Where to Begin?
My name is Fr. David, I would like to make a full confession – I’m a little nervous about my first letter to you. What should I say? How should I start? How should I acknowledge our beloved Fr. John? He is one tough act to follow! We are all grateful for the passion he brought to his ministry and service to others. I reached back to my childhood and the words of my now-95-year-old mother. Whenever I was nervous about a spelling test, she’d say, “Take a deep breath and say a prayer to St. Anthony. He will help you!”
So, I said the Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony, and I’m ready to begin.
First, on behalf of Fr. John and myself, let me thank you for your generous support of the Franciscan Friars, our service to the poor and marginalized at our ministries and missions, for helping in the education of young friars, and in the care of our elderly friars who have given so much to so many.
I feel like I know you because of my conversations with Fr. John. He always speaks of the love and compassion that you have for the friars and the people that come to us for help. Thank you for your wonderful Franciscan Heart!
Then I thought, “How should I introduce myself to these great people?” You already know that I’m not good at spelling - but I am very good at begging. It’s my life’s ministry as a friar. I don’t beg for myself but for the 3 million children, women, and men who come to our Franciscan doorstep every year for food, clothes, medicine, and other basic necessities that you and I take for granted.
It’s hard to wrap your arms around that number – 3 million! But your friars are actually serving over 3 million people in so many ways!
There is also another thing I need to tell you about myself. I love to tell stories – not about myself, but about the friars, and the people we serve every day. It’s important to put faces to the people that YOU and YOUR GENEROSITY are helping! Stories help us do that. And the people I meet and speak to often bring me to tears.
I’ll share the stories about the friars serving a hot meal to a homeless mother and her two children; providing clothes to a migrant family; giving out bottled water to villagers at a mission; or a hearty sandwich, dignity, and a smile to someone living on the streets.
But it’s YOUR generosity – your Franciscan Generosity and care – that is reaching out and embracing those desperate and in need. None of this would be possible without you!
I am really excited to get to know you. I hope you will continue the journey you started with Fr. John and the friars as we strive to live the Gospel in service to the poor together.
You may have heard that our six US Franciscan provinces are going to be united into one, single Franciscan province for the entire United States! Now, there will be more than 700 friars across our country keeping you, and your loved ones in our daily Masses and prayers!
There will be even more exciting new ministries and more friars to meet once the new province is up and running. They always say, “When you meet one Franciscan Friar, you can’t wait to meet the next one!”
I hope this letter has expressed the joy and excitement I feel at the possibility of continuing the wonderful Franciscan journey begun by Fr. John and you. I believe together we can continue to serve all those who come to us from every walk of life and in need of our Franciscan compassion and generosity. As St. Francis said: “Always preach the Gospel, sometimes use words!”
I firmly believe this world needs the Franciscan spirit now, and I hope that together we can continue to bring our Franciscan spirit to our world that needs us more than ever.
Please join me in praying an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be in honor of Fr. John, for his intentions, and good health.
Thank you for being a part of our Franciscan Family.
Many blessings and prayers for you and those you love,
Fr. David, OFM
Posted in: Newsletter