In a remarkable event for the increasingly secular city of St. Francis, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff invited Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and other religious leaders to bless the 61-story, Salesforce Tower, being touted as the city’s tallest building.
“The invitation to offer this interfaith blessing speaks to the deep faith and commitment to philanthropy of the founder and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff,” said the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s executive director Michael Pappas. Construction on the building is scheduled to be completed later this year.
A group prayer by interfaith representatives followed individual prayers and blessings that concluded with Archbishop Cordileone reciting the Prayer of St. Francis; a prayer which ends “For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
In addition to Archbishop Cordileone, the participants were Rabbi Ryan Baur, Congregation Emanu-El (Jewish); Rev. Tova Green, Assistant to the Central Abbess, San Francisco Zen Center (Buddhist); Imam Abu Qadir Al Amin, Resident Imam, San Francisco Muslim Community Center (Muslim); Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Diocese of California; Sister Chandru Desai, West Coast Director, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center (Hindu).
Benioff and his wife Lynne have made a name for themselves as philanthropists mostly focused in the Bay Area. They donated $100 million in 2014 to the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, but also contribute on a smaller level, for instance donating $250,000 in matching funds to Catholic Charities for the Star Home for homeless women and children in 2012. Benioff has implemented policies at the cloud software giant to ensure men and women are paid equally for similar jobs. He made headlines in 2015 by threatening to pull Salesforce out of Indiana after the state passed a religious liberty law.
Full story from Catholic San Francisco.