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Adrian Dominican Nuns Sing Praises Of Community Development CUs

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.-The opening ceremonies of the CDCU Federation's conference also featured a visit from Sister Corinne Florek, director of the Mercy Partnership Fund for Mercy Investment Services in St. Louis.

Federation President Cliff Rosenthal noted that in 1984, when Florek was investing for the Adrian Dominican sisterhood, the group was one of the first investors in the Federation.

That early loan of $30,000, he said, came at a time when the Federation was "flat broke. We had negative net worth so that money meant a lot to us."

For her part, Florek said she "fell in love with credit unions" when she learned about them. Although she was listed as the inspiration speaker, "You are my inspiration," she said to the group.

The Adrian Dominicans got involved in community development investing as part of its slogan, "Give a hand up, not a handout," Florek continued. She said since the early investment in the CDCU Federation, its stories have been "interwoven."

In 2008, the Religious Communities Investment Fund was established. Florek said the fund is an example of "the power of cooperation that allows many sisters to do community investing. We pool our money together for the common good. This money comes from our labor as teachers and nurses."

More than 22 nuns were invited on stage to show a sample of sisters who have invested their retirement money in CUs.

The values of credit unions and nuns are similar, Florek noted. The most important issues to the sisterhood are cooperation, justice and community.

To the assembly of community development CU representatives, Florek said, "You are present where we cannot be. You are our hearts. Without you, we could not carry on our mission for justice."

Florek said she promotes CUs wherever she is because, "we both promote the common good and are in it for the long haul. We are in this together."

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