Sharing your Gifts with Franciscans Downtown this Christmas Season!

Real Estate Agent with Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified #1 in Forest Land Mgmt

Looking for a great place to share your gifts of time and money this Christmas Season, Franciscans Downtown is in need of assistance again this year. 

All of your donations go toward a great cause helping our community, with zero going toward salaries or other non essential expenses.

Send all donations to;

Fr Placid Stroik, OFM
Assumption BVM Province
Holy Family Rectory
2411 S. Alverno Road
Manitowoc, WI 54220-9340

Franciscans Downtown, A Ministry of Presence; Reflection, Conversation, and RefreshmentFranciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI


"A place of Gospel Refreshment; Rest and Conversation on the stories of our lives."



Franciscans Downtown, is not only a place that I like to volunteer at several times each week, but also a place that I like to share with all of my guests, including a few out of town visitors that stopped by today.

Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

A few years ago my friend, Fr. Placid Stroik, retired from 30 years of service at Covenant House in New York City.  He moved back to his home state of Wisconsin, where he took a position as a Chaplain at large convent near Manitowoc.  He still found himself with spare time and energy and a desire to take on another outreach mission.  

Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

While visiting family in his hometown of Stevens Point, he noticed a vacant storefront, from an old tuxedo shop called Andrews Downtown.  This is when Fr. Placid’s plans started to gel.  Placid then activated a network of volunteers and secured financing from his order, The Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province,  to open this mission and run it for the first year.  


Franciscan’s Downtown was to be a “a place for Gospel refreshment … an oasis to read, listen, reflect, write, talk; sharing with one another stories of our lives.”    

Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

Though this mission was started by a Priest, who already has a full time job on the eastern side of the state, it did not take long to gather a full crew of steady volunteers to keep the mission alive.  Currently, we have two Franciscan Priests, a couple of Franciscan Nuns, several members of the Secular Franciscan Order, along with numerous other Catholic lay people from the community.  

Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

We seem to have a multi-functional mission in the community we serve.  A certain percentage of our guests include people from the general community and the local parishes, who are seeking a little bit of gospel refreshment and conversation in their week.  Another welcome part of the community that has joined us are the homeless, who enjoy refuge from an often hostile world for a few hours each day.

Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

I am always impressed with the activities that are presented in our little Downtown home.  Some days are very busy with concerts, movie days, discussion groups, bingo, and other special events.  


Many days it is much quieter at Franciscans Downtown and you will find people from the community enjoying our library, coffee, refreshments, and conversation.


Sometimes we will do things in conjunction with the many Catholic parishes in town, like the  recent Mercy Marathon, offering reconciliation during lent and other special occasions, and having a  Priest available to fill in at the many parishes around town.  Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point WI

Regardless of the activities of the day or the hour, one thing that is always on our mind while working at Franciscans Downtown is the importance of the Ministry of Presence.

Comments (9)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Morning Bob.

I just looked up the Franciscans, interesting to say the least.  I would like to attend one of their sermons.  

Dec 16, 2019 02:36 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Bob. Must say my contributions go toward those who practice:

All of your donations go toward a great cause helping our community, with zero going toward salaries or other non essential expenses.

Dec 16, 2019 04:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Bob... what a wonderful cause to support... these people (and you) no doubt are doing God's work here on earth. If I ever come your way, you can take me to the mission.

Dec 16, 2019 05:30 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Bob there are a number of worthy causes especially at this time of the year, and it looks like you have found one very worthy of your time and financial support.

Dec 16, 2019 07:51 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good shout out Bob and hope it helps gets the donations in the area going.  I know our church has a huge drive on this year.


Dec 16, 2019 08:55 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bob - your post does a great job at filling in some of the blanks I have wondered about over the years as I have read what you have shared about your time with the Franciscans.  I especially like the sign and the opportunity for refreshment.

Dec 18, 2019 06:04 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Bob Crane , beautiful presentation and introduction to the Ministry, Franciscans Downtown.  I have a very good friend, an ex-priest whom I will send this to as a great idea for him to read.  He is looking for something meaningful and spiritual in which he has time to begin in his area.

Dec 18, 2019 09:51 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

What a great shout out to Franciscans Downtown!

Dec 19, 2019 05:26 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is great information to share with area residents.

I hope you target seniors because many are lonely during the holidays.

Dec 21, 2019 01:43 PM