Religious order gives newspaper $1.5 million

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA) are giving the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) newspaper a gift of $1.5 million.

The money is to be used to support and amplify “integral ecological education and journalism reflecting the spirit of Laudato Si’.”

The Sisters’ gift marks the establishment of the Laudato Si’ Fund, which NCR is seeking to grow with gifts from other donors.

The Franciscan’s donation is one of the largest ever received by NCR. It represents about half the amount needed to permanently endow NCR’s environmental coverage.

The La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Franciscan community was among the first supporters of EarthBeat, the project project launched last year.

EarthBeat tells stories of climate crisis, faith and action. The Franciscan Sister’s money will assure environmental reporting will be a permanent component of NCR.

FSPA President Sr. Eileen McKenzie is calling on other religious communities and individuals to help match the gift and complete the environmental endowment.

The fund is intended to “wake up the world to the moral urgency surrounding climate change and care for our common home,” Eileen says.

“The mantra of Laudato Si’, the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, is a modern lamentation of our relationship with Mother Earth.”

“Aware of this lamentation, we committed to building bridges of relationships that stretch us to be people of encounter who stand with all the suffering in our Earth community.”

McKenzie says “Laudato Si’ is a document rooted in Franciscan spirituality … [and] encompasses what we hope for in endowing NCR to continue to chronicle the integral relationship of the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

NCR CEO/President Tom Fox says the gift would “amplify countless voices and much needed activities to avert climate catastrophe.” He said NCR’s increased environmental coverage is a response to Francis’ call to acknowledge the urgency of the environmental crisis.


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