Financial Inclusion

Sacramental Crowdfunding

The Rev. Stefano Tamburo, the Franciscan friar in charge of the 800-year-old church of St. Francis at Ripa, had a problem.  His church, which contained a room where St. Francis of Assisi had regularly slept, was becoming something of a tourist attraction since the veneration of the new pope; and in desperate need of repairs.

Unsurprisingly, the Franciscans didn’t have the $125,000 to renovate the St. Francis room, as they do take a vow of poverty.

What is surprising is the solution Tamburo settled on – instead of turning to prayer, the Franciscans of St. Francis at Ripa turned to the Internet and began a 30-day online fund-raising campaign.

“We have nothing against modern tools of communication,” Father Tamburo told The New York Times. “What is important to us is our tradition. Not the tools that we use to spread that tradition.”


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