Franciscan Charities
St. Anthony Bread
3140 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
Phone: (314) 655-0531
Fax:     (314) 655-0562
Province of the Sacred Heart
Saint Anthony Bread
January 2013
Not long after the Sacred Heart Province was established in 1879, several of our friars left for China. We were the first American Catholics to preach the Gospel there. Some of us were imprisoned by the Japanese army during World War II, only to return to prison after the Communist takeover of China. When he was finally expelled from China in 1956, Bishop Henry Pinger, O.F.M. was the last remaining American. 
Bishop Henry Pinger, OFM
February 2013
March 2013
Letters from Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
The need of a Bishop in Southern Illinois for German-speaking priests and Brothers to minister to the German immigrants in his diocese is what prompted the friars who were to form the Sacred Heart Province to travel to the United States in 1858. We still staff St. Francis Church in Teutopolis (City of the Teutons), Illinois where they first settled.  
St. Francis Church, Teutopolis, IL
A “college” was quickly established in Teutopolis, Illinois where we first settled which evolved into a seminary to prepare men for Franciscan life and priestly ministry. Quincy, Illinois was the second destination of those first Franciscans, and the “college” which they established there has become Quincy University.
Quincy University - Quincy, IL
April 2013
One of the ministries which our retired brothers offer us is the opportunity to recognize that what we do doesn’t begin to speak the truth of who we are. That doesn’t mean that our retired friars have stopped “doing.” When and whatever their health allows, they make themselves available for the service of the Church in ways they’ve done all of their Franciscan lives.
Fr. Bernardine Hahn, OFM
May 2013
June 2013
Thousands of people from around the world visit Cross in the Woods Shrine each year; and for more than a few of them, these pilgrimages are a family tradition. My Franciscan brothers regularly hear visitors tell them how their parents brought them to the Shrine when they were children and that they returned with their own children because they wanted them to have a similarly powerful religious experience.
Cross In the Woods - Indian River, MI
Your generosity has helped these men to be prepared when duty called. It has supported their ministry at home and abroad; and when age and infirmity required their presence on battlefields of a different sort, your care and concern didn’t leave them defenseless. Again and as always, thank you for your service to us and to others through us. We hope and pray that you’ll continue to remember us in your charity. 
Franciscan Chaplain - WWII
"My Franciscan brothers and I, along with the people we serve, hope and pray that you will continue to be that blessing for all of us. We appreciate your continued support, and we need it. Thank you."
July 2013
His first instinct was to try to get back home to help in whatever way he could. Their first message was that the commuter airport which makes travel in the interior of Alaska possible was underwater. There are no roads between villages, so with no airport available to him, he was stranded. People called to tell him that they had removed the Blessed Sacrament from the Church and moved it to safety on higher ground. 
Repairs in progress after the flood.
August 2013
September 2013
You don’t have to be much of a historian to remember that it was illegal to be Catholic in some of the thirteen colonies which were to become the United States. We were actively persecuted in at least one of those colonies, tolerated in others and “accepted” only in Maryland.
Sisters include our country in prayer.
Sixteen candidates for the Franciscan Order representing seven North American Provinces began the Novitiate last summer. Thirteen of them made First Vows this summer. One of those friars is a member of the Sacred Heart Province. His plans are to study for the priesthood.
Partial view of thirteen
October 2013
The Franciscan who pastored my home parish during my Grade and High School years was Fr. Vitus. I’m probably the only person in the entire history of the Church who took “Vitus” as a Confirmation name. I thought so highly of my pastor that I gave up my first chance to take the name of “Christopher.” I don’t know much about St. Vitus to this day; but Fr. Vitus remains an important presence in my life.
November 2013
December 2013
As our nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day this November, I want to once again thank you for all of the ways you have been generous to the Franciscans and to so many others. My Franciscan brothers and I have no doubt that you’re as good to all sorts of other people as you are to us, and that’s a wonderful blessing in itself.
Our Christian faith tells us that he is the finest, fullest and final revelation of the Father. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Word of God doesn’t also take flesh in the lives of each one of us. Our Scriptures are, after all, quite clear that each and everyone of us is “created in the image and likeness of God” (Gn 1:26-27). To know Jesus is to know God as God actually is. To get to know us also lets people learn something about God. Hopefully, the God they encounter in their experience of us is the God that Jesus enfleshes and not some idol we’ve created in our own image and likeness.
Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
Fr. Vitus Duschinsky, OFM
Fr. Bill Cardy, OFM helping to serve food.
Merry Christmas!
Click a picture to read the letter!