75 years ago the Capuchin friars reached out to Italian immigrants in white, protestant, Anglo-Saxon Toronto. 45 years later they welcomed Hispanic-Americans in a city that was becoming multi-cultural. Today the friars choose to support new and expectant mothers in a global village burgeoning with single parents.
A provincial council is elected every 3 years to govern the local brotherhood.
Franciscanism is to faith what personality is to character. As Christians of a feather, you may say the Capuchin friars fly together.
As members of the Order of Friars Minor, they share with St Francis of Assisi a faith "personality" that expresses love in giving, both of themselves as well as of their possessions. Franciscans find personal meaning in the experience of God's love. In turn, they recognize holiness in everything that is alive. They share in St Francis' love for God, they delight in his life of prayer, and, like the "Poverello", the friars grow through their solicitude for everything God has made.
Therefore, It is fitting that the Capuchin friars have a part in the growing response from the faith community to new and expectant mothers, especially to the number of brave women who place their children before their own social and economic well-being.
On the corner of Jane St and Beverley Hills Drive, just a stone throw away from Wilson Avenue, is St Philip Neri Church.
St Philip Neri Parish has been shepherded by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin since 1952, when the first friars took fiscal and pastoral responsibility for the ministry, focusing on Sacramental celebration. The community is now sixty-six years young, and the friars are expanding their ministry to the community through outreach; very much a charism of Franciscan foundations.
We hope Mother-and-Child will both complement and augment the efficacy of Sacramental life in our parish, and perhaps even serve as a model for the Church and the wider faith community. An African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child. Let the community of St Philip Neri be pulled into the global village as the friars launch this new outreach for new and expectant mothers.