During Lent, the Service Commission has shared the story of Capuchin Mobile Ministries and the Capuchin friars who sponsor and staff the program – how it is born out of their charism of deep commitment to humble service with and for all people, put into action through spiritual caregiving to those on the streets.

In 2019, the Capuchin Province of St. Mary began exploring how friars might minister visibly among the poor, the hungry, and the homeless in Boston, in a way that did not require people to come to them.  They knew they needed to be out among the people. The idea of a food truck, which had been employed successfully in other cities, came to mind.

At the start of the ministry, the friars simply went out into the streets and listened. By asking “what do you need”, they learned that while food and other material resources were often available, spiritual care was not, and that people who live on the streets have no less spiritual hunger than housed people.  So the friars began to pivot away from the concept of a simple food truck toward one of spiritual caregiving.

Initially, the friars went out once a week in a minivan to areas where the homeless tended to congregate, bringing the welcome of Christ while sharing food and drink and building relationships. Efforts were slowed early in the pandemic, but soon resumed and expanded with the addition of a customized van that serves as a sort of mobile kitchen, with a refrigerator to hold sandwiches, cabinets for snacks and other supplies, and a coffee station.  With the support of volunteers, it grew quickly to two and then three outreach trips each week, which has made a critical difference in building trust and relationships. 

The purpose of the outreach trips is not primarily to meet physical needs.  The coffee, sandwiches, and other material items that are offered are a way to give agency to those who are disempowered and to build relationships. The focus is on accompaniment – helping people on the margins feel seen, recognized, and heard.

The loneliness, isolation, and despair of the streets can be overwhelming. Making material changes, like pursuing rehabilitation, housing, and employment, requires the hope that things can get better, and that requires having a community that sees them and cares about their struggles. The friars and volunteers of Capuchin Mobile Ministries work to provide that by showing each person they meet that they are a beloved child of God, with dignity and worth.   

Last weekend, Br. Anthony Zuba, OFM Cap., a chaplain with Capuchin Mobile Ministries, and Stephanie McCarthy, who grew up in St. Paul Parish and volunteers on outreach trips, spoke at Masses about how they often meet with over 100 friends on their trips, distributing coffee, hot chocolate, water, granola bars, and sandwiches (made by volunteers.) They also hand out tote bags that are filled with things like socks, hand warmers, hats and gloves; religious articles like rosaries, scapulars, medals, and Bibles; and bracelets with contact information so they can reach out to the chaplain on call on any given day.  We heard from Br. Anthony and Stephanie just how transformational this work can be, both for those receiving this outreach and those providing it. 

Capuchin Mobile Ministries needs our financial support to continue this important work.  Our Collaborative Lenten Gift will help fund the ongoing needs of the ministry, including the coffee, snacks, and other supplies that are distributed, as well as the ongoing gas, maintenance, and repair costs for the outreach van.  

Our financial support will also help to grow the ministry by helping to provide funding for more chaplains and administrative help.  

Volunteer support is also critical.  Volunteers (age 16+) are needed to go on outreach trips, and to organize collection drives and sandwich making (all ages.)  Please see our website for more details!

This is our opportunity as a Collaborative to show Christ-like love for our neighbors in distress, and for each of us to answer Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly. 

On behalf of the Collaborative Service Commission, we ask that you be as generous as your means will allow. 

Make Your Donation!
Checks (made payable to your parish with 2024 Lenten Gift in the memo) may be placed in the  Second Collection at all Masses this weekend, or mailed/dropped at either parish office. 

Donations may also be made online through your parish’s online giving portal:


For more information, photos, and videos from Capuchin Mobile Ministries please visit the 2024 Lenten Gift page!


March 16-17: Our 2024 Collaborative Lenten Gift Collection for Capuchin Mobile Ministries