There are many stories of Br. Francis giving away his cloak – or mantle – to those in need. In his “Tales of St. Francis, Ancient Stories for Contemporary Living,” Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, points out that the laying on of one’s mantle in Sacred Scripture can be a symbol of imparting one’s spirit to another, as when Elijah gave his mantle to Elisha (1 Kings 19: 19-21). Fr. Bodo encourages us to “wrap others round with a warm mantle,” letting our “spirit of love flow into others by divesting [ourselves] of that excess which really belongs to them and laying it upon their cold and naked shoulders.” Below are a few such efforts from Holy Name Province ministries.
To add to the list, contact Fran Eskin-Royer in Holy Name Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
OUTREACH BY SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE (CLOTHING AND KNITTED GOODS)
St. Bonaventure Parish
Members of this ministry seek to lend support to those who need a helping hand, especially the children of Paterson. Regular efforts include a monthly collection of used clothing and a baby shower for babies with HIV/AIDS given every other spring. Beneficiaries are patients of the AIDS Baby Clinic of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Paterson, and a program of Catholic Charities. Some who serve in this ministry crochet, knit, and quilt lap robes, infant hats, mittens, scarves, and baby quilts for donation to various charities.
The volunteers who make up this ministry do not constitute an agency providing extensive support to individuals and/or families; those in serious need are directed to other resources. The goal is to help in small yet significant ways.
Contact: St. Bonaventure Parish Office
St. Francis Inn
Run by the staff of St. Francis Inn and a small group of dedicated volunteers, Marie’s Closet provides 300 to 400 changes of clothing to the guests of St. Francis Inn each month.
Contact: Stephanie White – 215-634-1510
THRIFT STORE AT THE FRANCISCAN COMMUNITY CENTER
Holy Name of Jesus Parish – St. Gregory the Great
New York, N.Y.
Recognizing the critical need for affordable clothing, furniture, appliances, toys, etc. in the neighborhood, the friars established the thrift store in 1998. Donations from all over the city are brought to the store and, in turn, are sold to the community at very affordable prices. The thrift store, open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, is located at 214 West 97th Street.
Contact: Christine Fermin, Director, Franciscan Community Center