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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 Muslims welcome Obama's mosque visit, wish support had come sooner

President Obama’s visit to a U.S. mosque on Wednesday was welcomed by members of Minnesota’s Muslim community, who say that anti-Islam sentiment has reached new…

Nice guys don't finish last, according to study of good deeds

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, guys scouting for dates may gain insights from a new study indicating that good deeds may beat good looks…
March 18 deadline set for final bids on St. Paul chancery

March 18 deadline set for final bids on St. Paul chancery

Archdiocese is selling property to pay creditors.
Highly personal info of clergy abuse victim posted online

Highly personal info of clergy abuse victim posted online

St. John's Abbey says it seeks transparency; a monk's victim calls new website "betrayal."
At 94, Minn. eye doctor heads to Africa to help Ebola survivors

At 94, Minn. eye doctor heads to Africa to help Ebola survivors

Dr. Lowell Gess, an ophthalmologist from Alexandria, alerted West Africa to the virus continuing to lurk in the eyes and causing vision loss.
Former St. Paul archbishop Nienstedt resigns Michigan post

Former St. Paul archbishop Nienstedt resigns Michigan post

Former St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt is leaving two weeks into a Michigan assignment because of a backlash over his presence.
St. John's Abbey releases files on 18 child-abusing monks

St. John's Abbey releases files on 18 child-abusing monks

It marks the first time the abbey, long the subject of sex abuse allegations, has made its files public. The monks worked as teachers, counselors, parish priests and chaplains across Minnesota and beyond.
Minnesotan who founded Books for Africa to walk across Zanzibar

Minnesotan who founded Books for Africa to walk across Zanzibar

Founder of Books for Africa plans fundraising walk across Zanzibar in E. Africa.
St. Paul religious sect's bankruptcy filing has big implications

St. Paul religious sect's bankruptcy filing has big implications

Chapter 11 filing by Christ's Household of Faith worries members and neighbors.
Former Twin Cities archbishop goes to Michigan parish

Former Twin Cities archbishop goes to Michigan parish

John Nienstedt resigned from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in June after the Ramsey County attorney's office filed charges claiming that the church had failed to protect children from clergy sex abuse.
Piece of St. Paul Archdiocese property sold to Historical Society

Piece of St. Paul Archdiocese property sold to Historical Society

Bankruptcy judge approves $4.5 million sale of Hayden Center. Next up: archbishop's home.

Nonprofit marks 20 years and 500,000 hats and mittens for needy children

With no office and no paid staff, a Twin Cities nonprofit has managed to collect more than 500,000 mittens and hats for low-income children over…
Christmas Eve eclipses Christmas Day as time to celebrate Jesus' birth

Christmas Eve eclipses Christmas Day as time to celebrate Jesus' birth

For most Minnesotans, Dec. 24 — not Dec. 25 — draws the biggest crowds of the year for many churches big and small, in a trend that has reached the point where "Christmas Eve" services now start as early as 10 a.m.
'Not just altar boys': Girls abused by clergy focus of new team

'Not just altar boys': Girls abused by clergy focus of new team

Woman's suit against Lutheran youth pastor is first in an effort to get more to step forward.
Obituary: Bryan Moon, Northwest Airlines VP, artist, hunter of MIAs

Obituary: Bryan Moon, Northwest Airlines VP, artist, hunter of MIAs

Bryan Moon retired from Northwest Airlines and forged an encore career as an “MIA hunter,” whose expeditions to find crash sites of World War II…
Duluth diocese files for Chap. 11 after $8M abuse award

Duluth diocese files for Chap. 11 after $8M abuse award

The Catholic Diocese of Duluth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, a month after a victim of priest sex abuse there was awarded $8 million…
St. Paul archdiocese attorneys' fees top $5 million this year

St. Paul archdiocese attorneys' fees top $5 million this year

Bankruptcy court judge approved payments to dozens of firms.

'Giving Tuesday' struggles to gain recognition in Minnesota

First came Black Friday. Then Cyber Monday. Now, “Giving Tuesday” is working to build a national day to tap some of the $600 billion Americans…
St. John's Abbey monk accused of abuse reports 200 sexual encounters

St. John's Abbey monk accused of abuse reports 200 sexual encounters

Internal files on St. John's Abbey monks accused of sexual abuse were made public Tuesday.

Jeremiah Program brings anti-poverty work to Texas

The Jeremiah Program, a Minneapolis nonprofit that has won national recognition for its work lifting single mothers out of poverty, broke ground last week on…
Give to the Max Day wraps up, tops $18 million

Give to the Max Day wraps up, tops $18 million

Seventh annual 24-hour philanthropy spree draws thousands of donors.
Hope Community honored as model for urban change

Hope Community honored as model for urban change

Hope Community wins Bush innovation award for work in Phillips neighborhood.
18,000 Minnesota students celebrate 'We Day''

18,000 Minnesota students celebrate 'We Day''

The teen star-studded event draws students across the state who have raised money and support projects here and across the globe.
Archdiocese makes first court appearance in high-profile abuse case

Archdiocese makes first court appearance in high-profile abuse case

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made its first appearance in Ramsey County District Court Thursday in a clergy sex abuse case spearheaded by the Ramsey County Attorney that is being watched nationally.
St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese seeks more time to file bankruptcy plan

St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese seeks more time to file bankruptcy plan

Facing more than 400 clergy abuse claims, archdiocese seeks more time to reorganize.
Wilder Foundation VP Bobbi Cordano to head Gallaudet University

Wilder Foundation VP Bobbi Cordano to head Gallaudet University

Bobbi Cordano, a vice president at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, is heading to Washington, D.C., in January to become president of Gallaudet University,…
Minneapolis Foundation CEO Sandy Vargas to retire

Minneapolis Foundation CEO Sandy Vargas to retire

Sandy Vargas will step down in June after a nine-year tenure.
Obituary: Leo Weiss, Holocaust survivor and educator

Obituary: Leo Weiss, Holocaust survivor and educator

Leo Weiss was a historical anomaly. His entire family — parents and two siblings — survived the Holocaust. He spent his years in Minnesota sharing…
Minnesota AG says car donation nonprofit misled donors

Minnesota AG says car donation nonprofit misled donors

Make-A-Wish interim CEO endorses the state inquiry.
Best Buy founder Schulze cranks up giving at his $1 billion family foundation

Best Buy founder Schulze cranks up giving at his $1 billion family foundation

As the foundation moves into year three of a major expansion, it's on track to donate $35 million next year and "considerably more" beyond that.
Twin Cities Catholics get rare chance to speak up on archbishop

Twin Cities Catholics get rare chance to speak up on archbishop

Acting Archbishop Bernard Hebda hosted the first of seven "listening sessions," offering feedback to the Vatican.

What's a sin? Catholics disagree over definition

“We are all sinners,” is a popular quote from Pope Francis. But a recent survey indicates “we all” disagree on exactly what’s a sin. Is…
Minnesota, Russia create a way to skirt Russian arts embargo

Minnesota, Russia create a way to skirt Russian arts embargo

A new collaborative exhibit finds a way to skirt a Russian arts embargo.
Minnesotans land coveted tickets to see Pope Francis this week

Minnesotans land coveted tickets to see Pope Francis this week

A local Hispanic women’s group has filmed an upbeat video welcoming “Papa Francisco” to the United States. Three Latino families have rented a motor home…

Pay it Forward Forever Fund raises money for the future — as in 2065

Call it a philanthropic time capsule. If all goes as planned, 100 Minnesotans will contribute $25,000 to an unusual new charitable fund that will be…
Mock refugee crisis trains next generation of humanitarians

Mock refugee crisis trains next generation of humanitarians

Weekend class in Cannon Falls offers one of a handful of hands-on "humanitarian crisis simulation" training camps in the nation.
New rules for Catholic divorce draw attention in Twin Cities

New rules for Catholic divorce draw attention in Twin Cities

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has one of the nation's highest rates of denying annulments

Foundations pave the way for more racially diverse young leaders

Long before racial disparities in philanthropy became a hot topic, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota launched a fellowship and internship for women of color that…
Parish leaders can view abuse claims, judge rules in archdiocese bankruptcy

Parish leaders can view abuse claims, judge rules in archdiocese bankruptcy

Victims' attorneys fear confidentiality violations of private information.
Archdiocese removes second priest accused of abuse in a week

Archdiocese removes second priest accused of abuse in a week

The Rev. Joseph Gallatin is the second priest in the past week to be disciplined, a pace considered "extraordinary" by some victim advocates.
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.
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