Fred and Flo MacLean, a retired couple living on Prince Edward Island, choose to spend their winters volunteering at the Inn rather than in the “sunny realm of golf and sailboats and margaritas,” as the article, “For city’s poor, helping hands from Canada” states.
The MacLeans, who raised nine children and ran a country store in New Hampshire, discovered the inn in 1991 when they took two of their sons on a week-long parish service project. Ironically, Michael Duffy, OFM, of the inn, grew up not far from the MacLeans’ New Hampshire town.
After retiring in 1999, they began volunteering six days a week between Thanksgiving and mid-March. They are among other long-term volunteers. According to an article in the March issue of The Pilgrim, St. Francis Inn’s newsletter, one volunteer has served at the inn for 25 years, and others five to 11 years.
Other topics covered recently in The Pilgrim include:
• A reflection on the focus (or lack thereof) of poverty in recent elections
• The impact of technology on the poor, specifically cell phones, computers and the current switch from analog to digital television
• The importance of sharing the Easter message of forgiveness, compassion, understanding, and a listening heart year-round