Faith in Action – The Legacy of Sr. Pat Daly

The Leviticus Fund, and the entire social justice community, joined the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ in marking the passing of Sister Pat Daly last month. According to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), “Sr. Pat’s decades of work to hold companies accountable for their impacts on people and creation is the stuff of legends.

“Sr. Pat worked in corporate responsibility and socially responsible investing for 45 years. She was the Director Emeritus of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (now Investor Advocates for Social Justice) after having served 23 years as Executive Director. Pat was also the Corporate Responsibility Representative for the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell.”

Sr. Pat’s legacy is deeply connected to the Leviticus Fund, and to the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) movement at large.

In December 1981, a group of religious leaders from the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (Tri-CRI) met to discuss a new model for addressing the needs of the disadvantaged. They saw that, if they pooled and invested their resources together, they could do more to reflect and advance the faith-driven values they shared: ensuring that the economically poor could live with dignity and self-determination; using their shared resources for the benefit of those with less; and protecting and sharing the earth’s resources.

In May 1983, 27 of the religious congregations pooled $360,000 in capital to form the Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund. The Caldwell Dominicans were among the earliest investors in the Leviticus Fund, holding certificates number 16 and 17, dated March 3, 1983.

As Cliff Rosenthal wrote in an Op Ed in Next City titled Remembering The Heroes Of Socially Responsible Investment, “Nearly all of the first generation of CDFIs owe their start to the courageous investments of faith-based organizations, especially Catholic women’s orders … The blessings of that faith have been multiplied many times over.”

Cathy Rowan, former Board President of the Leviticus Fund and longtime friend and colleague of Sr. Pat told ICCR, “Our beloved Pat has left this Earth she so cared for and loved. Now her compassionate spirit of love and justice are everywhere, and she will continue to teach us and support us in carrying on her legacy.”

Above: Sr. Pat Daly, pictured with longtime Executive Director of the Leviticus Fund, Br. George Schmitz.