Welcoming Message from the President

Welcome to the Franciscan Family Apostolate website. Whatever impulse led you here, you are in the right place…if…you wish to help others less fortunate than you and…if…you want to do it where the “the rubber meets the road,” among the truly destitute poor, among the widowed and abandoned.

When I first started the Apostolate in 1971, I had no idea that it would become so much a part of my life. By 1988 I would have to retire from government service to give it the full attention it needed.During those years and to the present day, I have been fortunate to have major assistance  from such wonderful people as Miki Lovett and Judy Warner, who have developed our new website. Indeed it has been developed not only out of love for the poor but out of their own experience. Both have traveled to India, walked among the poor we serve and risked taking those steps knowing they would not come back the same person. They, like other members on our board of directors, first started off as sponsors, then traveled to India to see their families and returned with the need to serve. They have been a Godsend.

As you may know, the curious thing about charitable giving is that you, as the giver, know in your heart  you are the main beneficiary of the gift. It is part of the human experience to want to share and be  part of something bigger than ourselves. Without it, life looses its meaning; with it life opens our interior understanding to our place in God’s universe.  We are as Mother Teresa said “…a little pencil in God’s hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything…” Sometimes we think we know the content and nature of the sketch but more often than not
God has his purposes. We are fortunate God permits our participation. Sam Levenson, the late Jewish comedian and author reminds us “… if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”

This website  invites you to share yourself and your good fortune with the stranger, the widow and  the orphan no matter their religious sensitivities. Moving around the website, I hope there is enough information to encourage you to join us on this great spiritual journey.The website is a work in progress.  We plan to keep you well informed through our blog and hope that you will “Like” us on your Face Book page if you have one.

Saint Francis of Assisi, universally loved in all religions, is the spiritual source of my journey. I am sure you have one equally as important. His words “Let us always preach the Gospel and use words only when necessary” rings through my ears as they emphasize the role of action in our spiritual life. His words segue perfectly into those of the great saint of India, Mahatma Ghandi  “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a  thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Similar words can be found in all the great religions and philosophies. It is in this spirit that I ask you to join us.

Peace and all Good

Alan J. Ouimet, O.S.F.