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Jean Hopfensperger

Reporter | Reporter - Philanthropy/Nonprofits
phone: 612-673-4511
Jean Hopfensperger covers religion, philanthropy and nonprofits in Minnesota.
Recent content from Jean Hopfensperger
Minnesota summers lure the faithful from their pews

Minnesota summers lure the faithful from their pews

A new study finds that U.S. counties with the highest volume of “natural amenities” have some of lowest rates of church membership.

Protesters rally at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul

Hundreds of protesters rallied in front of Planned Parenthood offices in St. Paul on Saturday morning as part of a national day of protest against…

Court hearing for Twin Cities Archdiocese is postponed a third time

The first court hearing in Ramsey County’s criminal case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been postponed to Oct. 29. Ramsey County…
Accused of sex abuse, longtime leader at St. John's Abbey is removed

Accused of sex abuse, longtime leader at St. John's Abbey is removed

The Rev. Thomas Andert, the prior at the Abbey in Collegeville, has been removed from his leadership position following an allegation of student sex abuse.

Minnesota nonprofit offers volunteer service opportunities in Cuba

Some of the nation’s first volunteer service trips to Cuba are being organized by a Twin Cities nonprofit long involved in international volunteerism. Global Volunteers,…
Obituary: Clarke Chambers, U of M scholar of social welfare history

Obituary: Clarke Chambers, U of M scholar of social welfare history

Clarke Chambers, a University of Minnesota history professor for 40 years, was nationally known for documenting aspects of U.S. history often overlooked — the history…
Flood of abuse claims is 'staggering,' interim archbishop says

Flood of abuse claims is 'staggering,' interim archbishop says

The final tally of 669 claims against the archdiocese included 407 for clergy abuse and about 150 from parishes seeking indemnification from abuse claims and also to protect their medical and dental insurance.
Archdiocese gets flood of more than 400 sex abuse claims

Archdiocese gets flood of more than 400 sex abuse claims

Attorneys representing sex abuse victims had been working around the clock to prepare the claims in advance of the Aug. 3 deadline.
Judge upholds Aug. 3 deadline for claims against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Judge upholds Aug. 3 deadline for claims against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

U.S. bankruptcy judge says clergy abuse victims have had extensive notice of Monday’s deadline.
Clergy abuse victims to ask court to extend Aug. 3 claims deadline

Clergy abuse victims to ask court to extend Aug. 3 claims deadline

Victims in Twin Cities Archdiocese say publicity about Aug. 3 deadline to file cases was delayed.
Charity fundraiser is drinking a beer in every state to fight cancer

Charity fundraiser is drinking a beer in every state to fight cancer

Todd Ruggere, who was in St. Paul on Saturday, combines his love of the brew with concern for cancer.
Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

The former archbishop denies allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation of his behavior — a report that the archdiocese now is considering making public.
Church faces need to 'give an accounting,' Archbishop Hebda says

Church faces need to 'give an accounting,' Archbishop Hebda says

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, in his first public interviews, said Friday that his priority during his temporary stay in the Twin Cities is to tackle legal…

St. Cloud Diocese could be forced to open clergy sex-abuse files

A Stearns County judge has ruled that a public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse may proceed, which could force the diocese to open its files on all clergy sex offenders.
Basilica priest to archdiocese: release Nienstedt probe details

Basilica priest to archdiocese: release Nienstedt probe details

A prominent Catholic cleric has asked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release details of two investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Minnesota mosques invite non-Muslims to break bread during Ramadan

Curious about Ramadan? Fifteen Minnesota mosques are opening their doors to non-Muslims during this holy month, inviting folks for an evening meal and a chance…
Interim archbishop faces daunting task in tumultuous archdiocese

Interim archbishop faces daunting task in tumultuous archdiocese

Bernard Hebda will need to tap his impressive skill set as he steps into one of the most tumultuous archdioceses in the nation
Charges: Archdiocese 'failed to protect' clergy sex abuse victims

Charges: Archdiocese 'failed to protect' clergy sex abuse victims

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said church officials failed to enforce their own restrictions on a priest who abused two boys while he was pastor of a St. Paul church.
Ties between archbishop, defrocked priest investigated

Ties between archbishop, defrocked priest investigated

Former Archbishop John Nienstedt's resignation hasn't halted the investigation into the archdiocese, as authorities are looking into personal ties between him and a former priest in prison for sexually molesting two boys.
Archdiocese: Resignation will lead to 'ability to move forward'

Archdiocese: Resignation will lead to 'ability to move forward'

Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche resigned under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign before they retire because of illness or some other "grave" reason that makes them unfit for office.

Children in refugee camps in Turkey, and others, get help from Minnesota nonprofit

As militants continue seizing territory in the Middle East, a Twin Cities nonprofit is aiding some of the most vulnerable victims of the conflict: children…
Obituary: Lila Nelson, educator and artist of Norwegian textiles, dies at 93

Obituary: Lila Nelson, educator and artist of Norwegian textiles, dies at 93

Lila Nelson was an adventurous Minnesota farm girl who left the land to attend college, join the U.S. Air Force and then forge a national…
Minnesota priest abuse verdict shows challenges of older cases

Minnesota priest abuse verdict shows challenges of older cases

Jury that acquitted former priest Francis Hoefgen of abusing minor did not hear evidence of past abuse of another teen.

'Block of Blessings' provides mini house-lifts to Champlin families

Neighbors on one Champlin street received an unusual letter: Create a wish list of outdoor home projects you want finished, it said, and we’ll fix it for free.
Minnesota Child Victims Act continues to rock Catholic Church

Minnesota Child Victims Act continues to rock Catholic Church

Fallout continues to jolt Catholic institutions across Minnesota as a law permitting lawsuits for older claims of clergy sex abuse marks its second anniversary.

Minneapolis churches host 'blessing of the bikes' May 31

Attention, Twin Cities bikers. Your ever-growing numbers have captured the attention of not just one but two Minneapolis churches, which will be offering a “blessing…
Judge: Parishes should have greater say in Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy

Judge: Parishes should have greater say in Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy

Bankruptcy judge also scolds archdiocese for low-profile ads to notify clergy abuse victims of claims deadline.
St. John's Abbey to open sex-abuse files on 19 monks

St. John's Abbey to open sex-abuse files on 19 monks

St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville will make public its files on 19 priests with credible charges of sex abuse, as part of a settlement reached with a man who sued the abbey for abuse he suffered as a teenager.
Ads seek abuse victims in Mpls.-St. Paul Archdiocese

Ads seek abuse victims in Mpls.-St. Paul Archdiocese

An Aug. 3 deadline for filing claims against archdiocese prompts campaign.
Time cut for abuse victims to file claims vs. archdiocese

Time cut for abuse victims to file claims vs. archdiocese

Aug. 3 date angers victims’ advocates; archdiocese says it will speed up reorganization.
Grand Rapids takes on Guinness Book of Records for wheelchair roll

Grand Rapids takes on Guinness Book of Records for wheelchair roll

Disability activist Myrna Peterson is working to bring at least 194 people in wheelchairs to town May 16 to set a record for “longest moving wheelchair line.”
Twin Cities Armenians, world mark 100 years of 'forgotten holocaust'

Twin Cities Armenians, world mark 100 years of 'forgotten holocaust'

In the days ahead, Minnesota will host a series of events to raise awareness of the deaths of an estimated 75 percent of Armenians in what is now eastern Turkey.

Christians and Muslims will number nearly the same by 2050, Pew predicts

By 2050, the number of Muslims could hit 2.7 billion — and nearly equal the number of Christians across the globe. Four out of every…
Minnesota will bid to land the 2023 World's Fair

Minnesota will bid to land the 2023 World's Fair

Civic leaders have begun the process to bring a world’s fair to Minnesota.
Minnesota will try to land 2023 World's Fair

Minnesota will try to land 2023 World's Fair

Civic leaders say Expo 2023 could draw 12 million visitors and put another spotlight on the state.

St. Paul Archdiocese to submit reorganization plan by Nov. 30

Judge gave church until Nov. 30 to file a reorganization plan in its bankruptcy proceedings.
Minneapolis Foundation turns 100, throws a party

Minneapolis Foundation turns 100, throws a party

It underwrote AIDS prevention in the 1980s when many funders were still leery, launched provocative ad campaigns to foster awareness of discrimination in the 1990s,…
Busy Easter as many faiths come together in Minneapolis church

Busy Easter as many faiths come together in Minneapolis church

Religious diversity reaches new heights as four groups meet in one Minneapolis church. While Easter season is busy for most Minnesota churches, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran may set the record for sheer diversity of worship.

New Ulm Diocese must release names of clergy accused of child sex abuse

Judge ruled that diocese created ‘public nuisance’ by allowing suspected priests to serve parishes.
Archdiocese asks bankruptcy court for more time to reorganize

Archdiocese asks bankruptcy court for more time to reorganize

Extension sought for filing reorganization plan in bankruptcy proceedings.

In a first, New Ulm Diocese names four clergy sex offenders

The diocese has yet to release the identities of all 12 priest sex offenders it has identified.
Vatican defrocks St. Paul priest convicted of sexually abusing two boys

Vatican defrocks St. Paul priest convicted of sexually abusing two boys

The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer was convicted in 2013 of sexually abusing two boys.
April 20: In rebuilding a Minnesota church, cancer patient rebuilt his health

April 20: In rebuilding a Minnesota church, cancer patient rebuilt his health

Cancer patient Greg Thomas credits his work to renovate a little century-old church near Montgomery, Minn., with getting his health back on track.
Minneapolis church offers drive-through prayers

Minneapolis church offers drive-through prayers

The sign outside the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in south Minneapolis announced its unusual public service: “Drive-through Prayer. Wednesdays during Lent 7-9 a.m.”
Obituary: John Novachis was business leader at Edina's shopping hub

Obituary: John Novachis was business leader at Edina's shopping hub

John Novachis ran an upscale men’s clothing store near the corner of 50th and France long before the area was trendy, outfitting customers ranging from…

Decoding Dyslexia group takes case to Legislature

The young students took turns before the microphone and explained that their teachers couldn’t teach them to read, made them feel stupid and often shuffled…
More abusive priests identified; victims ask: What took so long?

More abusive priests identified; victims ask: What took so long?

The archdiocese bankruptcy filing has stopped the lawsuits, but the public naming of clergy accused of sexually abusing children is picking up pace.
Twin Cities Archdiocese looks at selling well-known properties

Twin Cities Archdiocese looks at selling well-known properties

Local Catholic Church officials say money from the sale of its well-known real estate, including the archbishop’s residence and chancery building, would go toward paying debts from bankruptcy.
Insurance plays big role in archdiocese bankruptcy

Insurance plays big role in archdiocese bankruptcy

Insurance companies have paid up to 85 percent of abuse settlements nationally. They’re the invisible, powerful players.
Greater Twin Cities United Way courts a new generation

Greater Twin Cities United Way courts a new generation

The high-stakes overhaul comes as it faces a boom in millennial workers with limited ties to workplace giving, a growing desire by donors to make their own decisions and new competition.

National campaigns protest 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

A Minnesota nonprofit has launched a national campaign to give parents and others tools to protest the “humiliating and manipulative” sexual relationship depicted in the…
Wilfs jump into Minnesota philanthropy with $5M gift

Wilfs jump into Minnesota philanthropy with $5M gift

The donation comes when the Vikings continue to come under fire for the stadium-funding package, but the Wilfs say the timing is nothing special.

Nonprofit beat: Charities debate extending donation deadline

Should the deadline for charity tax deductions be extended to April 15, so tax filers can make last-minute donations? Or would it take a bite…
Archdiocese shifted assets before filing bankruptcy

Archdiocese shifted assets before filing bankruptcy

Local Catholic Church officials created nonprofit foundations, funds to potentially keep them out of creditors’ reach.
Jan. 16: Archdiocese's bankruptcy freezes lawsuits

Jan. 16: Archdiocese's bankruptcy freezes lawsuits

Archdiocese declares bankruptcy. Victims’ attorney supports the church’s move, but other victims say filing is a cop-out.
Judge orders archdiocese bankruptcy into mediation

Judge orders archdiocese bankruptcy into mediation

Archdiocese, victims’ attorneys say step will aid bankruptcy settlement.
Minnesota church women count words in Bible spoken by women

Minnesota church women count words in Bible spoken by women

A local author, lecturer and reverend began scouring the Bible three years ago to do something that apparently had never been done: the cataloging of every word uttered by every woman in the more than 2,000-year-old holy book.
Holocaust child survivors mark 70 years since 'miracle'

Holocaust child survivors mark 70 years since 'miracle'

Five Jewish children defied the odds, escaped the Nazis and settled here. Their survival was called "an exceptional experience."
Twin Cities Catholics brace for archdiocese bankruptcy fallout

Twin Cities Catholics brace for archdiocese bankruptcy fallout

Twin Cities Catholics going to mass this weekend saw something waiting for them along with the bulletins and hymnals — fliers explaining their church’s bankruptcy.
Archdiocese weighs bankruptcy, cites costs of sex abuse cases

Archdiocese weighs bankruptcy, cites costs of sex abuse cases

The report in the Catholic Spirit online newspaper says litigation claims are expected to grow beyond the $5.3 million the chancery has reserved for them. Only two cases have been settled so far.
Archdiocese could file for bankruptcy soon, experts predict

Archdiocese could file for bankruptcy soon, experts predict

The archdiocese faces the prospect of three clergy sex abuse lawsuits heading to court in 10 days. It previously indicated that it had just $5.3 million set aside for clergy abuse victims, even as it faced 25 current lawsuits with dozens more pending.
Oct. 15, 2013: Twin Cities woman sues Keating

Oct. 15, 2013: Twin Cities woman sues Keating

The Rev. Michael J. Keating, 57, a University of St. Thomas professor, has been accused of sexual contact with a 13-year-old Twin Cities girl more than a decade ago, and of then giving her his car when she confronted him about the incidents eight years later.

Minnesota's professional organizers mark 20 years of cleaning up messes

  If your new year’s resolution is to get your life organized, an unusual Minnesota nonprofit could be of service. Unbeknown to most messy Minnesotans,…
Charities cashing in as shoppers round up at checkout

Charities cashing in as shoppers round up at checkout

An analysis showed checkout fundraisers across the nation raked in more than $348 million in 2012.
Pathways holds unusual niche in Minnesota health care

Pathways holds unusual niche in Minnesota health care

Uptown’s Pathways provides free services – including acupuncture, yoga and writing workshops – to people with life-threatening illnesses.

Giving beat: Study finds super altruism may be hardwired

While altruism may explode during the holiday season, some folks are extraordinarily generous year-round. Turns out that extreme altruists, such as folks who donate their…
Archdiocese hires criminal defense attorney in Nienstedt investigation

Archdiocese hires criminal defense attorney in Nienstedt investigation

Attorney Peter Wold has joined the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by the archbishop.

Twin Cities archdiocese creates hot line for clergy abuse victims

An independent agency staffed by health professionals was hired to field the sensitive calls.

Foundation survey: Minnesotans donated $5.7 billion in 2012

Donations from within state totaled $5.7 billion in 2012.

Bush Foundation awards 2014 Community Innovation prizes

Breaking Free, a St. Paul nonprofit that helps young women escape prostitution, is among four Minnesota winners of the Bush Prize for Community Innovation.The prizes…
Minnesota churches go gluten-free for communion

Minnesota churches go gluten-free for communion

The communion host, the centerpiece of Christian religious services, is undergoing a 21st-century transformation to match growing food sensitivities.

Archdiocese's parishes seek shelter from abuse claims

Pastors in the Twin Cities are organizing, hiring an attorney to protect against lawsuits.
Priest accused of child sex abuse extradited from India

Priest accused of child sex abuse extradited from India

The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul faces years-old sex abuse charges from his time in the Crookston Diocese.

Animal rescues, schools, social services are top winners in Give to the Max Day

They top the list of favorites as Minnesotans pony up $18.3 million for 5,544 nonprofits.
Minnesotans dig deeper than ever on Give to the Max Day

Minnesotans dig deeper than ever on Give to the Max Day

The one-day charity marathon brought in more than $18 million.
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