Thanks To You

Thanks to you the Franciscans were able to help support Tender Mercies, an organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, that has been providing housing for homeless people with chronic mental illness since 1985.

Studies show that at least one third of homeless people in Cincinnati suffer from mental illness. Those who are living on the streets or in shelters often do not know where to go for help.

Their outreach workers encounter individuals living in parks, cars, abandoned buildings, and other places not meant for human habitation, as well as individuals staying at emergency shelters. Tender Mercies works with them to help them build trusting relationships and to obtain needed housing and mental health services.

For many of the homeless who suffer from mental illness, Tender Mercies is that place that provides security, dignity and a community in a place they call home. 

Your generosity has allowed the friars to support worthwhile programs like Tender Mercies serving the poor, homeless and mentally ill. 

Missionary Life

On April 27, 2014, Pope Francis will declare two of our recent popes as saints, John XXIII and John Paul II.  Certainly both of these popes are known for doing extraordinary things during their papacies, but I feel something that might get lost about these two men is that they were great missionary popes.  John XXIII served as a papal diplomat in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and France.  Even though he was serving in these countries in an official capacity he reached out to the poor and gave aid to the Jewish people in escaping dictatorial regimes.  Pope Francis said of John XXIII, “. . . (he) is a bit like the figure of the country priest, the priest who loves all of the faithful and he did this as a bishop, and as a nuncio.  He was meek and humble, and always concerned himself with the poor . . .”  
As we all know, John Paul II was known as the “traveling pope”, visiting 130 countries on all the continents during his 27-year papacy.  In 1990 he issued the papal encyclical Redemptoris Missio (Mission of the Redeemer), which was devoted to the urgency of the missionary activity of the Church.  Regarding John Paul II, Pope Francis has said, “I would say he was the great missionary of the Church:  he was a missionary, a man who carried the Gospel everywhere.  He felt this fire of carrying forth the word of the Lord.”

May these two saints inspire us to take the Easter message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth knowing that the Lord, Jesus, is with us even until the end of time!

--Br. Vincent Delorenzo, OFM
Director, Franciscan Mission Office