April 1, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – In his 2018 book, Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Financial Institutions Movement, Clifford N. Rosenthal makes references to the key role Adrian Dominican Sisters played in the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) movement – and in bringing the Sisters’ social justice focus to finance.
The author notes the Congregation’s establishment in 1974 of the Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), which, rooted in Catholic social justice teachings, brings social justice to finance through shareholder advocacy with corporations and community investment (page 73).
He also cites the Congregation’s “leading role among faith-based community investors” when, in 1982, it awarded a $30,000 low-interest loan to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (CDCU). He notes that, of all community investors, “the Adrian Dominicans were distinguished by their strong engagement: they wanted to see the impact of their investment first-hand, and where needed, to try to help out with workouts when organizations ran into trouble” (pp. 121-122).
Finally, he cites the recent critique of CDFIs by Adrian Dominican Sister Corinne Florek, OP, consultant to the PAB and Director of the Religious Communities Investment Fund and the Mercy Partnership Fund. Sister Corinne has called on CDFIs to remember their original purpose, to grant loans to community organizations seen as too risky for commercial banks, and not to get side-tracked by focusing on the strength of their own financial performance.
For more information on the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ efforts in corporate responsibility and community investment, visit the PAB website.
March 23, 2019, Washington, D.C. – In a March 12 address to students, professors, and clergy at Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Chapel, Sister Donna Markham, OP, urged Catholics to shed their stereotypes of immigrants and refugees and instead to respond to their plight with compassion. The President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA and former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, Sister Donna compared asylees seeking refuge in the United States to the man lying by the side of the road who needed compassionate action from the Good Samaritan. Read the Catholic News Service (CNS) article by Jacob Comello.
Feature photo: Sister Donna Markham, OP, speaks on immigration in Dahlgren Chapel to students, professor, and clergy at Georgetown University. Photo credit: Ulie Xu, Campus Ministry, Georgetown University