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
Saint Anthony Bread
We write to our benefactors via direct mail.  Our direct mail program is called Saint Anthony Bread.  We do not share, sell or exchange the names of our benefactors.  Most of our benefactors receive our letters of encouragement and inspiration monthly.  We send our letters at the beginning of each month.  We also send out a small magazine twice a year called the Franciscan Reporter.   We look forward to receiving prayer requests from anyone who needs prayer, especially our benefactors.

Saint Anthony Bread is a term used for the offerings we make in thanksgiving to God for the blessings that we receive through the prayers of Saint Anthony.  This practice is based on a legend that dates back to the year 1263.  A child had drowned near the Paduan Basilica of St. Anthony while it was being constructed.  The child's mother was heart broken and prayed for the intercession of Saint Anthony to bring her boy back to life.  She promised to give to the poor an amount of grain equal to her son's weight.  The child was miraculously revived and the mother made good on her promise.
What do we raise the money for?
While the number of friars has declined in recent years, we continue to respond to the call of the larger Church. The province currently has ministries in 11 States (AK, CA, IL, IN, LA, MD, MN, MO, OH, TX, and WI) and internationally friars and former friars serve as missionaries in Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, Cuba, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These ministries include parishes, education, homeless outreach, utility assistance, an orphanage, water wells, and perhaps most importantly their prayer and presence as they live out their vision statement: 

“We Franciscans of the Sacred Heart Province will create communities of prayer and shared life, living the Gospel in the spirit of Francis and Clare as our life and mission, enlivening ourselves and others, respecting the circumstances and cultures in which we find ourselves.”


Province Direct Services to the Poor

  • Franciscan Connection  The Connection offers utility assistance and financial counseling to families in need in South St. Louis, Missouri.

  • St. Anthony of Padua Food Pantry  The food pantry works tirelessly serving three zip codes on the Southside of St. Louis, Missouri. Their Ministry goes far beyond food distribution as they strive to feed not just the people, but the souls they encounter.  

  • Franciscan Outreach  Franciscan Outreach ministers to the homeless population Chicago, Illinois. The pandemic has only increased their heroic efforts.

  • Water Project  Starting in the Year of Mercy (2016), the water project has now provided safe, running water to eight villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Orphanage for Boys  Fr. Damien Isabell, O.F.M. runs an orphanage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which currently houses around 130 boys. 


Besides parochial, missionary, and educational ministries, the friars are involved in a variety of preaching and retreat ventures. The ministry of Reconciliation is a hallmark of the friars’ presence at St. Peter Church in Chicago’s Loop. Among the friars are found artists and artisans, chaplains and craftsmen, teachers and tour guides, musicians and lawyers—each, in his own way, working to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth by following in the footsteps of Jesus and Francis.

Besides supporting our current ministries, your donations also help us "care and prepare." We take seriously our responsibility to care for the aging and infirm friars who have dedicated most of their lives to the service of God's Church. On the other end of the age spectrum, your generosity helps us prepare a new generation of friars for ministry to the People of God.  

Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
Please consider a donation in support of the Franciscans.
Franciscan Charities
Franciscan Charities is the fundraising entity for the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart. 

St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua are probably two of the most well-known Saints in the Church. Francis' and Anthony's concern and passion of helping those less fortunate are the basis of the desires of thousands of people who assist us in helping those less fortunate. If you have a desire to help others; but are unable to personally - let the Franciscans be your hands. Help us permeate our society with Gospel values. Help us become Instruments of change and heralds of peace in this broken world, serving ALL people, especially the poor and marginalized, through reconciliation and healing. If you cannot assist us financially; please remember us and the people we serve in your prayers.