It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our dear colleague and friend Fr. Michael Crosby. Michael died on 5 August 2017 at the age of 77, after suffering with cancer. Mike was well loved by so many in our community and will be much missed for his passionate calls to action on behalf of vulnerable people everywhere.
Fr. Michael Crosby was one of the earliest members of ICCR and first became active in socially responsible investing and corporate engagement in 1973. Mike worked to bring Catholic institutions into ICCR membership, and for four decades was involved in engagements on many social and environmental concerns, most notably the health risks of tobacco, human rights in global supply chains, GHG emissions reductions and climate change.
Said ICCR CEO Josh Zinner, "Since the very beginning, Mike was there pushing companies to do the right thing on so many critical issues of environmental and social justice. He was a model for us all- kind-hearted, thoughtful, compassionate and full of strength. We are so grateful for all that he has given to ICCR, and are deeply saddened by his passing.”
“Mike's final gift to us was the witness of his intimate relationship with our God," said Sr. Patricia Daly of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ and TRI-CRI. "Mike's consolation in The Word and his peaceful surrender might be even more powerful than his many thought provoking books and the ways he moved corporate behavior. He was creative, he was stalwart, he was so insightful. Of course he was a lot of fun to work with. And he was a dear, dear friend,” said Daly.
Along with Sr. Daly, Fr. Mike is the recipient of the 2017 ICCR Legacy Award. The award will be received on his behalf by his brother Dan in New York City this September.
Michael Crosby was born on 16 February 1940, the son of Hugh and Blanche Crosby of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was invested in the Capuchin Order on 31 August 1959, perpetually professed his vows on 1 September 1963, and was ordained on 6 October 1966.
Recent profiles of Mike appeared in National Catholic Reporter Michael Crosby, Reformer in Boardrooms and Basilicas, Dies at 77, and the Journal Sentinel "For Milwaukee friar, win vs. ExxonMobil is biggest since 'Joe Camel'"
A writer and speaker, Michael was also the executive director of the Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment, which focuses on social ministry and activism through investment.
Mike often argued that "By owning shares, people can challenge the companies to convert — to bring about good news for the poor and the planet. That's what we try to do with socially responsible investing."
After a multi-year campaign, Mike convinced oil & gas giant Exxon Mobil in early 2017 to add climate change expert Dr. Susan Avery to its board of directors.
Michael did pastoral ministry at St. Elizabeth Parish (now St. Martin de Porres Parish) in Milwaukee from 1968-1973. From 1973 until his death, Michael ministered in the area of corporate responsibility. Additionally, he was a collaborator for the canonization cause of Capuchin friar Solanus Casey.
Michael is survived by his brother Daniel (also a Capuchin friar), as well as his many Capuchin brothers with whom he lived, prayed and ministered during the past 58 years.