Service Trips, Immersion Experiences & Twinning Efforts

Service Trips, Immersion Experiences & Twinning Efforts

Twinning efforts, service trips and immersion experiences through Holy Name Province ministries work toward an overarching goal of the Order of Friars Minor: to be in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable. Drawing from Pilgrims and Strangers in this World, a resource that provides reflections on OFM General Constitutions:

To be “in solidarity with the poor” means to translate, in words and deeds that are understandable to our contemporaries, that very basic intuition at the heart of [the Franciscan] Rule, that we have been called to “the perfection of the Holy Gospel,” a perfection which, far from isolating us from the poor of our times, requires of us a level of interdependence and mutual enrichment with the poor that introduces us to the preferred company of “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin and His Disciples.”

Many Holy Name Province ministries have worked to build connections with those in need, both within and outside the United States.

To add to the list, contact Fran Eskin-Royer in Holy Name Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Raleigh, N.C.
The parish forged a “hermanamiento” or sister linkage with the Las Margaritas of the Ixhcan region of Guatemala in 1993. Each year, the parish sends one or two delegations of 6 to 10 parishioners to the region. About every three years, the parish hosts a “South to North Delegation” with five to six people from Guatemala visiting Raleigh. Through the exchanges, the group works to broaden its perspective on the Body of Christ. For information and pictures, click the St, Francis of Assisi website.
Contact: Carie Prue


Immaculate Conception Parish
Durham, N.C.
A ministry fostering a people-to-people relationship with a parish in Oaxaca, from which a number of Immaculate Conception parishioners emigrated.


St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish
Hartford, Conn.
St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church has been in a covenant relationship with St. Genevieve Church in Zoranje since 2004 to build a bridge between the two churches and to provide financial support for St. Genevieve’s parish and school. A Sister Parish Committee was established to plan activities. Each year, a team of St. Patrick-St. Anthony parishioners visits St. Genevieve to get to know members of its sister parish. Regular events help make parishioners of St. Patrick-St. Anthony aware of the rich cultural and spiritual traditions of the people of Haiti. The relationship deepens both communities’ understanding of what it means to live in a global Church and to foster justice, human dignity, and respect for people from different cultures.
Contact:  Fr. Ciduane Joseph, OFM 


St. Francis Parish
Triangle, Va.
Holy Name Province (HNP) is responsible for two parishes in Lima, Nuestra Senora de Lourdes, and Parroquia Santa Ana. The Sister Parish ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish is involved in planning, education, publicity, communications, and logistics/finance. The pledge calls for the communities to continually pray for one another, especially at the Sunday Eucharist; to learn more about the Catholic life and witness of the Sister Parishes through communication between parishes, education about one another, and when feasible, through visits to one another; to cross frontiers and barriers of geography, politics, economics, race and ethnicity; to become more just within our families, schools, places of work, business and political life; to give more generously to meet the basic needs of those within our country and beyond; and to advocate for the protection of life, the defense of human dignity, the care for God’s creation and the promotion of peace. Both parishes have HNP-operated or -sponsored programs, such as food kitchens, pantries, medical clinics, pre-schools, an elementary school (Santa Ana), educational counseling programs, and more, that offer the only assistance available to the very poor. St. Francis of Assisi Parish supports an annual Special Collection for Lima; forms prayer groups; funds specific projects; sponsors pre-school students; provides assistance or tuition for job training; and supports various needs as they arise..
Contact: Lisa Ostendorf


St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
Stoneville, N.C.
Since 1999, St. Francis Springs Prayer Center and the Franciscan Center of Greensboro have been jointly sponsoring an immersion experience trip to El Salvador on an annual basis. This trip has proven to be a life-changing experience for many who have made the journey. The trip is coordinated by a non-profit group in San Salvador called APRODEHNI, an acronym for the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights of the Children of El Salvador. In conjunction with this group, St. Francis Springs and the Franciscan Center have sponsored projects such as construction of wells and latrines, hurricane and earthquake relief, day care centers, micro-lending projects, and scholarship programs in the poorest communities of El Salvador.
Contact: Ann Bauer


Siena College
Loudonville, N.Y.
The school sponsors spring student service trips to a variety of locations, including Kingston, Jamaica, Washington, D.C. (for the March for Life), and Philadelphia, Pa. (to St. Francis Inn).
Contacts: Fr. Sean O’Brien,OFM


Siena College
Loudonville, N.Y.
The school’s Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women sponsors an annual service trip to the Dominican Republic. For information, visit Siena’s website.