PHILADELPHIA — As the food ministry poises for its 30th anniversary in December, St. Francis Inn has welcomed new volunteers and enhanced its electronic communications.
One of the major recent developments is a redesigned Web site for the ministry. The home page prominently shows the mural that graces the inn’s exterior wall showing St. Francis and the wolf of Gubbio.
In its Pilgrim newsletter for October, the inn notes that it has “leaped into the 21st century.” An article in the newsletter reads: “For those of you who have felt that St. Francis Inn Ministries was in a technological holding cell, and even for those of you who don’t even know what a Web site is, there has been a revolution that we want to share with you. On Aug. 12, the new Web site went live.”
The site’s home page, designed with a Franciscan brown border, reads: “The home page is just the beginning of changes made to the Web site. We will be posting to the blog weekly, and will be updating the News & Events section. Keep checking back to see what we’re up to.”
The site’s other sections are About Us, Ministries, Volunteer, Get Informed and Links. It also includes a blog with a variety of contributers including John Gill, OFM, as well as inn volunteers and team members.
This is not the only blog about the inn. William DeBiase, OFM, includes thoughts about the inn and a slide show on his personal blog site. He shows volunteers preparing and serving food, along with guests enjoying a meal.
Applauding Team Members
The Web site staff page lists the friars who serve at the Inn. In addition to William and John, they are Xavier De La Huerta, OFM, Michael Duffy, OFM, Fred Dilger, OFM, and Patrick Sieber, OFM.
The Web site also describes the Inn’s three affiliated ministries: Thea Bowman Women’s Center, St. Benedict’s Thrift Shop and St. Francis Urban Center.
The inn also recently welcomed four new volunteers from the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry (FVM). They are profiled in the Pilgrim, as described in the Aug. 26 issue of HNP Today.
The inn also welcomed last summer a volunteer couple. Mark, 61, and Thea, 57, Sinclair, are retired teachers from Hickory, N.C. They write: “We know we have a lot to learn, and we look forward to serving the poor and growing spiritually during our time at St. Francis Inn.”
St. Francis Inn has been feeding the hungry of Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood since Dec. 16, 1979. The history of the ministry appears on its Web site.
— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut-based Writer, is a frequent contributor to this newsletter.