Francisfest 2015 Beneficiaries: St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood & Spirituality Center

The St. Francis Home Livelihood & Spirituality Center is a safe haven where the Secular Franciscans (OFS) of our Parish serve needy mothers and their children living in the poor communities of West Rembo, Makati City. The OFS and involved parishioners of Santuario de San Antonio support, animate and encourage spiritual growth as well as provide livelihood opportunities to its constituents. The Center now serves 12 mothers and their children aside from occasional members and other community residents who drop in.

Following in the footsteps of our Patron St. Francis, the Center encourages members to live the Franciscan way of life by providing a venue where they learn to serve God and their community, and to care for and enhance the environment whenever possible. They also learn and share how to simplify lifestyles, develop compassion for one another by listening and understanding, thus becoming brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Center maintains the twin projects of Santuario de San Antonio Parish Foundation (SSAPF) organized on September 10, 1991: the St. Francis Friendship Home and La Ermita de San Nicolas de Tolentino, often referred to simply as the Center or the St. Francis Friendship Home. The compound was once used to house the Trichet Learning Center for handicapped children who were taught basic hygiene and education. When the Learning Center transferred to a bigger venue in Taguig in the summer of 2011, the Center immediately started its new mission, the St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood & Spirituality Center on September 9, 2011.

The Center welcomes members of all ages, from infants to the elderly, making a vibrant interactive community that enriches physical, spiritual and character value formation. It now tends a veggie malunggay mini-garden, a modest National Bookstore Library for the young, and a Friendship Home Library for all ages. The Center conducts Bible study and sharing sessions, summer activities for mothers and the youth, holds feeding program, provide other means of community support as well as participates in Franciscan and community based fiesta celebrations. Very important too are the counselling services, the livelihood and job placement opportunities.

The Center also maintains a Thrift Shop where donated items are available at affordable prices – used clothing, various household articles, office equipment and other useful, miscellaneous goods. We encourage our parishioners to rummage through their closets, kitchen cupboards and office equipment for useful items that they can donate.

Above all, the St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood & Spirituality Center can enrich our own lives when we listen with compassion and genuinely understand the common problems faced by the poor. We cannot always provide solutions to many of life’s problems but with the Spirit of Christ guiding us, we can truly share a willing ear, an understanding heart and a helping hand.

The Center needs financial and moral support to keep the St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood & Spirituality Center going. Our urgent need is to provide more livelihood opportunities and a medical care assistance program for our community of poor families.