Friday, January 15, 2016

May I Ask You a Question?

He was standing by my table with his infant daughter and young son.  He kept looking back at me.  I’ve grown used to this experience, and at first I thought he was just enamored by seeing a religious brother wearing a habit, but as it turns out, he was actually building up the courage to ask me a question.  Do you know where I can get a shower for my children and myself?  He asked.  “Yes,” was my answer.  Do you know how I can find clothing for my son too?  He asked.  “Yes,” was my answer.  Based on his questions I then asked, “May I inquire where you and your children are sleeping?”  “Yes,” was his answer.

This young father and his children were sleeping in his vehicle.  He came to St. Anthony’s to feed his children, and left with hope.  My first goal was to connect him and his family with an overnight emergency shelter.  My second goal was to connect him with St. Anthony’s  Social Work Center where our social workers would connect him with services to support, stabilize, and improve the quality of life for him and his kids.

I was often privileged to be our guests’ first encounter with St. Anthony’s beyond our Dining Room.  I was stationed at our Social Work Center’s Information and Referral Cart, located within the dining room lobby on Mondays.  I listened, answered questions, provided information and connected our guests to services.  When I would see those same guests a few days later at our Social Work Center, my heart would rejoices.  I rejoice not only for the guests, but for the social workers, benefactors and volunteers who make this place possible.  In these moments I send up a prayer of gratitude and blessing for all involved in our sponsored ministry, St. Anthony Foundation.

It's these types of encounter that let me know I'm on the right track as a Franciscan friar.  It will be these types of encounter that will help you discern your calling, too.  Spend some time and review the blog post called, Consider Your Gifts to see if you are being called to love and be loved as a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara.

Peace and all Good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM

A beautiful reminder of our ministry as Volunteers,
Staff and Friars at St. Anthony Foundation.

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
1500 34th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone:  (408) 903-3422