On February 11, 2018, Friar Marco TASCA, the Minister General, and the Most Reverend Gianfranco Girotti, OFM Conv., Regent Emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary, visited the care van sponsored by Elms College and directed by Friar Michael DUFFY of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA.
This mobile apostolate travels throughout western Massachusetts providing medical care, food and other necessities to homeless people encountered along the way.
Friar Michael is the Dean of Nursing Studies at Elms College and he organizes groups of volunteers from among his students who serve the needs of the homeless twice a week. Both the Minister General and Bishop GIROTTI were most impressed with this initiative which is certainly consistent with the mandate from both our Founder St. Francis and our Holy Father Pope Francis, a mandate which directs us to reach out to the margins of society so that we might show concern and compassionate love to those who most need it.
The symbol chosen to represent this ministry is “caRe vaN.” These words are enclosed with an ICHTHYS, a fish symbol which represents Christ. The students chose an unusual capitalization with R and N in large letters because those two letters stand for ‘Registered Nurse’ and the van is run by nursing volunteers.
Friar Jude WINKLER, Assistant General for the Conventual Franciscan Federation (CFF)