Sister Fights To Save Her Order From Financial Collapse

Play associated audio

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Sister Maxyne Schneider became a Catholic nun when she was still a teenager. Now, more than 50 years later, she's president of the Sisters of St. Joseph, a congregation of nuns in Springfield, Mass.

In its heyday, St. Joseph of Springfield had about 1,000 nuns, but now, it has just more than 250. So Schneider is facing the challenge of a lifetime — figuring out how to save her congregation from financial collapse.

"You can probably imagine what it would feel like to say, 'You've got over 200 people for whom you're responsible, and you're not going to have money,' " she tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "We just resolved we cannot let this happen. We will do what we need to do."

Join Our Sunday Conversation

Do individual Catholic dioceses have a responsibility to pay health care costs for aging nuns? Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


'Blackacre': A Collection Of Poems About 'Searching And Being Buffeted'

Tess Taylor reviews the poetry collection Blackacre by Monica Youn.

Trick Or Treat? Critics Blast Big Soda's Efforts To Fend Off Taxes

Several U.S. cities have sugary drink taxes on the ballot. As efforts to reduce soda consumption gain traction around the world, critics say the industry is using the tobacco playbook to fight back.

Who Do You Think Won The Debate? It May Depend Which Network You Watched

Everyone watched the same debate, but not everyone watched the same post-game coverage. That can make all the difference.

China's Internet Stars Embrace Lowbrow — And Aim For High Profits

China's Internet stars are widely panned as vulgar, vapid and materialistic. But China's fierce demand for online content is helping the newly minted celebs to surpass A-list movie stars in earnings.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.