The good Lord continues to bless us with young men searching for God with open minds and hearts. As Franciscan seminarians they are preparing to embrace the Franciscan life of Gospel service to their brothers and sisters in the Church throughout the world. Your generosity can create a legacy of hope.
Franciscan friar Keith Manaig, OFM has responded, “Here I am, Lord, take me!” Thanks to your prayers and generosity, Brother Keith is studying for the priesthood and working for Christ as a young friar. As a child in the second grade, Br. Keith remembers wanting to become a priest. His desire to be a priest led him to join the Knights of the Altar in the fifth grade. It opened wider opportunities for him to join other religious activities and organizations. At the same time, he was attending a Catholic school.
Br. Keith learned about the Franciscans while teaching at the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception school in Quezon City, Philippines. He met the Franciscan priests who came to the school to celebrate Mass. He was attracted to the Franciscan understanding of our faith, the Franciscan challenge of humility and simplicity, and the Franciscan ministry with the poor. Br. Keith professed temporary vows three years ago and is studying to become a Franciscan priest to serve in parish ministry. He also dreams of being able to serve in the foreign missions as a teacher.
The Need Is Great
He hopes and prays that these dreams will come true in God’s time. Br. Keith is just one example of many young men around the world who are answering Jesus’s call to follow him. The Franciscan Order has 2,300 young, energetic, joy-filled men who are ready to let go of everything and embrace the way of life proposed by Saint Francis of Assisi. Many come from poor, developing areas of our world where their Franciscan presence is needed. Your generosity can create a legacy of hope.
I am writing you today on their behalf. Sadly, Franciscan provinces have suffered a significant loss of income because COVID-19 forced the closures of parishes, sanctuaries, and schools. Part of the income from those helped cover some costs associated with feeding, housing, and educating our young friars. Many provincials have written to me seeking financial assistance to cover the basic costs of providing for the young friars who are studying to become priests or to serve as lay brothers.
Unless they receive major outside assistance, they will not be able to cover basic costs for the spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of these 2,300 young men, and many of them may be turned away. During this worldwide pandemic, you can “labor in the Lord’s vineyard” and make a gift for the formation of a Franciscan missionary priest, who will help the poor for his entire lifetime.
Your Generosity Can Create A Legacy of Hope
It costs $3,500 per year to educate and form a young Franciscan seminarian to serve as a missionary priest. This is a great value. In the United States, it can cost as much as $50,000 for a year of seminary education! Brother Keith and the other Franciscan seminarians are striving to be faithful, holy witnesses to Jesus Christ. Will you walk with them?
Do you see why the blessing of over 2,300 young men in formation presents us with a heavy financial burden? But together with you, we can carry it joyfully and gratefully. I am writing to our Franciscan friends. I am asking you to please consider making a significant sacrifice today so that our Church may have good, holy, and healthy young priests in the years ahead. You can help prepare a young man to dedicate his life to serving God and the poor as a Franciscan! These men are a gift of hope and new life for the Church. The healing touch of Jesus will live through their work with the poor for many years.
Any Gift Will Help
You have been so generous in the past. Please help again. A gift of $3,500 to pay for one year of seminary training would be a miracle! And every such miracle would be rewarded with a sponsorship of an individual seminarian. Inturn, you will receive a picture and the name of the seminarian you are sponsoring and updates on his progress. And, you will have the option of supporting the same seminarian until his ordination. You will help a grateful servant of God who will give his entire life to serving the poor.
Would you be able to make a special gift of a $1,000? We have a Legacy Book that contains the names of people who make that gift to help prepare Franciscan missionary priests. It is in our Franciscan Missions Chapel to remind our friars and seminarians to pray for those whose generosity supports them.
Any gift you make during these difficult times will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for answering Jesus’s “Help Wanted” call. Your life of charity and caring for others is a sure sign that you, like Br. Keith and St. Francis, have responded, “Here I am, Lord, take me!”
I thank God for you, and I thank you with all my heart.
Yours in Christ,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S. Please be generous in your support of our Franciscan formation students. Your gift of whatever you can send would really help! I assure you that our Franciscan priests, brothers, and seminarians are grateful for your prayerful support and remember you in their daily Masses and prayers.