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September 14, 2015, Washington, DC – In two interviews with CNN’s Carol Costello, Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, discusses the topics of poverty in the United States and the role of women in the Catholic Church.

In an interview that aired on September 8, Sister Donna, as the first woman President of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), discusses the agency’s new campaign, End45: Raise a Hand to End Poverty in America. The former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, speaks of the 45 million people in the United States who live in poverty and of our nation’s need to address that situation.

During an interview that aired on September 10, Sister Donna discusses with Carol Costello the role of women in the Catholic Church – and the confusion that results from mixed messages on that topic by Pope Francis.  



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September 15, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – Current and past members of the Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, and members of the general public marked the 40th anniversary of the PAB September 10 with a day of education and an evening program and celebration. The event took place at Weber Retreat and Conference Center on the Motherhouse campus.

Highlighting the day was a special celebratory program (see videos below) detailing the history and the 40-year efforts of the PAB to bring about economic justice through work in corporate responsibility, low-interest loan investment in non-profit community organizations around the world. The PAB also works to educate board members and the community about social justice issues of concern to the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

The program included talks by such speakers as Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Council liaison to the PAB; and Dee Joyner, an Adrian Dominican Associate and Chair of the PAB. A 20-minute video featured comments of people from other organizations who collaborated with the PAB over the years. The celebration concluded with a reception.

Throughout the day, participants heard from a variety of speakers. In the opening session, Sarah Power spoke of the efforts of Con-way, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based freight transportation corporation, to combat human trafficking through its collaboration with Truckers against Trafficking. Sarah told the moving story of one driver for Con-way who, through his vigilant attitude, helped law enforcement to uncover a trafficking ring and bring freedom to 14 women caught in trafficking.

Pat Zerega, of Mercy Investment Services, explained the science behind climate change and discussed the choices that our society can make to lessen its effects. She also addressed ways that religious congregations can work to decrease climate change through such practices as divesting from fossil-fuel companies or engaging in shareholder resolutions.

The afternoon brought speakers from two of the community organizations in which the PAB has invested through low-interest loans. The speakers in both sessions spoke of the positive impact of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ investment in their organizations had on their work and the community they serve.

Leading off was Charles Hammerman, president and CEO of Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF). He gave the Scriptural foundation for caring for people with disabilities and explained the work of DOF. The organization is the first community investment organization to focus on the needs of people with disabilities.

In the closing session of the Day of Education, James Balmer, President of Dawn Farm, and Charles Coleman, coordinator of Dawn Farm’s Chapin Street housing project, spoke of their work to offer free recovery and transitional housing programs for people suffering from addictions.   


Top photo: Associate Dee Joyner (left), Chair of the Portfolio Advisory Board, and Lura Mack, Executive Director, at the 40th anniversary celebration.

Adrian Dominican Sisters Portfolio Advisory Board
Weber Auditorium

September 10, 2015

Session 1: Human Trafficking
Sarah Power, Con-way


Session 2: Climate Change
Pat Zerega, Mercy Investment Services


Session 3: Supportive Housing
Charles Hammerman, Disability Opportunity Fund


Session 4: Supportive Housing / Programs
James Balmer & Charles Coleman, Dawn Farm


Session 5: Celebrating 40 Years of Socially Responsible Investing 





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