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NFL’s Colts owner donates $5 million to Catholic Charities

Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner

317football | CC BY-SA 4.0

J-P Mauro - published on 09/29/23

Jim Irsay made a large donation to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago to honor the legacy of his late cousin, Sister Joyce Dura, OSF.

Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts, has announced that he will make a $5 million donation to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (CCAC). The contribution to the archdiocese’s charitable arm will honor the legacy of Irsay’s late cousin Sister Joyce Dura, OSF, a Franciscan who served the greater Chicago area over nearly 50 years of religious life.

The archdiocese called the large donation a “transformative gift,” and explained that such an amount would provide “critical, sustained support” for a variety of programs. In particular, the funds will keep CCAC’s supper program functioning from their headquarters on LaSalle Street. Catholic Charities will also rename the program as “the Sister Joyce Dura, OSF, Supper Program” until 2033.

Irsay, who has previously donated $500,000 to CCAC’s Spirit of St. Nicholas Ball in 2022, commented to the archdiocese

“Although family and football have taken me to great cities like Baltimore and Indianapolis, I cherish my childhood in Chicago and the wonderful people who make Chicago the great city that it is,” said Irsay, who himself was born in Lincolnwood, Illinois. “Sister Joyce spent a half century giving back to others, so with this gift I only hope to emulate my dear cousin’s spirit, grace, and her commitment to our communities.”

Sister Joyce was a Chicago native, born in 1942, who entered the convent in 1965 to become a member of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Her five decades as a nun were marked by a devotion to the sick that led her to work in several medical centers. In her time, she filled a variety of roles, including nursing, social service, and pastoral care. Known for her compassion to patients, she once noted, of being called to a life of service: 

“To be a Christian is not easy,” Sister Joyce once said, “but the joys of sharing Christ with others in this world is very rewarding and a hundred-fold more rewarding in the life to come.”

Sally Blount, President and CEO of CCAC, thanked Irsay and his family, commenting: 

“We are delighted and honored by the Irsay family’s generosity to us. Jim and his family’s compassion for those we accompany and serve combined with their vision for honoring his cousin, Sister Joyce Dura, and her life’s mission – it’s all quite extraordinary.”

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