Ay Buddy!!

Working at St Francis Inn, you get to see a lot of diverse guests dine in. Some guests come every day and you get to learn their names and their stories. Some guests, you learn their names because they are truly needy and are ringing the bell every day asking for something. Some guests have a nickname that was once given to them by staff (most likely by Fr Michael). But there is one special guest who, once he gets comfortable around you, will give you a nickname. After you have earned a nickname you have officially earned his friendship. Here is my story of how Mr. Jose nicknames me Sumo Wrestler Dan. When we first started volunteering, we were kindly advised that Mr. Jose can be a tough [...]

June 13th, 2022|

Making Connections

One of the most important parts of my year has been making connections. Whether that be with the staff or guests, I always feel like I’m making connections. These new relationships have made a significant impact on me. Our guests have grown on me so much throughout my time here. Just something as simple as calling someone’s name and saying hello can make a difference in the guests' day. The small actions matter and can truly be big at St. Francis Inn. It’s so special to get to know our guests and what they really have to say. Making these connections breaks the barriers and stereotypes we have all been taught by society. When you get to know somebody suddenly you know them for what’s beyond their appearance the [...]

May 15th, 2022|

Tapestry of Community

There were many good reasons to commit to spending a year as an FVM at St. Francis Inn, including serving those in need, opportunities for spiritual and personal growth, and experiencing community life. And don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful for all of those things, but what has stood out to me as I reflected on the past half-year is just how many wonderful people I have met. Following pandemic-induced isolation these past few years, I am acutely aware of how important it is for us to have meaningful friendships and relationships with others. The people around us enrich our lives immeasurably. They influence how we see the world, they bring color and excitement to our daily activities, they open us up to new ideas and possibilities, [...]

March 15th, 2022|

My Neighbor

 When I hear the words “My Neighbor,” the first things I think of are the kids next door who cry in the morning, the man who used to live across the street from me who hated loud noises, and the sweet old southern lady named Dot who I have been blessed to call my neighbor this year. “My Neighbor” is additionally the name of one of the ministry sites I have been working with in Durham. With the mission to recognize and connect with those living on the streets and those experiencing food insecurity, My Neighbor is a community of diverse people with different backgrounds, all of whom are neighbors to one another. The vehicle through which this community is formed is food. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, volunteers [...]

February 17th, 2022|

Transformative Love

Hi my name is Ricky Ferrer. I arrived in Philly both excited and anxious because of the unknown that is before me. St. Francis Inn was founded by three Franciscan brothers who came to Philly, the city of Brotherly Love, to see the need for ministry in the area and how they can respond with God’s love.  Arriving in the streets of Kensington back in August was almost a shocker to me. Yes, I have seen what drugs can do, what mental illness can do to a person, what homelessness, hunger, loneliness, and being forgotten looks like. But I have never felt it until I walked the streets of Kensington and saw the faces of our brothers and sisters who are forgotten, abandoned, and simply being passed by and [...]

January 20th, 2022|
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