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In the News2023-02-02T11:15:05-05:00


2/2/23 – Global Sisters Report  – Neumann University needed housing. A local convent had space. Now, nuns and students share a ‘dorm’

Numann University sophomore Katela Villasenor proudly displayed the recently snapped photos on her dorm room wall of herself and a dorm mate donning white bunny ears and striking funny poses.

“She was showing me some of her dance moves,” said Villasenor, 19, a nursing major from Reading.

Her 77-year-old dorm mate, however, wasn’t quite so eager to show off the photos.

“I have to appear in public after this,” Sister Esther Anderson said.

Actually, Anderson said she didn’t really mind. That’s life at the Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston, Delaware County, since 40 college students moved in earlier this year, joining the 40 Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia who already lived there. The Catholic university purchased the adjacent 63-acre property and convent of its founding order last year to add much-needed student living space, but the school wasn’t about to boot the sisters who still lived there. And they didn’t want to leave.  READ

1/12/23 – 6ABC – College students and Catholic sisters live side-by-side at Neumann University

ASTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “Our Franciscan value is relationships,” said Sister Esther Anderson. “That’s the core value.”

Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia have always had some kind of relationship with the students at Neumann University, a school which they founded in 1965. But at the start of this current school year, it got a bit more personal.

“We were approached by Neumann about the need for further student housing,” said Sister Anderson. “And we had vacated one of the wings of our building during the pandemic.”

Neumann purchased the convent and converted a section of Glen Riddle Hall into dormitories for about 40 students. Across the hall, a similar number of sisters reside in their own rooms. READ 


12/26/22 – Union Catholic High School – Dream Comes True for UC’s Casey Arias with Full Scholarship to Yale

Casey Arias called it the best day of her life. It was December 1, a day the senior at Union Catholic will never forget. That’s when Arias received the fantastic news that she had been selected to receive a very prestigious and rare QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship to Yale University, the school of her dreams.

Sister Donna Jo Repetti, the school counselor for Arias at Union Catholic, said Arias has worked very hard to achieve this scholarship and is very deserving.

“The adjectives that immediately come to mind when I describe Casey are leadership, creativity, perseverance, initiative, enthusiastic, resourceful, integrity, compassionate, responsible, independent, thinker, optimistic, curious, determined, self-confident, and loyal to name a few,’’ said Sister Donna Jo.  READ

12/17/22 – The Philadelphia Inquirer -Neumann University needed housing. A local convent had space. Now, nuns and students share a ‘dorm.’

The Catholic university purchased the adjacent convent of its founding order last year to add student living space, but the school wasn’t about to boot the sisters and they didn’t want to leave.’

Neumann University sophomore Katela Villasenor proudly displayed the recently snapped photos on her dorm room wall of herself and a dorm mate donning white bunny ears and striking funny poses.

“She was showing me some of her dance moves,” said Villasenor, 19, a nursing major from Reading.

Her 77-year-old dorm mate, however, wasn’t quite so eager to show off the photos.  READ

For a PDF version of the story, click here or here.

12/13/22 – The Trentonian – Final mass at St. Francis Medical Center delivers eulogy for the Trenton hospital

While Bishop David O’Connell delivered a final Mass inside the chapel of St. Francis Medical Center, Dr. James Romano offered a eulogy.

In a sendoff just ahead of St. Francis Medical Center ending most medical procedures to become part of Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Romano remembered the hospital’s “storied history” during a celebration of its “legacy” as a compassionate care center.

Romano started at the beginning when St. Francis Medical Center was founded in 1874 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia as Trenton’s first hospital. READ

12/9/22 – Washington Post  – At this Pa. college, 40 students live in a convent with 40 nuns

When a group of nuns surprised their housemates with chocolate-chip almond cookies in October, Zayyan Snell couldn’t contain his awe on his first bite.

“These jawns are incredible,” Snell said, using Philadelphia slang.

The nuns believed the cookies were putting Snell to sleep — like a “yawn” — until the 23-year-old graduate student explained the term can substitute for any person, place or thing. The nuns soon added “jawn” to their vocabulary, even if they usually use the word incorrectly.  READ

11/29/22 –Fox29 News -‘How is this going to work?’: Delaware County college students share housing with nuns

Student housing conjures up visions of cramped dorms and difficult roommates, but that is not the case for one local university, where students are living with nuns. Philadelphia news, weather, traffic and sports from FOX 29, serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Watch breaking news live or see the latest videos from programs like Good Day Philadelphia.  Watch here

Read the associated article here.

11/21/22 –WGN News – College Co-Eds Living with Nuns

Chicago – Who Wants to Live With Catholic Nuns? College Co-Eds At Pennsylvania`s Neumann University, undergraduates share a convent with sisters.

“Young blood, it’s wonderful!” Sister Bernadette Brazil gushed recently when asked how she felt about the newcomers. Watch the news segment


11/9/22 – The Wall Street Journal – A New Sister Act: College Students Move Into a Convent

ASTON, Pa.—A group of students at Neumann University here spent an evening last month painting pumpkins, making s’mores and dancing to a DJ’s playlist. Their neighbors—a bunch of sisters, and not the sorority kind—joined in the fun.

Call it a match made in heaven: Neumann wanted to increase campus housing for students. The Catholic Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia had extra space in their convent. In August, 40 undergraduate men and women moved into the Our Lady of Angels Motherhouse Convent, at the edge of this small campus just outside the city. Forty sisters also reside in the building.

“Young blood, it’s wonderful!” Sister Bernadette Brazil gushed recently when asked how she felt about the newcomers.  READ

Click here for a PDF version of the article.

11/7/22 – Reinvestment – A Mission to Serve Through Partnerships

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, one of Reinvestment Fund’s longest-standing investors, accepted the recent retirement of Sr. Nora Nash from her role as the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility but her social justice and advocacy work isn’t slowing down.

As the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sister Nora managed the assets of her congregation. The role started as an idea, using their retirement fund to have an impact and gain a seat at the table with some of the most powerful corporations in the world. The Sisters realized that through organized, targeted impact investing and shareholder advocacy they could achieve both financial and social returns. After taking over from her predecessor, Sister Marie Lucy, Sister Nora oversaw the congregation’s investments, community development loans, and social justice grant programs for over two decades. READ

11/4/22 – The Catholic Labor Network – Religious Orders Use their Assets to Promote Worker Justice

Catholic religious orders are known for their works of mercy, often running hospitals, nursing homes and schools. But in the course of their activity, many of these orders accumulated substantial assets, including stock holdings in major US corporations. That gives them power, and, increasingly, they are using this power to advance worker justice.

. . . The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, a community of more than 300 in Southeast Pennsylvania, have been on the front lines of this work.  READ

11/3/22 – 6ABC News – Prayers for the Phillies: Sisters of Saint Francis root for a World Series win

ASTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “Grant that we may not so much seek to win one game, as to take the series,” said Sister Kate O’Donnell, OSF, during a special prayer for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sister O’Donnell has been a Sister of Saint Francis for 57 years. In that time, she’s seen two Philadelphia World Series wins. This week, she hopes to make it three.

“I think it’s a good idea to keep praying all the time, no matter whether the Phillies are playing or not,” she said. “But particularly, I think in the next couple of days we need to really pray hard.”  READ and WATCH

11/2/22 – Vista Today – Neumann Nun Offers Some Prayerful Help to the Phils

The director of pastoral ministers at Neumann University is a huge Phillies fan so it’s no surprise that some of her prayers are going to them as they navigate the World Series, writes John McDevitt for KYW Radio.

“I have a baseball signed by Mike Schmidt. I have a baseball signed by Tug McGraw. Here is Tug McGraw at a very young age,” said Sr. Linda DeCero, providing a tour of her Phillies memorabilia.

During the World Series, the former chaplain for Neumann’s baseball team has set up a shrine in front of her TV with autographed baseballs, bobbleheads, religious relics, etc.   READ

11/2/22 – Erie News Now – Sister Linda follows strict routine on Phillies game day

 PHILADELPHIA (KYW) — Sister Linda grew up in South Philadelphia within walking distance of the sports complex. Her passion for the game and humor are one of a kind.

Prayers for the Phillies from Neumann University.

“I do believe the baseball gods are in our favor,” Sister Linda said.

Sister Linda Decero, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, says she started praying way back when the Phillies season wasn’t in their favor.  READ

11/1/22 – KYW News Radio – Faith in her Fightin’ Phils: Delco nun devoutly roots, prays for Phillies in World Series

ASTON, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Countless sports fans in the Delaware Valley are cheering and praying for the Philadelphia Phillies to win the 2022 World Series. One fan in Delaware County embodies that with a whole lot of faith.

“So here I have a baseball signed by Mike Schmidt. I have a baseball signed by Tug McGraw. Here is Tug McGraw at a very young age,” said Sr. Linda DeCero, proudly showing off her Phillies memorabilia collection.

DeCero, originally from South Philadelphia, is the director of pastoral ministers at Neumann University and — as her collection shows — a huge Phillies fan. The former chaplain for Newman’s baseball team has a sort of shrine set up in front of her TV in her living room with those autographed baseballs, bobbleheads, religious relics, and a lot more.  READ 

10/26/22 – National Catholic Reporter – Catholic groups urge Biden to seek diplomacy with Putin, avoid nuclear war

Catholic organizations and religious orders are calling President Joe Biden to undertake diplomatic means to prevent nuclear war with Russia.

In an Oct. 26 letter to Biden sent by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the organizations condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and urged Biden not to respond in kind if such weapons are used.  READ

10/17/22 – Global Sisters Report – CARA to honor ASEC for training, educational programs

On Nov. 7, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate will award its Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research to the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC), a ministry that provides education opportunities to Catholic sisters in Africa.

In announcing the award, the center noted that more than 5,300 sisters have benefited from ASEC’s training and educational programs, and that number continues to grow.

“They have set up computer labs, provided technology and training workshops that have improved healthcare and access to clean water, and, initiated income generating projects in ten countries in sub Saharan Africa.”

CARA is a national research center affiliated with Georgetown University that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church.

Four U.S. Catholic universities and their congregations established ASEC in 1999:

ASEC is based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and now serves 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

10/15/22 – Delco Times – Billy Mock Foundation donates $25K to Chester’s ACCESS Community Center

The Billy Mock Foundation made a $25,000 donation to the newly opened ACCESS Community Center in Chester, at its Golf Outing and Auction at Concord Country Club on Oct. 10.

This is the largest single donation made by the foundation in its history.

The foundation became aware of ACCESS through its long relationship with Sr. Cathy McGowan, Sisters of St. Joseph, and Sr. Maggie Gannon, Order of St. Francis.

Over the 14 years of working with the sisters, the foundation was able to identify and assist many individuals and programs in need in Chester.

Gannon commented, “We continue to marvel at the impact Billy’s life has had on so many. It brings tears to our eyes and pride to our hearts and gratitude to all of you who support us in our mission of ‘Simply Helping Others’.”  READ

9/26/22 – Delco TimesAston plans to purchase 43 acres from Sisters of St. Francis as open space.
Township applying for grants and pulling together money.

A portion of Aston is staying green.

Aston Township commissioners recently voted their intent to buy 43 acres from the Sisters of St. Francis.

The property, which consists largely of woods and open space, is bounded by Red Hill Road and Convent Road.

The order reached out to the Township about selling the property in May 2021 as their religious order downsizes. The order also sold their convent and 63 acres nearby to Neumann University in 2021.    READ

9/14/22 – New Jersey 101.5 – NJ losing another hospital with latest health-care sale

The impending sale of St. Francis Medical Center will leave only one hospital within the Trenton city limits.

Trinity Health has reached an agreement to sell Trenton’s first hospital to Capital Health, which would slowly close the facility on Hamilton Avenue in the city’s Chambersburg section pending regulatory approvals.

St. Francis was founded in 1874 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, according to the hospital’s website. Today it is an acute care teaching hospital with more than 300 medical staff physicians representing all specialties.  READ

8/9/22 – St. Anthony Messenger – Followers of St. Francis: Sister Marie Lucey, OSF

The oldest of four children in a predominantly Irish Catholic neighborhood, Sister Marie Lucey, OSF, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. “I grew up in a loving family,” Sister Marie says. “My parents were committed Catholics, but they were not especially pious and initially were not happy when I told them I felt called to be a sister.”

She first started thinking about religious life when she was around 10 years old. She recalls a group of her girlfriends were also talking about becoming sisters and, in her mind, she was thinking, They are just talking about it, but I’m going to do it. Throughout her teenage years, the thought of entering the convent stayed with her. She received a four-year scholarship to Georgian Court College but, after two years, made the decision to leave and enter religious life.  READ

8/25/22 – Daily Times – Neumann University students move into new dorm, an old convent

ASTON — Some Neumann University students are the first to ever move into the Our Lady of Angels Convent west wing, a building the college acquired from the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

In 2021, Neumann purchased the convent and 63 acres from the congregation and converted one section of the sprawling 152,000-square-foot building into Glen Riddle Hall, the newest residential facility on campus, though parts of it are 150 years old.

The convent complex was built in stages from 1873 to 1930.  READ


Shareholders asking for human rights impact assessment reports may offer ways to impact weapons headed to conflicts.

Earlier this year, two of the largest weapons manufacturing companies held their annual shareholder meetings and voted on proposals meant to address human rights. General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, whose tanks, missile systems, and other products have been used in conflicts around the world, were pressed to adopt shareholder proposals highlighting a need for due diligence and human rights impact assessment procedures to better address the damage their weapons cause.

While these shareholder initiatives did not pass at these meetings, both proposals received a significant amount of shareholder support, signaling that the approach offers promise to prevent — or at least make more difficult — the funneling of weapons to irresponsible actors or those that harm civilians. READ

7/28/22 – The Catholic Review –Baltimore native feels ‘at home’ with Philadelphia’s Sisters of St. Francis

When she graduated from high school in Baltimore, Ann Dutrow joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame and began a long career in education. After nine years, she left the congregation.

“I had a sense of a calling, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me,” Sister Ann said. “The right church, the wrong pew.”

But she found the right fit the second time around. It just took a few decades for that to occur. And on Aug. 6, she will profess final vows with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in Aston, Pa., with her biological and Franciscan families on hand.

After leaving the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sister Ann was a school teacher in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where she grew up. She retired from teaching 10 years ago, and even then, she didn’t see life in a religious community in her future. She said she didn’t even meet any Franciscans until she was 16 years into her teaching career. Sister Ann became familiar with them at The Catholic High School of Baltimore. READ

7/27/22 – The Dialog – Sister Ann Dutrow feels ‘at home’ with Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, will profess final vows

When she graduated from high school in Baltimore, Ann Dutrow joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame and began a long career in education. After nine years, she left the congregation.

“I had a sense of a calling, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me,” Sister Ann said. “The right church, the wrong pew.”

But she found the right fit the second time around. It just took a few decades for that to occur. And on Aug. 6, she will profess final vows with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in Aston, Pa., with her biological and Franciscan families on hand.  READ

5/25/22 – Bloomberg Law – ESG Investors Push More Racial Issues After Wins at Apple, J&J

Chevron is opposing an audit proposal from Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, a Roman Catholic order of nuns known for promoting corporate social responsibility. The proposal, which is under consideration at Chevron’s annual meeting Wednesday, urges the company to analyze and report on whether its policies and practices discriminate or have a disparate effect on people of color. The proposal cited concerns that Chevron’s greenhouse gas emissions and oil leaks can disproportionately harm non-White communities.  READ

5/25/22 – Washington Post – Workers’ advocates turned away at Dollar General meeting

A civil rights advocate says he and two Dollar General store workers were denied access to the company’s shareholder meeting Wednesday in Tennessee where they had been outside protesting for better pay and workplace safety improvements.

The Rev. William Barber II told The Associated Press he and the two workers sought to enter the meeting inside Goodlettsville City Hall with their proxy paperwork, but were told they could not go in after the meeting’s start time. Video posted to social media shows Barber approach the meeting room’s door, saying multiple times that “We are shareholders,” to which a person staffing the meeting said, “I hear you. We just closed the check-in.”

. . .Barber said he was attending as a proxy representative for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, which he said means the group owned at least $2,000 in stocks in the company for at least three years.  READ

5/15/22 – The Catholic Sentinel – If the walls could talk: Franciscan Spiritual Center has new home on former Marylhurst campus

St. Catherine Hall, the former music building at the now closed Marylhurst University, is the new home of the Franciscan Spiritual Center. After more than 15 years in Milwaukie, the center is again on the west side of the Willamette River, in an Italianate brick building with music-soaked walls, close to where the ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia began in Portland.

On April 1, amid many boxes, the Franciscans opened the doors for ministry in their new home, one that is somehow familiar. It turns out that several of the Sisters of St. Francis who lived at the convent on Palatine Hill earned their degrees at Marylhurst and are well acquainted with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary who were teachers and are the owners and stewards of the former university campus.  READ

5/13/22 – Delco Times – Sisters of St. Francis celebrate Franciscan Night with blanket of roses

ASTON — The Sisters of St. Francis held their Fifth annual Franciscan Night with a Kentucky Derby theme. Sister Deborah Krist, director of mission advancement, had the idea to have a live horse present at the event and asked Sister Angela Sutera to help by making a rose blanket to display on the horse.

The blanket, which measures 9 ft. by 2 feet, is covered in 400 roses, each of which Sister Angela painstakingly glued to the three-layer blanket that had been cut to shape and hand sewn together. It took Sister Angela approximately 14 hours to complete the blanket, which was trimmed with greenery and tassels to finish the look.  READ

5/13/22 – – Remembrance service celebrates life and legacy of Sister Patricia

A REMEMBRANCE day was held for a founding member of the Beacon of Light Counselling Centre in Clondalkin. On Monday evening, residents remembered Sister Patricia Kidd OSF, to celebrate her positive contribution to the community.

“Sr Patricia passed in June 2020, but due to Covid-19, we could not organise a remembrance service for her or mark her passing as we wanted,” said Geoffrey McCarthy, General Manager, Beacon of Light Counselling Centre.

“Her family friends, work colleagues and those from the local community gathered to pay homage to Sr Patricia, to celebrate her life and the legacy she left behind in the Beacon of Light.”  READ

4/21/22 – The Daily Times – Every day is Earth Day on Red Hill Farm

ASTON — Today marks the 52nd celebration of Earth Day. First held on April 22, 1970, the special day, according to, now includes a wide range of events worldwide, with participation of at least one billion people in more than 193 countries.

The official theme for 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet,” something the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been doing for decades with their Red Hill Farm. READ

4/12/22 – The Reporter – Bucks County Catholic educator honored with national ‘Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award’

DOYLESTOWN >> Sister Thomasann Quinn, SSF, the Prayer & Liturgy Coordinator at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Elementary School in Doylestown, has been named a recipient of the NCEA 2022 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

The award recognizes leadership and excellence in Catholic education.  Sister Thomasann Quinn is among only 13 recipients selected from more than 150,000 teachers, administrators, diocesan leaders, and organizations dedicated to serving Catholic schools throughout the nation.  READ

4/7/22 – Lancaster Online – Name announced for private school planned at former Dominican monastery in Manheim Twp.

The private school planned for the former Dominican monastery in Manheim Township will be bear the name of a Philadelphia nun who helped establish the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis in 1855.

The school at the former Monastery of the Immaculate Heart at 1834 Lititz Pike will be called The Mary Francis Bachmann School, a name that was announced at a public event Wednesday at the property during which members of the public were invited to tour the building and grounds.

CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, a Lancaster-based nonprofit health ministry, has an agreement to buy the property for $3.5 million and plans to turn it into a private school with 1st through 12th grades. A fall 2023 opening is planned which would follow a $7 million renovation that would maintain the chapel for the public, keep the outside of the buildings intact and renovate the inside of the main building for classrooms. The school is eventually expected to have nearly 300 students.  READ

4/6/22 – Medical Design and Outsourcing –  Johnson & Johnson faces another ballot battle on racial equity audit

Johnson & Johnson is fighting another shareholder proposal for an independent racial equality audit of the company.

New Brunswick, New Jersey–based J&J (NYSE:JNJ) defeated a similar measure at last year’s annual meeting of shareholders, though the vote was far from a landslide. The company also unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to keep it off the ballot.

Investors backing the proposal include philanthropists Christopher and Anne Ellinger and faith-based organizations such as the Providence St. Joseph Health system, Portico Benefit Services and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, among others.   READ

03/06/22 – Investor Advocates for Social Justice – Sr. Nora Nash – Women of Faith in Finance

As Women’s History Month and the tragic invasion of Ukraine converge, one woman’s words ring true: “Our world has become grief-stricken with individualism, hatred, political ill will, and the inability to communicate.” That woman is Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and the subject of today’s “Women of Faith in Finance.” READ

02/04/22 –Human Rights Watch – At Start of Black History Month, Over 350 Groups Urge US House Leadership To Back H.R. 40

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are signors on this request.

On behalf of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), organizational members of the Why We Can’t Wait Coalition,[1] along with the undersigned 365 national, international, state, and local organizations, and over 40 leaders, activists, and celebrities, we urge Congress to immediately bring House Resolution (H.R.) 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, to a full vote on the House floor.  READ

02/04/22 – Dialog – Landmark former convent at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Wilmington available for sale

The landmark former convent at St. Anthony of Padua parish on West 10th Street in Wilmington has been listed for sale.

Built in 1917, the Tudor Revival home was designed by architectural firm Wilson Eyre and McIlvaine as a single-family residence, according to the real estate listing. The convent is former home to the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia who lived and worked at the parish.  READ

01/28/22 – SpokaneFavs – Letter to the Editor: A Note to Spokane’s Jewish Community

As Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience here in the Inland Northwest, we reach out to you as you recover from the news of yet another act of violence against the Jewish community with the hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.

All of us who seek to create welcoming communities share in the shock and grief.   Sr. Patricia Millen, Sisters of St. Francis signed this letter.  READ

01/20/22 – American Medical Association – Health system CEO listens to doctors. He has to—they’re his family.

Ketul J. Patel, CEO for the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health system headquartered in the Puget Sound, has the “MHA” and “MBA” degrees after his name—not “MD” or “DO”—but he has spent his whole life closely observing the health care field.

“We need to make sure we create the right culture where people are going to want to work and continue to work for many years,” Patel said. “People come and work in places where they feel like they’re part of decision-making and part of the fabric of the organization. We want to continue to build that culture.”

A long-term focus is working toward health equity and access, work that the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia began when they opened St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma in 1891.

“During the pandemic, we found there’s tremendous inequities in terms of access to health care,” Patel said. “Over 130 years ago, our sisters made the journey from Philadelphia to Tacoma to open up health care facilities to care for those that were in need and vulnerable.  READ

01/218/22 – Cape Gazette – Nun seeks pandemic relief for Africa

01/13/22 – The Dialog – Wilmington’s Amanecer Counseling and Resource Center celebrates rebirth at St. Paul’s Parish

“Amanecer” is a Spanish verb that translates roughly as “to get light” or “to wake up.” In Wilmington, the Amanecer Counseling and Resource Center is trying to shed light on the need for mental health resources, particularly for the city and state’s Hispanic population.

Previously the Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s, Amanecer dedicated its new building and celebrated its new identity a few months ago on the birthday of its founder, Franciscan Sister Theresa Elitz. The counseling center, established in 2003, moved into a house at Third and Van Buren streets purchased from the Franciscan friars’ Holy Name Province, which staffed St. Paul’s for nearly three decades before leaving.  Read

01/11/22 – Global Sisters Report – Q & A with Sr. Tresa Palakudy, supporting children in Kenya’s forgotten HIV/AIDs epidemic

When Kenya’s first COVID-19 case was announced on March 13, 2020, the government pivoted to combat the spread. Health officials quickly announced travel restrictions, set lockdowns and converted health care facilities to serve COVID patients. These measures left HIV/AIDS patients feeling neglected.

Kenya experienced a massive shortage of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), threatening the lives of HIV/AIDS patients. Because many patients lost jobs, they couldn’t eat a balanced diet crucial to boosting their immunities. The government also diverted money donated for HIV/AIDS patients to fight the pandemic.

Although this article focuses on Sr. Tresa, our sister, Sr. Julia Mulvihill has been ministering with the children of Nyumbani for many many years.  She is pictured in the photo.  Read


12/11/21 – Bloomberg – Tyson to conduct racial audit after outcry over workers

Tyson Foods Inc., one of the meatpackers that came under fire during the height of the pandemic for its treatment of a largely minority workforce, will commission a detailed study to determine whether its practices contribute to racial inequities.

An independent group will carry out the equity audit of the biggest U.S. meat company by sales, with Tyson aiming to publish its findings within a year, spokesperson Gary Mickelson said.

This is good news! Behind the scenes there were many conversations between ICCR, IASJ, Venceremos, and Tyson. ABHMS co-filed the proposal for a racial audit in August with 16 other investors, including Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. READ

11/5/21 – The Dialog – A Different Approach to Vocations

“It’s a way of being in relationship with us and a way of living the charism in their own lives,” said Sr. Diane Tomkinson.  The traditional image of vocations, particularly for women involves sisters taking vows of poverty, chastity, and  obedience, then going about the work of the congregation.  But in the 21st century, the approach to vocations has changed for some religious orders, including the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

Sister Diane Tomkinson is the director of “charism engagement” for the local Franciscans, who are based in Aston, Pa. She took over the position over the summer after a career in academia, so she is still figuring out exactly what her ministry will look like going forward. The office was previously called charism promotion, but the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis reconfigured after a general chapter in May.

“We’re trying to work collaboratively in all the different ways we invite people to engage with our Franciscan charism and to see how God is calling them to that charism, and how they might be called to live out that charism,” Sister Diane said recently.   READ

11/3/21 – Catholic Review – Catholic High leader marks milestone

At Catholic High, everything is taught through a Franciscan lens, she said, noting that “you can’t be in our school five minutes and not know this is a Franciscan school.”

Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Catholic High has just under 300 girls from 67 ZIP codes.

Dr. Nazelrod’s devotion to the school and the Franciscan spirit have impressed Franciscan Sister Ann Dutrow, Catholic High’s director of mission. She recalled a recent staff retreat at First Fruits Farm, a Christian farm devoted to alleviating hunger in the mid-Atlantic area, when Dr. Nazelrod got down on her hands and knees with everybody else and dug potatoes.  READ

10/3/21 – NBC10 Philadelphia – Wilmington Counseling Center Celebrates Rebirth

A Wilmington, Delaware, counseling non-profit is celebrating a rebirth and rebranding. The Center to be dedicated to Sr. Theresa Marie Elitz. NBC10 reporter Tim Furlong has the story.  Watch

09/29/21 – Catholic – St. Mary’s Shelter rehabs old school to energize mission to homeless

St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter for Homeless Families took an important step in helping to break the cycle of poverty for women and their children in Phoenixville on Thursday, Sept. 23 when supporters cut the ribbon on a new transitional housing unit.

The shelter began in 1987 when the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia converted the former convent of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, who served in the school of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish for a century.  READ

09/24/21 – Catholic – Discontent grows among Biden’s allies over migrant treatment

For months, the Biden administration has been publicly hammering an unwelcoming message to those trying to enter the U.S. illegally at the southernmost part of the country: “The border is closed.”

Franciscan Sister Marie Lucey, associate director of the Franciscan Action Network, called on the administration to investigate “the intolerable actions of Border Patrol agents.”

“Black lives matter not only in this country, but also in Haiti, with the thousands of Black Haitian lives seeking refuge from horrific situations,” she said, adding her voice to the statement of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.  READ

09/03/21 – – Tyson Investor Calls on Meat Producer to Perform Racial Audit

America’s biggest meat company is the latest to come under investor pressure to conduct an independent racial equity audit.

Tyson Foods Inc. should assess whether its policies and practices impact communities of color, according to a shareholder proposal from American Baptist Home Mission Society. Concerns include everything from a lack of opportunity for promotions for minorities, to allegations of discrimination and harrassment at the company. Tyson said it has established programs to support minorities, and even hired a chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

ABHMS co-filed the proposal last month with 16 other investors including Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of New York and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.   READ

09/02/21 – The Catholic SentinelWomen religious using new media in vocations efforts, with personal relationship still the best path

We are mentioned in the attached article: “The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, who have ministered in Oregon for decades in healthcare and spiritual ministry, also have a colorful web page ( It includes big photos of sisters in action — praying, marching for justice and observing Earth Day. One paragraph reads, “Why become one of us? Use your unique gifts to serve in the gaps and margins of our world.”
“We get it,” vocations director Franciscan Sister Christine Still says in a short video meant to calm anxiety. “Every one of our sisters were where you are today. All of us had questions. Some of us had doubts.”  READ 

08/10/21 – ICCR – Citing Robust Democratic Structures as a Critical Pillar of Economic Activity, Investors Urge Passage of For the People Act

In a letter to Congress, investors make clear that they view an election system free of discriminatory practices and the political influence of “dark money” as central to a strong democracy where businesses can thrive.

A group of 71 institutional investors announced they had sent a letter to Senators urging passage of the For the People Act, legislation introduced by Maryland Representative John Sarbanes intended to safeguard democratic structures by expanding voting opportunities, banning discriminatory gerrymandering and promoting transparency regarding campaign finance.

Investors say the For the People Act will create a level playing field for all Americans to exercise their Constitutional right to vote and help fortify our democracy, leading to a stable economic environment that favors both the public interest and business.  Sr. Nora Nash is quoted in the article. Read more

08/02/21 – Catholic Philly – Ministries feed body and soul in Chester

Archbishop Nelson Pérez recently visited two ministries that feed body and soul in the heart of Chester.

On July 22, the archbishop blessed staff and volunteers at the food pantry of St. Katharine Drexel Parish’s Evangelization Center and at Anna’s Place, an adjacent hospitality center operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

Located at the former Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, which merged with St. Katharine Drexel Parish in 1993, both outreaches provide critically needed support to an area where the poverty rate tops 31% and median household income falls well short of $33,000.

With just 34,000 residents, Chester also struggles with violent crime, and has consistently ranked as one of the state’s most dangerous municipalities. READ

07/26/21 – Catholic News Service – Desperation in Honduras fuels migration northward, U.S. visitors learn

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Franciscan Sister Mary Kennedy traveled from the United States to Honduras recently to show solidarity with communities affected by natural disasters and fighting the dispossession of their lands.

Her solidarity team also went to learn why so many people are abandoning the Central American country in hopes of reaching the U.S.

What she learned brought back a sense of déjà vu, having served in neighboring Guatemala between 1988 and 1994 and working with populations displaced by armed conflict.

“U.S. economic policies and military objectives have created the problems in Central America,” Sister Kennedy told Catholic News Service by phone from Philadelphia, where she is based.

“We should be opening wide the doors to receive those who want to come but, better still, we should be providing opportunities for the people to remain home, where they want to be, with their loved ones and to have a life with dignity and respect,” she said.  READ

07/12/21 – National Catholic Reporter – ICE announces reversal of policy of detaining pregnant, nursing migrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency involved in deportations and other immigration-related detention proceedings, announced July 9 it would not detain, arrest or take into custody pregnant or nursing migrants for violating immigration laws except in exceptional circumstances.

. . .“We are deeply troubled by the cruel ICE directive which eliminates the presumption that ICE should not detain pregnant women except in extraordinary circumstances, and also removes some requirements regarding treatment of pregnant women in detention,” FAN member Sister Marie Lucey of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia said in 2018.

“Not only our religious faith, but our belief in basic human rights of all people, requires us to challenge this inhumane directive which endangers the lives of vulnerable pregnant women,” Sister Lucey said. “We call on ICE to restore its August 2016 memo on the Identification and Monitoring of Pregnant Detainees with presumption of release.”  READ

07/11/21 – The San Diego Union Tribune – Three Catholic nuns, dedicated to engaging with the world, share stories of how their calling led them to San Diego

For Catholic women, the reforms of Vatican II and the promises of the equal rights movement in this country created a perfect storm for a profound change of habit.

We’re not just talking clothes here. What transpired was much more than allowing nuns to shed those formal headpieces and flowing tunics that reached down to their sensible shoes.

. . .For a young college graduate from New Jersey, serving two years in Micronesia with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps was more than an experience of a lifetime. It was a life-changing experience.

“For the first time, I lived in a community of my peers, where I was able to share my faith,” says Sister Maria Dela Paz, who was still years away from this title. “We shared our dreams and hopes for the future and also the hard things about life.”

When she returned home, she craved that community.  Read

07/06/21 – Delco Times –Neumann to purchase properties from Sisters of St. Francis

ASTON — While Americans were gearing up for Independence Day last week, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia quietly signed an agreement that will change the future of Neumann University, as well as enhance the lives of countless students, now and in the years to come. The Sisters of St. Francis and Neumann University signed an official purchase agreement to formalize the sale of several historic properties and contiguous land to the university.  READ

Vista Today – Neumann University Doubles Size of Campus With Land Acquisition  READ

Philadelphia Inquirer – Neumann University to purchase convent property of founding order, almost doubling size of campus  READ

Philadelphia Business Journal – Neumann University buying 63 acres, buildings from Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia – Philadelphia Business Journal (

The Dialog – Neumann University agrees to acquire buildings, land from Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia  READ

The College Post – Neumann University Doubling Campus With New Purchase READ

05/17/21 – Catholic Review –With convent closing, Franciscan Sisters bid goodbye to Bradshaw parish

KINGSVILLE – Parishioners of St. Stephen in Bradshaw gathered to say goodbye to the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia at an emotional outdoor Mass May 16.

The five sisters now living in the convent are the last from the order, which has  ministered here since 1931. As St. Stephen prepares for new construction to serve its growing congregation, the sisters are moving to new quarters off-campus in July.

Father George Gannon, St. Stephen’s pastor; Father Paul Breczinski, associate pastor; and Father Joshua Laws, pastor of the Catholic Community of South Baltimore and an alumnus of St. Stephen School, concelebrated the Mass under threatening skies and a bit of thunder.  READ

05/13/21 – WMAR Baltimore – Sisters of St. Francis prepare to leave St. Stephens after 90 years

BALTIMORE — The Sisters of St. Francis came to Kingsville in 1931 from Philadelphia.

In 1962, they moved into the convent that’s still being used today.

Unfortunately, the five sisters who currently live in that convent have to move out before July because St. Stephen’s needs more space. The school has expanded quite a lot over the years, and they really need a Parrish Center to host events and have other activities.

“The sisters here went through a process of discernment, I believe. We prayed about it a lot. We shared about it, and we realized that God is calling us to something, to another place… to something else and when we do that, something else is going to happen here. We don’t know what that is. It’s all in God’s plan and because we love all of these people so much we only want what’s the best for all of them here,” said Sister Angela Defontes.  READ

05/13/21 – Web Wire– Major investors demand ambitious methane regulations in the U.S.

Inaction will leave investors and oil and gas companies vulnerable to climate and reputational risks

As the Biden administration prepares to revise federal methane regulations, 147 oil and gas industry investors representing $5.35 trillion in assets under management signed on to a statement calling for comprehensive regulations to curb dangerous GHG emissions — and more stringent enforcement mechanisms to back them up.

As “prudent fiduciaries”, the statement says, the signatories believe that virtually eliminating methane emissions supports the financial goals of companies and investors.  Read more

05/06/21 – Global Sisters Report – Sisters’ archivists are collecting COVID-19 history as it happens

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, historians and journalists scoured documents for information on the World War I-era disaster that was dubbed the Spanish flu of 1918-19, seeing it as the closest historical parallel to the new lockdowns and hundreds of thousands of deaths. …

Sr. Helen Jacobson, archivist for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, has been collecting newspaper accounts and reflections shared on the community’s website. Chronicled have been accounts of long-term isolation, the impact of school closings and the lack of in-person communal prayer life, especially in Lent and at Easter. Read more

04/15/21 – Global Sisters Report – Serving those in the shadows, sisters follow in footsteps of women long gone

When it comes to helping immigrants, Catholic sisters are one of the few constants in a tempestuous American landscape often shaped by hostility and division.

As associate director of the Franciscan Action Network, Sr. Marie Lucey, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, works collaboratively with the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the U.S. bishops’ conference and with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.

“Working with partners is very, very essential to what we do as a multi-issue organization,” Lucey said. READ 

04/15/21 – The Spokesman Review – Faith leaders hope to build awareness through poster art contest

The graffiti vandalism of Temple Beth Shalom has inspired area faith leaders to turn away from hate and instead turn to community.

In a productive reaction to the February desecration, the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience are hosting an art contest dubbed “Celebrate Curiosity,” in an effort to build on solidarity, inclusion, advocacy, accountability and truth in the Eastern Washington and North Idaho region.

Sister Pat Millen of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia said the Rev. Heywood has done a good job bringing awareness to ecological issues. Involved with FLLC since its inception, Millen said the art contest is an opportunity to get youth involved with justice issues, in addition to giving them a project to work on while in the middle of a pandemic.  Read

04/06/21 – Catholic –Webinar explores history of Philadelphia Franciscan sisters

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia will celebrate their founding with an April 9 webinar surveying the history of the congregation, which was established under the direction of then-bishop St. John Neumann.

The 12 p.m. presentation will feature insights from Franciscan Sisters Anne Amati, Mary Kennedy and Pat Warman, along with mission companions Anne Pullis and Carol Baiocchi. Edward Lis, director of Catholic mission integration for archdiocesan Catholic Social Services, will moderate the event.  Read more

04/05/21 – The DelcoTimes – Letter to the Editor: Call for action – stop gun violence

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia deplore the latest acts of gun violence here in our country. These recent acts of violence are further indications of the need to evaluate easy access to guns in the United States.  We encourage ourselves and all with whom we are in relationship to contact senators and congresspersons calling them to strengthen and enforce current gun laws and to issue a ban on assault weapons.  The safe future of our citizens, most especially our children, depends on this.  Read more

03/22/21 – The Catholic Sun – Shareholders push companies on racial justice, equity in vaccine access

A resolution filed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia with California-based Chevron, one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas producers, provides an example of the issues related to racial justice that cross over into other concerns.

Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the religious order, said the resolution asks the company to commission an independent third-party report that analyzes how Chevron’s policies, practices and the impacts of its business “perpetuate racial injustice and inflict harm on communities of color in the United States.”  Read more

03/14/21 – Pittsburgh Post Gazette–Our world cannot afford to wait for action

Letter from Sr. Nora Nash – “It is clear that we are in the midst of a climate crisis requiring immediate action, not only at the federal level but also in Pennsylvania, the fifth-largest greenhouse gas polluting state in the nation. If we are a large part of the problem, we must be part of the solution — our natural world, of which we are stewards, cannot afford to wait. This is why I offered public testimony in December in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap-and-invest program among nearly a dozen Northeast and Middle Atlantic states with a proven track record of reducing carbon pollution from fossil fuel power plants.”  Read More

03/10/21 – Philadelphia Inquirer–‘Remember to vote!’ The CEO’s $14.3M pay at drug distributor AmerisourceBergen inspires dueling campaigns

As AmerisourceBergen prepares to face investors at its annual meeting Thursday, the pharma distributor is locked in a campaign battle with dissident stockholders over its CEO’s paycheck, after the company said it would shoulder a $6.6 billion loss to settle opioid litigation….“It’s our job to push them to see that they find better ways of doing what they’re doing,” said Tom McCaney, associate director for corporate social responsibility at the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. With “the distribution of opioids, there are people’s lives at risk.” Read more

02/10/21 – Delco Times– Sisters of St. Francis plan food drive to help with food insecurity in Chester

ASTON— Fifty-two weeks a year, women religious stand with the poor and immigrants, teach children, fight injustice, heal the sick, share spirituality, empower women, defend the planet, promote peace, create community, and offer hope. But for one week, March 8-14, the spotlight shines on women religious during Catholic Sisters Week. This year, the focus of Catholic Sisters Week is on food insecurity.

As part of the Catholic Sisters Week’s “Challenge to End Hunger and Food Insecurity,” the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are sponsoring a food drive on Friday, March 12, from 2-6 p.m. and Saturday, March 13 from 9 a.m.–noon at Our Lady of Angels Convent parking lot, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston. Read more

01/27/21 – Daily Times – Community Briefs: Drexel Neumann Academy celebrates 14 years with live-streamed event

Drexel Neumann Academy is celebrating its 14th year of providing a safe, quality education in the city of Chester with a virtual live stream event. The live streamed Drexel Neumann Academy Annual Celebration Dinner will begin 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 and the event starts at 7 p.m. The link to the event is: more

01/15/21 – Reuters – Investors push for social media controls ahead of U.S. inauguration

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are signatories to the attached letter to Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter, calling on the board to take all necessary steps to address their role in enabling and facilitating violence at the U.S. Capitol and at state houses across the country in the run-up to inauguration day. Investors are calling on appropriate board committees to convene immediately and, as a matter of public record, take steps to exercise oversight of management’s decisions on these matters to ensure adequate controls are in place to mitigate future harm.  Read More


12/10/20 – PHL17 – Holiday Hunger Relief Program hopes to combat food insecurity in Delco.

Sr. Maggie Gannon speaks on behalf of Anna’s Place, which is spotlighted here for their hunger relief program. “Food insecurity has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the holiday season upon us many are wondering how they can help. In partnership with Visit Delco, Springfield Country Club is preparing freshly made meals for those in need throughout the community.”

Watch the segment which appears on PHL17 here:

10/12/20 – Global Sisters Report Sisters registering as many people as they can to vote

…McManamon is just one of many Catholic sisters across the United States who are working to ensure citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. They work for legislative changes to make voting easier, they register voters and they work the polls on Election Day.

Sr. Marie Lucey, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, is one of those working to get out the vote. She’s the associate director of Franciscan Action Network [3], which made three videos this year to encourage people to vote.

“We don’t have a good history of voting in this country,” Lucey said. “We either take too much for granted, or people think their vote doesn’t count. But voting is a right and a responsibility.”  Read more

10/7/20 – Trenton MonitorReligious orders bring variety of gifts, experiences to Diocese of Trenton

Since its founding in 1881, the Diocese of Trenton has been blessed with the presence of faith-filled, courageous and inspired religious men and women whose unique ministries bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lives of the faithful during rapidly changing times.

“Each of these religious orders, congregations and societies are blessed with a sacred charism, a gift of the Holy Spirit given over to their founders to share and enrich the Church and continue its ministry through services of prayer, missionary activity, education, health care or social service,” said Sister of St. Joseph Rose McDermott, who serves as diocesan delegate for religious.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were founded in 1855 by Bishop John N. Neumann, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Philadelphia, after following the advice of Pope Pius IX to establish a congregation of Franciscan sisters in his own diocese.   Read more

10/2/20 – Earthbeat Weekly – Following in St. Francis’ footsteps as Season of Creation ends

As summer turns to autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter to spring south of the Equator, we have celebrated the transitional month of September as the Season of Creation. It has been a time to take stock of our relationship with all of our fellow travelers on this planet, human and non-human alike, and renew our commitment to healing and renewing the Earth.

The Season of Creation ends, appropriately, on Sunday, which is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In answer to this week’s Burning Question, EarthBeat staff writer Brian Roewe explains who Francis was and how he became the patron saint of ecology [3].

Franciscans worldwide will celebrate their patron’s feast day this weekend. Virtual events on Saturday, Oct. 3, include those hosted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia [24]; the Franciscan Solidarity Table in Southern California with St. Matthews Church [25]; and a virtual celebration of Transitus [24], a remembrance of the moment when St. Francis died, by Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.    Read more

10/2/20 – Seahawks Communication – Seahawks Support Crucial Catch Campaign for Cancer Awareness and Early Detection, in Collaboration with Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan

Today the Seattle Seahawks, in partnership with Virginia Mason, the Seahawks Official Health Care Partner, and CHI Franciscan, launch a month of cancer awareness activities to promote early detection through the NFL’s Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer initiative. To kick off the Crucial Catch campaign, representatives from the Seahawks, Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan participated in a ceremonial raising of the Crucial Catch flag at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks will host the team’s annual Crucial Catch game on Sunday Night Football, October 11 vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,250 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women’s care and other health care services.   Read more

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.