A Message From Fr. Bobby: Where is God calling us?

Each morning I am humbled by the notion that I serve as custodian of a vessel sanctified by the spirit – and sweat – of thousands who preceded me and with whom I continue to work alongside. Some, like Fr. Bob and my four other predecessors, are familiar at least in name. Many others are less well known. Some have been a part of Saint Francis for most of their adult lives. Others labored a while and then moved on. Each contributed a part of themselves to this ministry. They all have given, in portions great and small, healing and hope to persons in need of a lifeline. They have all supported and strengthened the dignity and worth of the human person.

As Saint Francis Ministries celebrates the 75th anniversary of our founding, it’s important to honor the past. Yet, it’s also necessary to both examine the present and imagine the future, asking, “Where is Saint Francis now, and where is God calling us?” In this special issue of Hi-Lites, we share stories addressing all three. We visit with board members, foster families, donors, and employees (current and former) to reminisce about the past and to express our hopes for the future. We also discuss the current state of this life-affirming ministry and how Saint Francis intends to respond The Very Reverend Robert Nelson Smith Dean, President, and CEO to the injustices and challenges of our time.

Saint Francis has come a long way since those early days in Ellsworth, Kansas. We still have so far to go. If the last 75 years has taught us anything, it is that this work is intergenerational. Those who have served with Saint Francis for decades also know it as the work of a lifetime.

Finally, as we celebrate Saint Francis, it’s essential that we remember the thousands of children and families this ministry has served and continues to serve. Their struggles to heal themselves and to regain hope and wholeness for their families is the real story of Saint Francis. We simply support them, giving them the tools and the unconditional affirmation of their worth they need to succeed.

Thank you for walking with Saint Francis, whether you’ve been alongside us for decades or only recently joined us on the way. Your friendship makes everything possible.

You remain ever in my prayers,