Franciscan Friars of the Renewal - Europe

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal was recognized in the Church as a religious institute of diocesan right of the 28th of May 1999., which enabled us to open friaries outside the Archdiocese of New York. As Providence led us, we opened our first friary in London diocese, Brentwood, at the invitation of Bishop Thomas McMahon and through the encouragement of Msgr. John Armitage. Both are pictured here at the dedication of the friary, with our Community Servant Fr. Glenn Sudano and the first Local Servant of St. Fidelis Friary, Fr. Richard Roemer.

"Let the little children come to me; for it is to these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." (Mt 19:14) On our arrival to London we found our first greetings from the children of the neighbourhood. The young ones here with Fr. Richard have enjoyed many hours of friendship with the friars.

"The Gospel counsel of poverty, in imitation of Christ, Who became poor for our sakes, means that we live a life which is poor in fact and in spirit. It includes as an essential element, a life of work." (Rule & Constitution #33) The transformation of the old parish hall of St. Margaret's into St. Fidelis Friary took many hours of labour by volunteers and the friars. Behind Br. John Paul you can see one of the youth projects in remembrance of W.W.II in pictorial graffiti. The building is one of the few remaining in the area from before the war.

"Behold the wood of the Cross!" Fr. Sylvester here, is finishing the cross which is now atop the friary. It acts as a sign to all who pass by the way or in through the doors that daily we must pick up our cross if we wish to follow Jesus. Following in the footsteps of our holy father Francis, the friars daily wear a habit which is made in the form of the cross, not only as a public witness but also a personal reminder of our discipleship.
The Associates of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are lay men and women who desire to follow Christ in the way of St. Francis of Assisi. Following the example of St. Francis who founded the Third Order for the lay men and women of his day. The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal UK began the Associate program in 2000 for lay men and women who are attracted to the lifestyle and works of the Friars. Each of the Associates has come to know the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal through events such as parish missions, Youth 2000 retreats, and other activities involving the Friars. Every associate has been drawn to support the life and mission of the Friars especially through serving the poor at Friar Benet's Kitchen, St Fidelis Friary night shelter and first Saturdays. In return, the Friars offer each Associate assistance in their life of prayer and spiritual growth.

The Associates meet as a group the first Saturday of the month in Canning Town for a day of prayer, service and fellowship. A typical day begins at 12:30 pm with Holy Mass followed by lunch while the Associates exchange greetings with one another and with the Friars. After lunch, each member is assigned some type of work duty which assists the mission of the Friars. Work assignments include such chores as sorting donated clothing, preparing food, maintaining/cleaning the Kitchen and Shelter for the homeless, gardening, and other means of serving the poor. At the end of the work period there is a tea break followed by a talk given by a friar. Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction begins at 5 pm. Following the prayer time with our Eucharistic Lord, there is time for informal sharing over supper (each person brings a dish). The day comes to a close with Night Prayer. In addition to the first Saturdays in Canning Town, the Associates have an annual weekend retreat. Every two years the Associates plan a pilgrimage to a Holy Site.
If you are interested in learning more about
the Associates of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
please contact: Fr. Emmanuel, C.F.R. at 0207 474 0766
Prayer Before the Cross
Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart,
and give me right faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
wisdom and understanding,
Lord, that I may carry out
your holy and true command.
by St. Francis of Assisi


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