Franciscan Friars - Province of Saint Barbara
Franciscans are those people and groups (religious orders) who adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of Saint Francis of Assisi. A term commonly used to describe the members of the various foundations of religious men or women, professing to observe the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi in any of its several forms.
Fr Finian and Brother James have made a real impression on many who visit the Mission. They are on opposite sides of their lives as friars. Brother James is a student on a path to take his vows as a friar. Fr Finian is semi-retired, speaks at least 4 languages, has held positions as varied as teaching Greek to feeding the homeless, to rebuilding the soldier’s barracks at the Mission to heading up the entire Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara. Not able to do all that he used to, Fr Finian is not one to sit back and spend his retirement reading. He makes his way to the front of the Mission every morning and sits outside greeting visitors, listening to their stories, sharing his faith and blessing their rosaries. He has a wonderful smile and exudes warmth and compassion. Brother James, on the other hand, rarely sits! On his feet in between studies, he can be found walking through the cemetery and comforting people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. He too, has a big smile and many people have told us that they feel comforted, and sometimes, even healed, by his pastoral approach.
These friars are only 2 in a community of over 150 who serve the homeless, the grieving and the lonely. They give retreats, provide spiritual direction, say Mass, teach and minister to those in need. Many lives have been touched by the friars and now as some are elders and some are novices, it is beautiful to see people reaching out to support their eldercare and education.