Dear Community and Friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi,

May the Lord give you peace.

Please remember the people of Turkey and Syria who have experienced a powerful earthquake. Many were killed in the earthquake, and many more are trying to imagine how to rebuild their lives. While it may seem far away, we are connected as sisters and brothers. Please hold them all in your prayers.

I hope that you were able to stay warm last weekend. It was bitterly cold, I am glad the cold front passed quickly, and it was warmer on Sunday. Thank you for your prayers and concern for all who are homeless.

This week I am writing to ask for your help. Our weekly collections total less than $10,000. This is both weekday and weekend collections. Our need is far greater. The cost of heating, air conditioning, utilities, salaries, benefits, and archdiocesan assessments are significant. Before the Pandemic, finances were tight. We have yet to recover to that state. I ask those who are able to seriously consider increasing their weekly/daily donation. I realize that many businesspeople have yet to return to the city. This dramatically affects our weekday masses. I know that there are many folks unable to increase their donation as they are unable to increase their contribution. I ask those who can to assist according to their means. Our Development Office does an excellent job with many appeals, and we have had some significant bequests. To sustain our mission, we need to increase our income. Our Holy Father St. Francis told the early friars not to be ashamed to beg when there was a need. While I hesitate to ask, the need is overwhelming, and your generosity is always even more so.

Please know that the renovations are funded by the Renew and Rebuild allotment we received. Those funds are restricted and cannot be used for ordinary expenses.

Thank you for your attention to this plea. You are always generous, and I am grateful for you. Peace and all good,

Thomas M. Gallagher, ofm