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Sister Maxyne Schneider talks about a photo of the kitchen in France where the sisterhood was started in 1650. ( )

Sister Fights To Save Her Order From Financial Collapse

by NPR Staff
Aug 18, 2013 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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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."

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