Recalling one of her favorite memories with Reinvestment Fund, Sister Nora reflects back to our 25th anniversary celebration at the Constitution Center, a Philadelphia landmark where the history of our constitution comes to life. The highlight of the event was a play, “The House that Jack Built”, performed by a local theatre group. To this day, she still remembers objecting to the name of the play with Sister Marie Lucey. In true Franciscan and feminist fashion, Sister Marie Lucey stood up and addressed the audience. She declared, the name of the play is wrong, it should be called, The House that Jack and Jill Built! The objection was all in good fun, but it’s a moment the Reinvestment Fund hasn’t forgotten either.
The Sisters of St. Francis bring us back to our roots, reminding us that every partner, investor, employee and community member has a voice in our organization. When it comes to advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion—Sister Nora has been at this a long time. As we work towards centering REI in our own work culture, Sister Nora’s message about the collective work we have ahead of us is an important one. She says, “The best way to get rid of prejudice is to not judge; work with people and bring them along, in ways that there is a sense of good community integration; be present to people, listen and tune in…be a healing and compassionate presence in the world.”
As the conversation wraps up, Sister Nora talks about what’s next for her. Just a couple of weeks prior, the Care of Creation Committee, of which she is a member, guided all the Sisters in climate action seminars to learn about the effects that climate change and environmental racism have on our communities as a part of the congregation’s commitment to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ which calls for “Care for Our Common Home”. Now, she’s off to meet with a group of activists and locals from the city of Chester where they are organizing to tackle head-on the environmental injustices and racism plaguing the neighborhood.
There is a fire in her eyes when she talks about the upcoming meeting, and what she previously mentioned as her motivating force, a passion for justice, comes to light. She says, “I believe that I’ve been called to act justly, love our God and people, be present, listen and bring hope.”
It’s clear now that for a Franciscan nun like Sister Nora, her mission is a lifelong one—retired or otherwise—and the Reinvestment Fund is blessed to call her one of our most steadfast and passionate investors, partner, and friend for the past 30 years.
“Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God” Micah 6:8
Photo credits: Florence Smith