The needs of the poor and the demands of justice shape our every ministerial endeavor. We attempt to promote the equality of all people within our fraternity, in the churches dedicated to the gospel of Christ and in the larger world.
Capuchin friars minister in a wide variety of settings. Service to people of a variety of cultures in North America and around the globe have allowed us to witness to God at work in countless ways.
Here in the Northeast United States, the Province of St. Mary serves through a number of institutions dedicated to the service of real human needs and the proclamation of God's love. Urban, suburban and rural; poor, blue collar and middle class; Latino, Asian and English-speaking -- our friars can be found living among and ministering to all of these various communities.
Each of the eight Capuchin provinces in North America makes available its members to participate in the mission efforts of the other seven. This means Capuchin Franciscan friars can be found living and ministering in Central America, Africa and the Pacific. All of the friars -- both brothers and priests -- have tremendous opportunities for missionary outreach.
From our beginnings in 1528, Capuchins have been eminent preachers. Today, many of us can be found preaching in the Sunday assembly of local parishes. However, many of our friars minister in a more varied program of preaching including AA and healing retreats, parish renewals, as well as Lenten and Advent programs. We also conduct retreats for groups as diverse as religious sisters, married couples and teenagers.
Capuchins are involved in education at all levels: elementary through graduate school. Some teach in colleges, universities and seminaries throughout the country. Others develop and deliver religious education programs designed to foster the faith development of believers as well as to offer catechetical instruction to those new to Christian faith.
Capuchins tend to spiritual needs as chaplains for a variety of institutions. They serve the physically ill as hospital chaplains. Our jail and prison chaplains comfort the imprisoned. Students are nourished with more than books and lectures by our campus ministers.
Capuchins are very aware that we are not a church unto ourselves. Our church is full of new and exciting ministries performed by many different people.
Capuchins pledge themselves to cooperate with other religious and laity, and invite them to share in our ministries.
Capuchins are becoming increasingly involved in ministries concerning justice, peace and ecology. It is not surprising that men whose origins go back to St. Francis of Assisi would find themselves in this kind of work. While some Capuchins devote themselves full-time to this work, we all strive to make justice, peace and ecology a core aspect of all our ministries, whatever they may be.