Sponsorship Document



Sponsorship is a formal relationship between the IHM Congregation and four Catholic entities:  Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania; Our Lady of Grace Montessori School, Manhasset, New York; St. Joseph’s Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania; Friends of the Poor, Scranton, Pennsylvania; and three co-sponsored entities: Mother Seton Academy, Baltimore, Maryland; Nativity Miguel School, Scranton, Pennsylvania; and the African Sisters Collaborative Alliance, (ASEC) Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Sponsorship has the two-fold purpose of providing stewardship for the life of the ministry and accountability to the Church. Through the canonical (Church) structure of a public juridic person, * the sponsor holds these ministries in trust in the name of the Church for the good of the world. Through a membership model of corporate governance, authority is divided between the Members and the Trustees.  The Members of the corporation (the congregation president and council) reserve the authority to influence decisions that preserve the identity, philosophy, mission, and property of the sponsored work.  

Sponsorship differs from ownership in that each of the sponsored ministries is separately incorporated as a public charitable corporation (often referred to as a 501(C)(3).  The ministries allow the IHM Congregation to carry out its mission through a relationship that is mission-driven, collaborative, and accountable.  The charism, core values, and mission of the Congregation flow through our sponsored institutions both now and into the future.

The IHM Congregation has had a long history of sponsoring institutions and fulfilling its stewardship not only through the structure of a public juridic person, but also, by the presence of hundreds of sisters who served these institutions as staff, administration, and board members. Through this presence, the IHM story of hope and vitality has been proclaimed through works of justice, peace, liberation, and love.  Through these ministries, the IHM sisters manifest special concern, service, and advocacy for the economically poor and spiritually neglected.

Today, societal forces place stress on the ability of both the congregation and its sponsored ministries.  Aging members and diminished numbers limit the presence of sisters in sponsored ministries.  At times governmental and regulatory agency requirements conflict with the desire and ability of an institution to further its mission.  Changing circumstances may impact traditional expressions of sponsorship.  What remains unchanged is the spirit that has characterized the IHM Congregation from the moment of its founding in 1845 in rural Michigan and continues to animate the Congregation’s responsiveness to the needs of God’s people. 

* Can. 116 §1 Public juridical persons are aggregates of persons or of things which are established by the competent ecclesiastical authority so that, within the limits allotted to them in the name of the Church, and in accordance with the provisions of law, they might fulfil the specific task entrusted to them for the public good.         Public juridic person: http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/__PC.HTM

March 2021