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 2014
"The Church might hope that whatever we do might lead to our conversion; but we’re usually content with less ambitious goals. Easter Monday frequently finds us much the same as we were on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The same can usually be said about the weeks after January 1st."
Cross in the Woods
February 2014
March 2014
Letters from Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
"Four Franciscans from the Sacred Heart Province went to an area along the Amazon and Tapajos Rivers in Northern Brazil in 1942. Two lived out their lives there and were later called to be Bishops for the Church in Brazil."
Franciscans in Brazil
Whatever else we can and do say about St. Joseph, we need to recognize that it was the protection he offered Jesus which allowed the Child to live. When there was “no room in the inn,” he found a safe place for the birth of Jesus. When Herod’s soldiers threatened the life of Jesus, Joseph took him to safety in Egypt. 
St. Joseph the worker
April 2014
"My hope and prayer for all of us is that these weeks since Ash Wednesday have been the gift of grace for each of us that they’re meant to be." "...Our Lenten penances and practices are meant to make a point and not help us to miss the point. We ought to be better on Holy Saturday than we were on Ash Wednesday."
Christ is Risen!
May 2014
June 2014
"This month, I get to say Thank You for all of the ways in which you love your children and grandchildren. This month, I get to express my gratitude for the good example that you give them. "
Saint Monica - persistent prayer
"My Franciscan brothers and I not only want you to pray for us. We need you to pray for us. This year’s Provincial Chapter is an especially momentous occasion for us. Our decreased numbers and our increased ages mean that we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions about where we live and what we do." 
"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 2014
It might be inconvenient, or even dangerous, for the shepherd to go look for that lost sheep, but that’s what a “good” shepherd does. That sheep usually wandered away despite its shepherd’s best efforts to keep it safe. “You got yourself into this mess, you get yourself out of it” is probably a thought that occurs to all shepherds in such situations, but it doesn’t get the last word for a “good” shepherd. The parable never raises a question about whether the sheep are “good” or “bad.” The only judgment that’s important is whether the shepherd will be a good one or not.  
A good shepherd.
August 2014
September 2014
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.
Thank you, also and especially, for your prayers for my Franciscan brother, Macario Torres-Torres, O.F.M., who will be ordained to the priesthood at the end of this month. He presents himself for your service determined to be a good and holy priest. God’s grace and your encouragement will help him become the presence of Christ in our lives that he and we want and need him to be.
Fr. Macario Torres-Torres, O.F.M.
October 2014
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 2014
December 2014
Meister Eckhart was a Dominican theologian, philosopher and mystic who lived at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th centuries. Some of his teaching was questioned by Church authorities at the time; but I don’t think there’s any question about one of his convictions. “If the only prayer we ever said was ‘Thank You,’ it would be enough.” Gratitude isn’t and won’t ever be an optional way of praying for any of us
Christmas is a time for giving and getting gifts.  The first days of a new year are times of resolution.  There are ways we know we need to be and do better, and we resolve to make that happen.  Some adult religious education is the gift I hope we all give ourselves this Christmas and the resolution each of us makes in the New Year.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate enterprise.
Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
St. Francis
Merry Christmas!
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