Paying it forward; We are Called to Serve

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Paying it forward; We are Called to Serve.Called to Serve, Christ washing disciples feet

Thanks for the inspiration to write this Belinda Spillman , I look forward to reading what others are writing for your Challenge.

Christ set the example of Servant Leadership when he took on the role of the lowest servant, tied a towel around his waist, and knelt down to wash the feet of his disciples.

And his next command was a simple and profound one, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”. (John 13:1-17)

This example of humility and service is a role that the Franciscan orders embrace within the Catholic Church as we look for opportunities to serve those in need.

Service is something that we take seriously in our family, though I do feel a little strange talking about it, but for the sake of this contest I will do a little bit of sharing about our missions.

My children grew up knowing that God expects them to help those in need of help.

Doing chores for elderly, helping family, helping friends, working in various church programs and basically helping wherever needed.

Christ made it very clear that He expected his followers to serve His people, and that expectation is carried down to the present age where we are still expected to seek out those in need and minister to them and their needs.

Several members of our family are members of the Secular Franciscan Order, with one of them approaching priesthood. 

I am currently serving as the Minister of our local fraternity, where I get a first hand look at the needs of many in our area. 

We have the opportunity to help people with a variety of needs, from the elderly, to youth, and even a growing number of homeless people.  All in need of different types of assistance both spiritual and physical, fortunately, I have a good group to help out with the needs of those in our community.

I also serve as a Regional Vice Minister where I help to lead and coach the ministers of the fraternities within our region to lead their fraternities and the people that they serve.


Franciscans DowntownFranciscans Downtown

One of my missions this year has been helping to get a little place called Franciscans Downtown up and running.

Franciscans Downtown is a place for spiritual renewal and refreshment in the heart of downtown Stevens Point, started by Fr. Placid Stroik, a Franciscan priest who recently retired after serving for 30 years at Covenant House in NYC.

At 80 years of age Fr. Placid was not quite ready for retirement so in addition to serving as a chaplain for a large convent in Manitowac, Wisconsin, he set out to create something good in his home town of Stevens Point.

A few years ago, we started this venture which is run by a couple of Franciscan priests, several Franciscan Sisters, several Secular Franciscans, and other volunteers from the community.

People gather here for meetings as well as a place to sit, relax, learn, pray, converse and share their stories.

We are often called on to do much more as many of the less fortunate people of our town find it to be a warm welcoming place.  They can come in to get away from the cold and find a welcome hand, a little food and drink and other assistance.

I block out several afternoons per week whenever I am in town, to spend down there helping where I can, and learning from Fr. Placid and Fr. Finian, and the others, as well as sharing my skills and experiences.

It has been a rewarding time helping with this mission and I am constantly marveled at the people that God sends through the door on the days that I am there, some with a lesson for me to learn, and some with a need that seems designed for me to help solve.

I know that a great many priests, brothers and sisters are praying for our mission here, so I should not be surprised when divine circumstances continue to happen, but it does continue to amaze me.Franciscans Downtown New Sign at fall festival

Hopefully, this mission can continue and we will produce an enduring establishment that can continue to produce fruit far beyond the time that Fr. Placid, myself and the other volunteers have left to spend here.

But regardless of what the future may bring, as Fr. Placid has mentioned to me many times, if we just bring some of Christ's love and tenderness to one person today, our mission will be fulfilled.


Homeless Warming Shelter

Another operation that I enjoy working with is a warming shelter to help to keep the folks who will not fit into the local Salvation Army shelter out of the cold until Spring. We are open from the end of October through the first of May and do make a difference in keeping people alive.

Personally I work 2 ten hour nights per week here, and encourage my fraternity to serve here as much as they can as well.


The missions that my fraternity and myself help with seems to be a fluid list and larger than can be covered here.  I am grateful that we can all work hard to make the world a better place and serve the people that God wants us to serve.




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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

The Catholic Church helps out so many causes throughout the world, I am proud that I was raised Catholic and had the opportunity to attend a Catholic school for most of my education.  Have you ever been out to the Franciscan Renewal Center here?  It is a wonderful place and I have been to a few retreats there.

Dec 01, 2017 05:24 AM #1
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Brian England , I have not been there, but do know one of the priests from there who came up here to give a workshop at one of our parishes.

Dec 01, 2017 07:44 AM #2
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Thanks for sharing your story with us.  Very inspiring indeed!

Dec 01, 2017 08:18 AM #3
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

My church does Room in the Inn once a week and we staff it and feed those that come. We provide food and essentials some of the weeks. Our next day is the day after Christmas. Bless you for doing it 2 days a week. God's watching and smiling down on you and will give you the strength to carry on.

Dec 01, 2017 06:38 PM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think that this get a little more play so I came back to it for a second

Dec 03, 2017 10:44 PM #5
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I’ve never heard of that but it sounds really great and I totally advocate for it always! Debbie Reynolds

Dec 03, 2017 10:44 PM #6
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Bob Crane

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