Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are all familiar with the story of Baby Jesus asleep in the manager with parents and a guiding star to provide protection, love, and care - every child’s need and hope. Four year old Sergito’s and six year old Carlita’s story is very different. One day he and his sister walked hand in hand into our children’s dining room at Fatima. No one knew where they came from or where they lived. The boy was bone thin and devoured three helpings of food.
We provide Hope to the Poor and the Forgotten in Guaymas, Mexico.
Our Vision is to illuminate pathways from the injustice of poverty to God’s abundance.
We are the incubators for community empowerment.
The people we serve reflect the poor neighborhoods in which they live. The Casa Francicana Mission offers:
- An adult dining room (Méson de Jesus) serving over 50,000 meals a year, breakfast and lunch six days a week; family members also carry food into the hills for those too weak to walk;
- Over 12,000 food boxes delivered to the disabled and elderly .
- Food, clothing, housing and other assistance provided for approximately 900 migrants (going North and South);
- Shelter for over 125 non-immigrants;
Additionally, the Méson functions as a shelter from the tropical storms and as community center or oasis from a life of hardship. The elderly come to mingle, avoiding isolation and having a hot meal. Our social workers supply support in many aspects of life for the mentally and physically challenged, persons suffering from addictions, impoverished parents and more. The Méson is an integral part of the community and a respite for the marginalized residents.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in improving health in substandard living conditions and the common medical conditions are those usually related to poverty. The Mission maintains a good working relationship with the two local hospitals, laboratories and healthcare providers allowing us to:
- Provide a medical clinic staffed by volunteer physicians seeing everything from trauma to the common earache;
- Relieve dental problems through the kind hearts of volunteer dentists; sometimes working without running water or electricity
- Manage a pharmacy to supply medicines that our patients cannot afford;
- Maintain a nurse to organize the clinics, triage when doctors are not available and to make home visits with the friars.
- Facilitate an annual medical mission made up of friars from around the St. Barbara Province who are physicians, dentists, physician assistants and other participants of nurses and dental hygienists. They go into the more remote areas and touch the lives of over 900 people in five days.
- Facilitate trips from Guaymas to Phoenix for children to receive treatment and mobility devices such as wheelchairs, braces, crutches and walkers through Shriners’ International.
In Mexico, nearly free public schooling is provided through the 9th grade. But for the very poor, textbooks, school supplies, required uniforms and shoes are not affordable. The CFO, funded by your contributions, helps these precious children get the essentials of life in order to attend school and participate in other youth services:
- Each year the shoe campaign furnishes over 10,000 pairs for children to go to school along with 1,000 backpacks, supplies and textbooks;
- A youth center for ages 12-18 that offers a safe space and computer classes, support groups and individual psychotherapy, organized sports, life skills and workforce readiness – paths out of poverty.
- Provide computers loaded with the grade-appropriate assignments, encyclopedias along with training to 26 students, grades 1-6.
- Funded registration, books and school supplies for 10 middle school and 10 high school students giving them the opportunity to continue their education.
If you are seeking an affordable opportunity to renew or deepen your relationship with God, come experience the people, places and programs that the Casa Franciscana mission touches. You will have the opportunity to work alongside your fellow pilgrims. Working together we make a difference. Four-day trip, Currently planning for early October 2023.
Casa Franciscana Mission
The Casa Franciscana Mission in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico dates back to 1968, when the Mexican Obregon Diocese asked the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara, CA, USA to provide pastoral care to the English-speaking community in San Carlos, Mexico. The friars agreed to minister this care to the San Carlos community under the condition that they could also serve the poor in the neighboring city of Guaymas, Mexico. The Mission remains a legal entity of the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara in the United States.
The Mission’s current programs address the many needs of the marginalized population of Guaymas through its free medical/dental clinic, Mesón de Jesus (dining room), food packages for the home-bound, migrant shelter support and a youth center for ages 12 to 18 years of age. Our social workers also screen, arrange, visas and transport to Phoenix children with specific infirmities for treatment and mobility devices through Shriners’ International. Our services are open to all, but we primarily serve four of the poorest Guaymas neighborhoods, a population of approximately 10,000 in a city with approximately 110,000 people.
The Casa Franciscana Mission has a history of creating important programs that evolve into standalone community institutions. Examples of these programs are the Hogar de Paz (an orphanage); Jerry’s Club (a safe after-school recreational program for children 12 years of age and under); Belles Artes (a music academy for youth). They are all self-sustaining with the assistance of Mexican governance boards and the Guaymas community.
Casa Franciscana Outreach
The Casa Franciscana Outreach (CFO) was established in 1988 as a 501c(3) organization through the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara. Its purpose is to fundraise in support of the Mission and its programs as it continues to address the rudimentary needs of the poor regardless of race, color, beliefs or ability to pay.
The CFO, as a Franciscan organization that embraces service to the poor and promotes justice, peace, and care of creation, in the joyful and prophetic spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Toward this goal, it now provides over $300,000 each year for the important work of the mission.
Despite these successful programs, there is still much to do for the many suffering poor and together, we ARE making a difference!!