St. Anthony’s, as a special place of spirituality, peace, and hospitality, is a community welcoming all seeking healing, hope and transformation through deeper connection with God, Self, Others, and Creation.
We strive to embrace and grow through our Franciscan Roots and Values of simplicity, compassion, joyful service, and relationships in which all are welcome to seek spiritual deepening.
Reviewing the above St. Anthony’s Mission Statement, you will find two references regarding who is welcome here. You may ask why it was so important that it be mentioned, not just once but two times, that ALL are welcome at the Center.
We live in a time of rapid change touching and shaking every area of our lives and our society. Predictably, during unsettled times, we try to hold on to something we consider fixed in time, something familiar, something we believe should never change. Unfortunately, in our understandable fear of change, the unknown, and yes, a lack of control over the events surrounding us, we begin to look for who or what to blame. I think that is where we are at this moment in history. We are grieving what is gone and fearful of the unknown future that we cannot control.
Some of the results of our grief and fear are an increase in anger and scapegoating; seeking someone or something to blame for our unsettledness. Thus, divisions, judgments, and exclusions grow and harden.
Deeply rooted in Franciscan spirituality for over a century, St. Anthony’s continues to follow in St. Francis’ footsteps as can be applied to the times in which we live. One of the ways we do this is by being a safe, welcoming presence to ALL who come through our doors. We at St. Anthony’s believe that, as the exclusion of those who are different, other, unknown, or hold differing views, becomes a societal norm we are called to welcome each person, knowing that each is deeply loved by their Creator and a unique expression of the Holy. If each is loved and welcomed by God, can we do less?
As we say in the Mission Statement, St. Anthony’s is a place welcoming to all who come seeking spiritual deepening. What that means will vary from person to person but our call as a spirituality center is to be that place of spirituality, peace, hospitality, and welcoming that allows each person to freely and comfortably go deeper with themselves and their Higher Power in an accepting environment free of judgment and rejection.
This is a small step in countering the divisions and exclusions of our day. It begins with each of us being unafraid to open our hearts ever wider to receiving the love of God and others and passing that love to each person we encounter. After all, we are all deeply loved children of God which makes each person our sibling.
It is time for a family reunion!