St. Francis Inn
St. Francis Inn is a Franciscan Eucharistic community called to minister to the poor and homeless of Philadelphia. Formed in the spirit of the Gospel and inspired by the life and compassion of Francis and Clare of Assisi, the inn tries to meet the immediate daily needs of the people it serves with food, clothing and hospitality.
St. Francis Inn is a Franciscan community committed to the poor and homeless of downtown Philadelphia. While attempting to meet the daily needs of the people they serve with food, clothing and hospitality, St Francis Inn workers and volunteers also empowers people to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness by addressing structural injustices. They do all of this by building relationships with the people they serve, by respecting the dignity of each person and helping them to restoring hope simply by sharing in their lives, and living simply among them.
Delegations of five to six parishioners from our parish travel to Philadelphia a few times each year to participate in this community and they will be serving about 300 meals each day and sharing in daily Gospel-centered reflections about how God’s rich and healing graces pulses through our wounded yet wonderful world. Delegates serve at the Inn from Monday through Friday, typically departing from Raleigh early Monday morning and returning Friday evening. The consensus from dozens of past delegates is that their lives have been enriched and forever changed as a result of their time at the Inn.
St. Francis Inn 2020 Delegations:
February 10 – 14
April 13 – 17
June 22 – 26 (Youth Ministry)
October 22 – 25
St. Francis Inn 2021 Delegations:
Feb. 22 – 26
April 5 – 9
June 21 – 25 (Youth Ministry)
Oct. 18 – 22
A Reflection by Joanne Finch
His name was Richard. He was my new friend from the St. Francis Inn. The first night we arrived, I volunteered to be the “juice pourer” out in the courtyard. The guests were mingling out in the courtyard and I happily poured the juice. That’s where I met him.
He told me something bizarre about an elephant going to the hospital to find some peanuts. I responded, “Oh, that must have been a sight!” We both laughed. He then started talking normally to me after that. He had some really far-fetched stories but I still enjoyed interacting with him.
As he continued speaking, I realized he reminded me of someone. His way of speech and his mannerisms reminded me of one of my brothers! I fell in love with my new friend.
The next day he brought his wife to the Inn and they were seated at my table. I enjoyed their company and snuck them an extra dessert. I looked forward to seeing them every day. And then the last day came. Our delegation was heading home after lunch and I was hoping to see them again. As it turned out, it wasn’t very busy that day. Richard and his wife were the only people I had to serve at that particular time. I decided I was hungry too, so after I served them their lunch, I fixed myself a plate and joined them. I was having lunch with my friends. When we finished eating, Richard’s wife went to go get her “take-home” dessert.
Richard looked at me and then put his hand in mine. We just sat in silence holding hands. It was his way of thanking me. Or was it Jesus thanking me? His wife returned and I gave her a big hug telling her, “I’ll see you when I come back next time.” Richard looked at me like “Where’s my hug?” I hugged him and told him, “See you later.” I turned my back and wanted to cry because I knew I was leaving this incredible place of charity and love.