top of page

The gospels tell us about those things that Jesus did while here among us. Feeding people, teaching, healing, comforting, raising from the dead, and who knows what more that was not later written down. Of course, we believe that Jesus is still here among us, within us. Franciscans, as well as all Christians, are called to continue the work of Jesus in the world. Teresa of Avila put it well when she wrote, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” We are the Body of Christ. It is our place to continue the work of creating the kingdom of heaven now, here on Earth. From the very beginning of his conversion experience Francis saw the need in himself to help others in need. He worked with the lepers, the most outcast of his time. He helped the poor. When other men began to join him he taught them the importance of ministering to those in need.

In the Order of St. Francis each brother looks at the community in which he lives and determines what ministries he will perform. We are all called to serve within the church and outside the church. All of the friars serve in some manner within the churches they attend. They serve as Eucharistic ministers, acolytes, lectors, prayer leaders, rectors, and many other services within the church. Some of the brothers are priests and deacons and function as such within their parishes.

However, all of the friars are also called to minister to those in need outside of the parish community as well. Many of them work at feeding the hungry in various forms, such as breakfast or lunch programs, food banks, or distributing food to people in poor communities. Many also work with the homeless in a number of ways providing shelter, helping them find other services, and just being present to them and letting them know they are not alone. 

There are several brothers who work in healthcare in various forms such as a physician, nurses and those who provide other services to the sick. Some provide counseling, and others hospice care or just visiting the sick, offering comfort. We have brothers who focus their ministry on the elderly, checking on those who are alone, or providing spiritual sustenance to those in retirement homes. A few brothers also expend their energy on fundraising efforts to support various charities. We have friars who work with children in various capacities as well, tutoring, counseling, or special needs.

Often some of the most personal ministry is simply with that person the brother meets on the street, or on the bus, or at any place, being the presence of Jesus to someone in need. This is who we are who we are called to be. This is the building up of the kingdom of God.

Brother Sam

Br Andrew

Br Andrew freely admits that his reason for starting to visit Saint Ann's Church for the Deaf was just to brush up on my ASL and re-immerse myself in signing and the Deaf community but that motivation quickly changed. 


"You see, St. Ann’s has been without a priest for over 8 years and they had been relying on the monthly visitation of a Deaf priest. The other Sundays utilized a very cobbled-together liturgy, led by a lay leader, of the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament from the presanctified elements.

Our Bishop strongly desires that when the services of a priest are not available, the principle service be one of the daily offices. The Office of Morning Prayer was completely alien to this congregation so I quickly fell into the task of introducing them to, and shepherding them through, the morning office."

Br Andrew signing.JPG

Br John Ryan

Br. John Ryan, OSF is a member of the American Academy of Bereavement and Pastoral Counselor.  He does bereavement counseling on an individual basis as well as a group for the Holiday Season from the first Saturday after Thanksgiving to the first Saturday after New Year.  The most important aspect of this work is listening, and helping people in a group respectfully listen to each other.  We grow stronger by sharing our pain and being heard.  Grief is a natural reaction, it tells us we are alive and feeling.  It can occur after a death, loss of a job, divorce, loss of a pet or home or being in prison or a loved one in prison.  The loss of a fetus or an adult child or amputation.


Bereavement work helps folks deal with regret, anger,

melancholy, loneliness, emptiness and feelings that are overwhelming.  The one leading the group must be able to recognize when a person needs medical or mental health intervention, as well as social services.   Helping people with a Faith tradition utilize it to help them through.  Encouraging a person to accept support and help offered, to realize they can't do this alone.   Providing information to local resources and professional contacts.

A quote from Earnest Hemingway sums it up : "Everyone is broken, but some become stronger at the broken place". 


Br John Huebner

Brother John Huebner is active in ministry visiting the incarcerated, the home bound, the hospitalized, individuals at the local respite center, and individuals living in a nursing facility. He is a Franciscan presence for individuals in time of distress or isolation. He can also be found weekly doing the dishes at the local soup kitchen where some seek him out for prayer, a blessing, or a listening ear. Being a Franciscan brother is being an instrument of Christ’s light and peace to others.


Br Rich

"Once a week I volunteer at the at the Homeless Chaplaincy, were we meet with about 30-50 people and talk about surviving on the street using spiritual practices. I believe my true ministry is to just walk around town, sit with my homeless friends, listen to them, give and receive advise, and let them know how much they mean to me. They are the face of God, and it is my honor to be their brother."

Another ministry of Br Rich is at the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the "Homeless Prevention Desk" helping  people with rent, utilities, as well as finding items such as furniture, services for permanent housing, substance abuse, and medical help. We serve about 600 meals a day.

Br Rich at St Vincent de Pauls.jpg

Br Allen White

Launched in the summer of 2018 with the gift of just four books on the Poverello, the Saint Francis of Assisi Research Library officially launched its website and opened its doors to the public on the Feast of Saint Francis, October 4, 2020. Since its founding, the library has grown to become one of the largest research libraries of its kind in the world dedicated exclusively to the life, history, and study of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Our library’s ever-growing catalog of more than 800 books in 40 unique collections includes the titles of some of the world’s most recognized Franciscan scholars and authors writing on Franciscan philosophy, theology, spirituality, and history from the 13th to the 21st century. As such, the library is a Franciscan athenaeum—a sanctuary for anyone interested in learning about the Franciscan intellectual and spiritual tradition.

Finally, as a proud member of ATLA (American Theological Library Association), we are also a lending library offering most of our catalog, research assistance, and resource materials at little or no charge to registered friends of the library, including the brothers of the Order of Saint Francis (OSF), the world-wide Franciscan family, and both students and scholars alike working on various Franciscan research and writing projects around the world.


Br Ugo Barbiere

Modelling the Gospel from the saddle in Downtown Vancouver
Caring for our beautiful world, for the welfare of the family of all living things, begins with caring for our physical bodies. I strive to model this principle as I criss-cross the downtown of my city. I encourage everyone I meet to take time to breathe deeply, to eat simply, to be physically active, and to listen to others, the same principles that I embrace when working with seniors as a Health and Wellness Coach.

Modelling the gospel in a physically active way often means cycling across town rather than using an automobile or public transportation. Indeed, without fail when I am in the saddle in habit people greet me with a smile and a supportive word. As I result, I have become a presence in the downtown as I shuttle from place to place. This has opened up many opportunities to converse with others, especially those who live in our neighbourhoods without adequate shelter. I feel that the most important thing I can do as a Health and Wellness Coach is to actively listen.

If you find yourself visiting downtown Vancouver and see me cycling by in my brown habit, please wave and say “Hello!” I always love to meet both residents and visitors in this beautiful city.

bottom of page