For Francis and his brothers in the first days of the community, poverty was not an end in itself but only an essential element in the life of a disciple of Christ, a special way of putting the Gospel into practice every day. Francis was firmly convinced that poverty was the best way for him and his followers to reach the heart of the Gospel.
Today, the Conventual Franciscans in Great Britiain & Ireland seek to live authentically in the spirit of our seraphic father Francis, and therefore strive to appropriate nothing other than the 'privelage' of poverty.
Through our ordinary income and the generosity from friends and benefactors we are able to assist many projects aimed at helping the poor and marginalized of society. But there are some areas of our lives for which we need help:
WE WELCOME YOUR SUPPORT
Priestly Formation: Men entering our Order responding to the call to priesthood commit at least six years to formation and preparing for priestly ministry. This includes studying theology and philosophy and other related fields, and also working with the public in various apostolic ministries. Education costs currently amount to a minimum of £4,000 per friar per year, and that does not include living costs such as food, accommodation, books, clothing etc. Without the generous support we receive from our benefactors, it would not be possible to train our men for the priesthood, for this we are truly thankful.
Education & Training: For those men who don't perhaps feel called to Priesthood, but rather feel that their vocation is to live out their consecrated lives in other ways, they are encouraged to develop their skills and further their education if required, so to better serve their communities. Some friars may decide to become qualified nurses, social workers, counselors, youth workers, missionaries etc. It is just as important that these friars are equipped to serve the people of the world in other ways than ordained ministry, and your support is extremely valuable in achieving this.
Ministry: Many of our friars throughout Great Britain & Ireland are engaged in ministry to the very poorest in society who are often overlooked. The Greyfriars depend upon friends and benefactors to compensate this ministry through donations, whether it is monetary or by donating food and supplies, every donation makes a difference. As well as outreach and work with the poor our friars support many parishes, and the ministries that come with them; school and hospital chaplaincy, prison ministry, baptisms, weddings, funerals and much more. Many parish friaries are desperately underfunded, and due to the poor economic climate many are struggling to meet basic needs such as heating and electricity costs.
Retirement: Our friars dedicate their lives to service of the Church, but historically there has been little provision for their retirement needs. Although we seek to care for our retired and elderly friars ourselves, it is often necessary for us to seek help and support from qualified nurses and caregivers. The provision for retired friars is severely under-funded and far from adequate to meet our impending needs.