Advent Reflections 2020

Episode 1: Advent Reflections With The Friars

Hi, I’m Fr. David, a Franciscan Friar who is happy to introduce you to four of my brother Friars who will visit you like the spirits in Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.
As you can hear, I have a cold – we call this a common cold, and that leads me to ask you a question-
“What does Christmas, a story about a stable, Inn Keepers, 3 Kings and Shepherds, that we are all familiar with, have in common with the homeless, the hungry, and the mentally ill?”
EVERYTHING!!
Over the next four weeks of Advent, you will hear how all of these elements fall together into the Christmas story we all know and love. Listen as the Franciscan Friars speak about how their Christmas stories come to life in the daily dealings they have with the many human beings who enter their lives empty and leave fuller and more alive.

Episode 2: Advent Reflections With The Friars

This second week of Advent, we reflect on Mary and Joseph looking for a place to give birth to Jesus after being turned away at the Inn. As many know, they soon find shelter: a humble stable where something great will soon happen.
This week Fr. Bill McIntyre, OFM reflects on the humble work being done by The Franciscan Friars and volunteers at St. Peter Claver Food Pantry in Macon, Georgia.
Although, much like the stable, this pantry is small and can use improvements- the Friars and volunteers find a way to make something great happen each week by feeding and caring for many families, children and elderly people in the neighborhood.
Please enjoy this reflection as we celebrate the second week of Advent. For it is in your name and only with your generosity that the Franciscan Friars can continue to provide basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter and medical assistance to over 2 million men, women and children each year at our various ministry locations like St. Peter Claver Food Pantry.

Episode 3: Advent Reflections With The Friars

What could shepherds and kings possibly have in common?
This third week of Advent we invite you to reflect with Fr. Jim Vacco, OFM from St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, NY.
In this video, Fr. Jim speaks about the arrival of shepherds and kings at the stable in Bethlehem. He explains how and why the city acted as a bridge between Magi from the East and the Shepherds from the West. As Fr. Jim says, the city of Bethlehem symbolically brought together various groups of people from different lives, just as the birth of Jesus did.
Fr. Jim also shares the work of the Franciscan Friars and volunteers at St. Bonaventure Parish and thrift store in Allegany. The thrift store, called The Bridge, is an outreach program which provides for people in need of assistance of housing, clothing and basic necessities.
This Christmas season, as we consider our lives and all the great blessings God has given us, we should also reflect on those who have so much less than we do.
I ask you to remember the hundreds of homeless and struggling people whom the Franciscan Friars care for each day.

Episode 4: Advent Reflections With The Friars

This week, Fr. Michael Jones speaks about the Franciscan Outreach Ministry, Clean Start, in Anderson, South Carolina. Much like in the Nativity Story, in which Mary and Joseph find refuge at the stable, many Anderson residents find shelter and comfort at Clean Start.
Our Friars and volunteers serve an average of 100 clients a week, providing those living on the streets with laundering services, clean showers, hygiene supplies, and new or gently used clothing. They do up to 24 loads of laundry each week and even offer haircuts to improve all their guests’ self-image, confidence, and cleanliness.
In the Nativity Story, the innkeeper could not provide a room for Mary and Joseph, but he humbly offers them the stable as a shelter before the birth of Christ. At Clean Start, our Friars always provide the homeless and struggling a place to refresh and begin again.
Clean Start is staffed entirely by volunteers, but their continued service to the homeless is dependent on your support. Please don’t turn away! Instead, turn here and click to support Clean Start today.

Conclusion: Advent Reflections With The Friars

What could shepherds and kings possibly have in common?
This third week of Advent we invite you to reflect with Fr. Jim Vacco, OFM from St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, NY.
In this video, Fr. Jim speaks about the arrival of shepherds and kings at the stable in Bethlehem. He explains how and why the city acted as a bridge between Magi from the East and the Shepherds from the West. As Fr. Jim says, the city of Bethlehem symbolically brought together various groups of people from different lives, just as the birth of Jesus did.
Fr. Jim also shares the work of the Franciscan Friars and volunteers at St. Bonaventure Parish and thrift store in Allegany. The thrift store, called The Bridge, is an outreach program which provides for people in need of assistance of housing, clothing and basic necessities.
This Christmas season, as we consider our lives and all the great blessings God has given us, we should also reflect on those who have so much less than we do.
I ask you to remember the hundreds of homeless and struggling people whom the Franciscan Friars care for each day.