Have you been called to serve the poor or refugees of war and natural disasters? Saint Anthony of Padua was known for his extraordinary love for the poor, which he often expressed by feeding the hungry. For centuries, “St. Anthony’s Bread” has been the term used for offerings made in response to God’s call to serve the poor. St. Anthony had an intense longing to be so close to Jesus that he denied himself to give to others.
In honor of St. Anthony, I am asking you to answer God’s call. Please, make a gift of St. Anthony’s bread and serve the poor, especially vulnerable children, families, and elders in the missions. Join us in reaching out to thousands of our sisters and brothers living in abject poverty or seeking shelter and aid in the face of war or natural disasters. Many are malnourished, and all are at risk. Your gift of St. Anthony’s Bread today will help feed the hungry around the world. Below are just a few examples
Ukraine – Humanitarian War Relief
Father Danyil Botvina, OFM, the Provincial of the Franciscan Province of St. Michael the Archangel, says that there are 16 friaries throughout Ukraine with 65 friars serving 54 parishes. Refugees, mostly women, children, and the frail and elderly seek safety, food, and protection at our friaries and parishes. The friars help as much as they can, but as you can imagine, the need is so great that they are over whelmed. The Franciscan missionary friars in Ukraine are not alone in responding to this humanitarian tragedy.
Poland – Supporting Refugees fleeing the War in Ukraine
The Franciscan friars in Poland are responding to the refugee crisis on their border. Every day thousands of Ukrainian refugees are crossing the border between Poland and Ukraine. Father Teofil Czarniak, OFM, the Provincial of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province in Krakow, Poland, and our friars have opened their doors to the neediest of the refugees. They have provided 500 beds for refugees at various Franciscan friaries, schools, and parishes near the border. These friars are working hard each day to shelter, feed, and provide medical assistance and other essentials to refugees who are mostly women and children. It is my hope and prayer that you will support Franciscan missionaries in Ukraine and Poland as they serve the refugees who are trying to survive this tragic war.
Haiti – Helping the homeless and destitute after the ’21 earthquake
Your generosity will help Father Wilfrid Cavalier, OFM and Father Noe Francisco, OFM provide food, water, and medical treatment to the children and families left homeless and isolated by the earthquake that hit the Tiburon Peninsula in Haiti on August 14, 2021. The 7.2 magnitude quake shattered the area. Thousands of people were killed and over 12,000 injured. Over 130,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of people are still in need of assistance. After the earthquake, there was no electricity, no water, no food, and no transportation.
Kenya – Providing healthy meals to orphans with disabilities
Your generosity will feed orphans with disabilities at St. Anthony’s Small Home in the village of Lower Subukia, Kenya. Our missionary friars make sure the children have two meals a day and some porridge in the morning. Through the goodness of many friends across the country, Franciscan missionaries are blessed to bring God’s love to these children. But we need to find more loving and caring friends like you to keep our friars working among the poor and hungry of Africa and the world.
India – Offering food and shelter for abandoned street children
Your gift today will also help feed abandoned street children at Nesavanam Home in Chennai, India, where our missionary friars have 25 orphaned children to feed! Imagine before God the good you can do with a gift today. Any gift you could send would make a difference!
Syria – Assisting Christian families to recover from a devastating war
Your donation in honor of St. Anthony would help our friars serving children and families trapped in Syria. Food is desperately needed to help these families survive. Christians are not allowed to work or to own or sell property. Every month, our friars distribute food to the families. The monthly food distribution consists of beans, oil, and rice. The cost per month for each family is only about $10, and these friars are supporting 240 families!
Philippines – Providing food and supplies after a natural disaster
Your gift will help provide the lifesaving gift of emergency food. The most vulnerable people are the elderly and widows trying to care for their children alone. It is your generosity that our friars depend on to feed them. If God has blessed your life, please consider sharing some of your bread with people who have none. Your support today will help Father Neil Badillo, OFM from the Custody of St. Anthony of Padua in the Philippines and our friars there provide emergency food supplies to over a thousand families and medical treatment and medicines to hundreds more.
But our friars have so few resources, and they need additional funds to purchase more food supplies and medicine. So many people were left homeless by Super Typhoon Rai, which pummeled the island of Cebu with wind gusts of 125 m.p.h. for 3 hours on December 16, 2021. The ordeal continues for the survivors of the storm. More than 2 million people were seriously affected in areas like Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, and southern Leyte. Electricity, water supplies, and sources of food were cut off. So many people were left homeless. They cry for help!
Open your heart today
God is giving you the opportunity to make an even greater difference in partnership with Franciscan missionaries. Please respond to this need today. What a gift you give to God by opening your heart so generously to serve the poor. In the spirit of St. Anthony, thank you for sharing your bread.
Gratefully yours in Christ and St. Anthony,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S Our missionaries are blessed to bring Christ’s love to the poor. But it is YOU who send the friars forth through your prayers and generosity! Please know that we pray for our friends and benefactors every day.