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A Friar’s Notes
Take The Franciscan Challenge!

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director of Development

This Easter was a very good experience for me. It taught me a lot about the disciples and how they really reacted to the death of Jesus. They hid. They hid behind locked doors because they were afraid of others coming after them for having followed Jesus the disciples were hiding, “the doors were locked, for fear of the Jews.” (John 20:19).

I thought to myself, how many doors of my life have I locked so no one can get in? How many bolts do I have on some of the doors to my heart to stop others from really getting to know me? Have I locked the door of my soul to prevent the Holy Spirit from entering my prayer and removing my fear of actually beginning to change and become more of a Christian? This would challenge me in so many ways every day of my life.

I am reminded of Brother Ricky, who recently professed his temporary vows as a Friar. He is serving in Jamaica, living in authentic freedom, love, openness, and humility.

He is participating in our Brothers Walking Together program, where newly professed Friars are sent two by two to one of our missions. Daily, he feeds more than 150 people at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, tutors students at the Revival School program, and is an active community member at Mary Gate of Heaven Friary.

For some, serving in foreign missions is a dream come true!

But what if I told you that before considering joining the Franciscans, Brother Ricky had never stepped foot on a plane before? Coming from Louisiana, he was comfortable with his day-to-day routine and never dreamed of traveling outside of the States, and definitely not on an airplane. The door to this great experience could have remained locked for Brother Ricky, but instead he didn’t let the fear of the unknown stop him, and unlocking the door he made the leap of faith and broke out of what he knew, to venture into the unknown.

The first time he flew on a plane was to visit us at the Friary. You can imagine his excitement after hearing about our Brothers Walking Together program. Trading in everything he had known about life and its comforts for something entirely unknown became an obstacle for him. But, through God’s Spirit, he said ‘yes’ unlocked the door, and never looked back.

It is not just the Apostles or Brother Ricky in Jamaica who are called to begin to unlock the doors of our lives and let in the Spirit. It is each and every one of us. I invite you to unlock the doors of your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to transform your life.

Unlock the doors of your life and reach out to the friend you know is having a hard time or volunteer at a local Soup Kitchen or Food Pantry. Or even just smile at your colleagues at work today. And . . . take the Franciscan Challenge, our biannual fundraising campaign to help us help the poor we serve.

Last week, our Friars launched our springtime Franciscan Challenge. Every dollar given directly supports three crucial aspects of the Franciscan Friars: the formation of our young Friars, like Brother Ricky, the continuation of our work with the poor, and care for our elderly Friars who have given so much for so long.

      Please, we beg you, take the Franciscan Challenge!

We are not begging for ourselves. We are begging for over 2 million people who depend on our soup kitchens, food pantries, counseling programs, and more. We are begging for our young Friars, who are able to receive life-changing education due to your generosity. We are begging for our elder Friars who have cared for so many for so long.

Without your support and generosity, none of this help would be possible.

Please open the door of your generosity and help us help – Everyone. Every. Day.

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