Did you have food left over after dinner last night?
“Leftovers” is a common household word in our culture. But leftovers are rarely found in developing countries.
Every scrap of food that can be used goes into soup in Franciscan soup kitchens around the world.
People in African villages wait in line at the Franciscan centers to receive enough flour, sugar, and oil to last for one week. They walk for miles to the nearest clinic hoping to find a doctor who will give them the medicine they need, if there is any.
Ironically, some people hate leftovers, and others need them to live. How much daily bread does someone need?
A person needs at least one square meal a day, safe drinking water, and adequate clothing and shelter. For the desperately poor, anything more than that is considered a luxury.
Every day, Jesus sees people in desperate need who rummage through garbage piles seeking things that can be used. They find discarded blankets to keep them warm, cans containing leftover food, shoes that may or may not fit their bare feet, and glasses that might help their poor eyesight.
Saint Anthony became 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.
In honor of St. Anthony, I am asking you to answer the call to serve the poor and to share some of the blessings you have in your life with people who have far less.
Will you join us and share some of your “daily bread” with thousands of people living in abject poverty in the missions? Many are sick, others are malnourished and suffering life-threatening illnesses. All are at risk.
Will you reach out with us to provide food, water, and medical treatment to refugees trapped in the ruin and rubble of the war in the Ukraine.
Friar Ibrahim reports that every month in Syria, our friars distribute food to over 4,600 families and nonfood items to an additional 620 families. The monthly food basket consists of beans, oil, rice, eggs, meat, jam, and milk. Each basket costs about $50!
Will you help us feed orphaned children cared for by Franciscans in the missions? Our Franciscan missionaries maintain orphanages in India, Africa, and the Philippines.
Your gift today will help provide a basket of nonperishable food to 1,950 poor families living in the Amazon. Father Edilson da Silva, OFM and Brother Reginaldo Canto, OFM from the Franciscan Custody of St. Benedict of the Amazon will be delivering the baskets to the poorest families of seven different parishes and villages in the Amazon.
Your gift will also help Father James Bok, OFM feed 180 school children every day at the St. Anthony’s Kitchen in Negril, Jamaica.
Your support will help Father Lino Redoblado, OFM and other Franciscan missionaries of the Province of San Pedro Bautista in the Philippines feed poor children, whose families live as squatters in the mountainous area of Santiago City. The families have a difficult time earning enough money to buy the food they need. Many of the children are underweight and malnourished.
Franciscan missionaries are blessed to carry God’s love to the poor in the missions. If God has blessed your life, please consider sharing some of your bread with people who have none.
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 the poor and sharing some of your “leftovers.”
In the spirit of St. Anthony, thank you for sharing your bread with the poor.
Gratefully yours in Christ and St. Anthony,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S. Our missionaries are blessed to carry 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.