Nuns on Wall Street? A shining light: Sister Nora
Sister Nora Nash
…a congregation of approximately 540 Catholic women religious who:
- choose a Gospel way of life lived in community
- are dedicated to serving others, especially those who are economically poor, marginal, and oppressed
- minister in the United States in approximately 24 states as well as Europe and Africa
- serve in a variety of ministries and settings
- follow the values of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
Sister Nora and her team from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility laid out their advice for three Goldman executives. The Wall Street bank, they said, should protect consumers, rein in executive pay, increase its transparency and remember the poor.
In short, Goldman should do God’s work— something that its chairman and chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, once remarked that he did. (The joke bombed.)
Long before Occupy Wall Street, the Sisters of St. Francis were quietly staging an occupation of their own. In recent years, this Roman Catholic order of 540 or so nuns has become one of the most surprising groups of corporate activists around.
The nuns have gone toe-to-toe with Kroger, the grocery store chain, over farm worker rights; with McDonald’s, over childhood obesity; and with Wells Fargo, over lending practices. They have tried, with mixed success, to exert some moral suasion over Fortune 500 executives, a group not always known for its piety.
”We want social returns, as well as financial ones,” Sister Nora said, strolling through the garden behind Our Lady of Angels, the convent here where she has worked for more than half a century.
She paused in front of a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. “When you look at the major financial institutions, you have to realize there is greed involved.”
There are a lot of people who are doing wonderful things, quietly, with no motive of greed, or hostility toward other people, or delusions of superiority. Charles Kuralt