Francis took the Gospel literally and was driven to follow Jesus as closely as he could. He gave everything away, becoming poor and devoting himself to serving the poor around him, especially those on the very margins of society – the lepers.
As Conventual Franciscans, we vow ourselves to Lady Poverty, as Francis would say. We live in community, without possessions of our own, sharing our goods and food among ourselves and with those in need.
Whether we work in parishes or retreat centers or in the missions, we are on the lookout for those in need. In the Louisville, Kentucky area that means greeting and spending time with homeless and hungry people eating lunch at the Franciscan Kitchen. (To read more about the Franciscan Kitchen, click here.)
In other parts of the country it means going into areas where migrant workers live, saying Mass and offering the sacraments, such as Baptism and Reconciliation. In the Southwestern parts of the United States, it means consoling the victims of violence along the border.
In some cases, local and federal law enforcement officers have sought our help in caring for those who fall through the cracks of society – those who have no place to go, caught between two countries and laws that are constantly changing. Click here to learn more about this.
What doesn’t, what cannot change is our commitment to follow St. Francis in serving the least among us. We follow the law, we cooperate with the proper civil authorities, but we place our priority on bringing God’s love to those in need.