s Marguerite O’Beirne was pondering the best way to engage her campus community in informal conversations about Franciscan identity, perhaps it’s no surprise that her mind went to tea.  Read more.

2/27/17 – Light of Convent Shines on New Thrift Shop in York (PA)

York Daily Record – The light of an old convent fills the new location of St. Mary’s Thrift Shop in York. That light is filtered through the stained glass windows that once surrounded the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in their home at 26 East College Avenue.  Read more.


12/10/16 – Where Wells Fargo Goes From Here

Business Ethics – Why has it been so difficult for a values-driven shareholder investor group with over $200 billion in invested capital to persuade a bank now dealing with a very public ethics crisis to do some structured self-examination? The bank ranked lowest in responsible lending and risk management in the shareholder group’s 2013 survey of seven largest banks. Nevertheless, it has repeatedly resisted the request to do a business standards review. These shareholders believe the bank can do a better job aligning business practices with its stated ethics principles.

So, for the third time, the Financial Services Working Group of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has submitted to Wells Fargo a shareholder resolution asking for a business standards review report; the resolution is intended to be voted on at the bank’s April 2017 shareholder meeting. Read more.

10/10/16 – Religious activist investors push Wells Fargo over fake accounts scandal

Philadelphia Business Journal – Philadelphia, PA – A group of nuns and religiously-affiliated investors want Wells Fargo & Co. to disclose more about why employees opened millions of accounts without customers’ permission. Read more.

10/8/16 – St. Joseph’s and CHI Franciscan draw from past to guide future

The News Tribune – Tacoma, WA – Ketul Patel answers to a higher power. The Sisters. They’re the ones who hired the CHI Franciscan CEO 19 months ago. And their vision is what guides him today. “One of the things that drew me here is the passion that our sisters have for what we’ve become over the past 125 years,” Patel said during a recent interview in his downtown office. Read more.

10/6/16 – Author Frida Berrigan encourages “modest work” in wake of election

National Catholic Reporter – Silver Spring, MD – Our Sister Marie Lucey was one of two local peacemakers honored at a Pax Christi group.  Read more.

9/16/16 – Fig Tree Articles – St. Joseph Family Center to Close

The Fig Tree – Spokane, WA – Franciscan sisters close counseling center  Read more.

9/12/16:  Bishop Invites Men and Women in Religious Life to October 8 Convocation.

The Monitor – Trenton, NJ – Our Sister Anne Amati will present reflections on Mercy.  Read more.

8/31/16 – Franciscan Sister Makes Big Imprint on Tiny Steps

The Dialog – Wilmington, DE – Read about our Sister Elise Betz.  Read more.

8/11/16 – Shareholders, consumer groups press KFC on antibiotics use

Meat+Poultry – Oakland, CA – Two shareholders of Yum! Brands stock filed a proposal urging the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands to quickly phase out meat and poultry sourced from animals given antibiotics. Oakland-based As You Sow and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia co-filed the proposal on Aug. 9.  Read more.

8/1/16 – Neumann President Dr. Rosalie Mirenda retiring

Delco Times – Aston, PA –  Dr. Rosalie M. Mirenda, Neumann University’s longest-serving president, will retire on June 30, 2017, the lifetime educator announced in a letter to the school community Monday. Read more.

5/25/16 – St. Francis House director honored for humanitarianism

The News Tribune – Puyallup, WA – Sister Pat Michalek, executive director at the St. Francis House, was recently awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award by the Puyallup Lions Club for her work in the community. Michalek’s parents, Doris and Stan Michalek, started the Puyallup St. Francis House in 1974. Read more.

5/23/16 – Sisters lead the way in mission investing that influences corporate policy and advances social good

Global Sisters Report – ” . . . Sr. Nora Nash is the director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, who say they were among the first congregations to establish a policy on these types of alternative investments. Their work in the area began in 1985 and now includes aspects such as investing in the Disability Opportunity Fund, which finances organizations serving the disability market, focusing on affordable housing, schools and vocational training centers.” Read more.

5/4/16 – Alliance of moms, religious groups criticizes efforts to block new oil and gas rules in PA.

Newsworks – It might seem like an unusual alliance, but leaders on both sides of the abortion debate are teaming up behind a common cause: more regulations on oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania. “We are living in a very toxic community, a community and a state that allows communities to be exposed  to wells, compression stations, pipelines, distribution stations, methane leaks and other greenhouse gas emissions,” said our Sister Nora Nash. Read more.

3/7/16 – St. Francis de Sales school demise grieves all ages

Delco Times – Aston, PA – Four years ago, St. Francis de Sales Grade School in the Lenni section of Aston was granted a reprieve after members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Blue Ribbon Commission recommended it close and students attend St. Thomas the Apostle Grade School about 2 miles away in Chester Heights.

A “Save Our School” committee was successful in its appeal to Archbishop Charles Chaput to keep the school, established in 1895 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, open. Read more.