2023 was indeed an exciting and remarkable year for Saint Francis Ministries. For more than 78 years, Saint Francis Ministries has been dedicated to improving the lives of children and families - offering hope, healing, and support when they need it most. Our commitment to this mission has never wavered, and our passion for creating brighter futures for those we serve remains as strong as ever. 2023 only furthered and deepened our commitment to service.
Lives transformed. Families made whole. That’s how Saint Francis Ministries defines success. It’s the purpose that propels us forward. This 2021-2022 Annual Report highlights that success. Every number signifies a generational trauma overcome, a family grown stronger, or a child made safe. It’s a celebration of human dignity and resilience.
Numbers can tell us a lot. They provide quantitative measures that we can use in a practical way. They’re essential. Yet, they don’t tell us much about qualitative results. In our line of work, qualitative matters a great deal because it’s tied to human lives. Every behavioral health client served by SFM represents a life changed and hope restored. Every man who completes a Fatherhood FIRE course represents a dad who has acquired the skills to be a nurturing father. Every Seeking Safety and Family Centered Treatment number represents a family healed and made whole. And every donated dollar represents a community working together to help ensure the children and young people among us are protected, supported, and loved. That’s why the work we do and the partnerships we share matter so much.
It’s a funny thing about horizons … you never know what’s waiting just over the edge. Viewed through hope, the dawn brings unexpected opportunities … even within a pandemic. Like many, Saint Francis Ministries found ourselves inspired to find fresh ways of collaborating with clients, stakeholders, and each other. We’ve also sought new ways to build community, strengthen relationships, and safeguard the children and families we serve. Their care will always be our highest priority. Throughout the process, we’ve discovered much about ourselves and explored exciting possibilities of service. And that’s the other thing about horizons … possibility. Even as we continue to adapt and innovate, new vistas are revealed – from Texas and Nebraska, where we have begun significant expansions of services, to our hometown, where we will soon be moving our corporate office to the campus of the former St. John’s Military School, now known as St. John’s Ministry and School. Each move and each change promises more possibilities – to learn, to grow, to serve.
Like pieces of a puzzle, our interlocking relationships define us, guide us, and present us with a view to the world that we could never discover alone. Relationship is foundational to the work of Saint Francis Ministries, and this is especially apparent in our 2019 Annual Report. Everywhere you look, Saint Francis is expanding by building relationships, especially in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mississippi, and now Arkansas. Like the puzzle, each piece is essential to the big picture. You are part of that picture, and without you we have a hole, a gap in our connection. Your relationship with Saint Francis makes everything possible.
Change is the one constant of the universe. Life is motion. Nothing happens in stasis – no growth, no healing. We present to you our most recent snapshot of the programs and services we provide to the children and families in our care. As you can see, Saint Francis Ministries is anything but static. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, we expanded, rebranded, and redefined what it means to minister to the marginalized. Ever adaptable, Saint Francis is always moving, proactively looking for opportunities to serve, to guide, to guard, to heal. Life is motion, and your friendship with Saint Francis makes it possible for us to provide healing in motion.
Our vision calls us to transform lives and systems, which is an ambitious endeavor. Yet, it’s not nearly as daunting as it seems. Our task is simply to serve when we can, offer help where we see need, and do good at every opportunity. Saint Francis has long been an agent of transformation in the lives of those we serve. Through our widening work internationally, we also seek to transform systems by helping change policies and structures that negatively affect children and families.
No one is an island. Like a carefully cultivated garden, we grow and thrive within a web of relationships, each of us necessary and vital to the health of the whole. Over the last year, Saint Francis Community Services has begun strengthening and expanding those relationships, reaching out and forming friendships with those we hope will help grow the garden of this life-affirming ministry.