Open Arms


Before the birth in the late 12th century of Giovanni Francesco diBernardone—the man whom we know today as St. Francis—religious life was private, contemplative and monastic. Francis envisioned a different type of religious life, and he led a revolution. He chose as his symbol the Greek letter Tau, because he saw in its shape the open arms of a friar’s robe. Before Francis, those arms probably would not have been outstretched; they would have been clasped in front of the friar’s body in silent prayer. After Francis, those arms were extended widely to embrace a life of caring for the poor, sick and injured.

Today, more than 800 years later, those arms remain open and outstretched. In fourteen communities across Illinois and Wisconsin, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation stands steadfast and strong in our commitment to bring life-giving and life-saving health care to people in need.

The Power of Philanthropy


The continued success of our mission relies upon philanthropy. At its roots, “philanthropy” means “love of mankind.” In that regard, despite his material poverty, St. Francis was a true philanthropist. Just as he used his spiritual gifts to heal the sick, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation is a faithful steward of the gifts we receive on behalf of our hospitals.

At each of our hospitals, the local foundaton branch seeks charitable contributions to renovate and refurbish facilities, purchase new state-of-the-art medical technologies, and provide patient care and family support programs. Since 2011, the Foundation has disbursed more than $100 million to our hospitals, funds which have been used to continue the vital work that St. Francis began eight centuries ago.

Faith for the Future


Dynamic changes in health care—and the growing needs of the people we serve—will require ever-increasing investments in our facilities, equipment, programs, and colleagues. We stand ready, willing and able to meet these challenges through philanthropy. We invite you to join our many friends and donors who demonstrate their own love of mankind through their generous gifts.

As with all elements of our healing mission, the most important work is done at the community level.  Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation is the central coordinating body, with individual foundation branches in each of our local ministries.