July 30, 2016

In your prayers...

from the St. Francis Inn Facebook page
Faithful readers of this blog know how much I admire the people who live and work at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia.  These friars, women religious, and lay people have literally given everything to minister to the poor and my heart is always so full when I spend time in their midst.  One of the more legendary people there is Bro. Xavier de la Huerta, OFM.  Bro. Xavier is a friar and if you mistook him for one of the homeless or impoverished, you would be forgiven as he dresses very simply.  One of his famous t-shirts is one that says "Jesus is my homeboy."  Bro. Xavier is adored by the people of the neighborhood and more people ask to see him than any other person there.  I have heard many a Trinity High School girl squeal when they talk about him, saying how cute and adorable he is!  He is the epitome of humility and is the closest person to a saint that I have even met.  His main job at the inn is to work at the thrift shop they run but he also gives rides to people who don't have cars and he hands out tokens for the subway.  He collects bottles and cans to pay for the tokens.

A few years ago when we were working there, one of our students had to leave early and I was driving him to the airport.  Before he left, one of the lay volunteers came over to the house to say goodbye to him and the student handed him all the money he had left (about $30-40).  He asked her to give the money to Bro. Xavier for his token fund.  I was floored but not surprised and this remains one of my fondest memories of Trinity High School.

I say all this because St. Francis Inn posted on Facebook yesterday that Bro. Xavier suffered a stroke yesterday at the friary and had emergency brain surgery.  But, thanks be to God, the surgery was successful and Bro. Xavier will recover.  It's funny, I was thinking of him the other day and was wondering how much longer he could give of himself as he is almost 80.  I, like so many others, love Bro. Xavier and his witness.  Please continue to pray for him and the people he serves.  He is a true disciple of Christ and people need him (and Him) more than ever.

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