When I first began my time here at the Shrine in the summertime I soon realized how many lives St. Anthony Shrine touches. The Friars and lay staff do everything they can to make this place better and better each day. I began exploring the different ministries and seeing how many diverse programs the Shrine has to offer. One of the first tasks the interns were given was to help on St. Anthony feast day and get ready for the distribution of the bread. It’s one of the Shrine’s busiest days of the year because they are handing out thousands of bread bags filled with a piece of bread, a mass card and also a prayer card of St. Anthony. We helped them distribute these bags throughout the day in Downtown Crossing.
All throughout the summer I helped out through the various ministries. I saw all different walks of life and realized how lucky I was to be working at a place where they help the poorest of the poor. One of my favorite ministry work was helping in the Bread on the Commons. This is a ministry where we get together, make a bag composed of a sandwich and snack and walk out on the streets and distribute them to homeless people. We also provide socks and take them to get shoes when people are in need. I was also able to witness numerous Franciscan Food Center distributions that help people that can’t afford food for the week.
Another one of my favorite ministries is a telephone ministry called the good word for today. Br. Daniel, OFM, who I share an office space with comes up everyday with the good word for today. The good word for today is a daily spiritual message, I recommend calling everyday oor even once a week for a short life tip and spiritual direction. Another good memory of mine was helping out with our twice a year raffle! I didn’t realize how much people loved playing the raffle until I came here. Everyday we would receive more and more raffle tickets until our bin became full! There’s still time to sign up for the holiday raffle if you do it now!
As the holiday season is approaching, things get very busy here at the Shrine. Giving Tuesday was
a huge success. For Giving Tuesday we raised over $90K and 54% of the donations made that day were online donors. As a social media intern that was very pleasant to hear and I hope that it increases each year. It takes over $12,000 each day to keep the doors at the Shrine open and it was really good to see that the Shrine raised a lot that day. The Friars were in the lobby welcoming people as they came in and out of the Shrine. We also served food and beverages for people stopping in. Although the campaign had a huge focus on online donations, it was great to see that people were walking in and out all day and the Friars were there to talk to them. Our Inaugural Franciscan Dinner also was about a month and half ago and that was another big success. We raised much more than we anticipated for that event.
Overall working here at the Shrine around the holiday season is very exciting because of everything that is going on. There are many 20s/30s events happening all of the time and the Franciscan food center is just as busy as always! I’ve enjoyed my time here very much at the Shrine and sad to spend my winter break so far away from really great people.