Easter greetings! The Lord has Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia! We extend a special welcome to any new visitors to the Shrine. We hope that you have a great experience with the church while you are here. Let me tell you a little about the Shrine community. We are 25 Franciscan Friars of the Order of Friars Minor, the province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. The friar community is led by our religious superior, Fr. Frank Sevola, OFM. In addition to the friars, there are also 14 full-time employees here, 31 part-time employees, and about 250 volunteers. The annual budget is about $5 million a year. We are not a parish church, but a Shrine church. We are blessed with many worshipers who have a particular devotion to St. Anthony of Padua. You can visit the Shrine to St.Anthony on the mezzanine level of this building. Most Catholics who grew up in Boston, including Mayor Marty Walsh, have some colorful, nostalgic story about their parents or grandparents bringing them to this Shrine church as a child. And most of these Catholic Bostonians are happy to tell that story if you prompt them a bit! We have some usual ministries here: A food pantry for low-income families. About 450 families are registered in this program. A Lazarus Ministry, which is a program that provides dignified funerals for homeless adults and babies. We do this program in partnership with Dolan Funeral Home in Milton.A medical clinic for homeless women. The clinic runs two mornings a week and is in partnership with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. An active counseling center, supervised by Br. Paul O’Keeffe, OFM. The Mychal Judge Recovery Program, to help people with addictions. We have an LGBTQ Spirituality Ministry, led by Fr. Joe Quinn, OFM. We do a lot with spiritual direction and spiritual companionship programs here at the Shrine. Part of that effort is training people how to be spiritual directors. Our Emmaus Ministry helps parents who have suffered the loss of a child, at any age, for any reason. We also have a Seniors Program, a Veterans Program, and many other smaller groups and ministries to meet a variety of needs. And a central part of our work is tending to an extensive Mass and confession schedule. For more information, please visit our website, stanthonyshrine.org, or join the 20,000 other people who follow us onFacebook. We are on other social media as well. May the joy of Christ’s Resurrection be in your heart this Easter season!
Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM