**Kickstarting Franciscans? **

Above St. Francis at Ripa, an 800-year-old Franciscan church in Rome, you’ll find a deteriorating cell, equipped with a stone pillow, where Saint Francis of Assisi (depicted in the panel at left) often stayed. 

To raise the $125,000 needed to restore the room, the friars—known for their centuries-long vows of poverty and dependence on charity—are updating their fund-raising strategies. They’ve turned to Kickstarter, the electronic crowd-sourcing investment site. The campaign runs out on April 11. If it doesn’t reach the full amount, all proceeds will be returned to the funders. Godspeed, friars! —Emma Bauer, Audience Engagement Assistant, April 3

Image: Gaia Pianigiani Source: Jim Yardley, “Centuries-Old Church Passes a Digital Collection Plate” New York Times, April 2.