If for the Franciscans of Mary their vocation is to love and love Jesus as his loved mother him, this vocation cannot be fulfilled without due attention to people in need, which is present in Christ Crucified. The Lord on the Cross did not lack the comforting presence of the Blessed Virgin and that is why we do not want the crucified living on earth today to lack the help of Mary, also brought, humbly, through us.
The first social work that we, the Franciscans of Mary, carry out is the practical application of the Gospel in everyday life. To meet our family and professional obligations is already the first and the most important act of charity toward our neighbor that we should to do. To do this, the practice of the weekly “purposes” has become an excellent method of spiritual direction applied to the day-to-day living, which helps us to grow in holiness as we serve our neighbor.
In addition, from the first moment of our existence, there has been a constant in the Franciscans of Mary of the collaboration as volunteers in social works of different types, whether public or private (hospitals, prisons, orphanages, homes for the elderly, organizations for the defense of life….). According to our Statutes approved by the Church, consecrated lay people assume the obligation to make some kind of volunteering, always according to their possibilities, in addition to devoting a portion of their money to this type of activity.
For several years, in addition, the Franciscans of Mary have assumed the management and direction of the Catholic Hospital SM, in Santa Cruz de Bolivia, belonging to the Archdiocese of that city. It is a complex undertaking, which is a great personal and economic effort, that the Franciscans of Mary perform in that country, headed by the engineer Victor Hugo Valda, a lay consecrated of our association. The Franciscans of Mary from different countries collaborate economically with the support of this hospital center, since the replacement of any of the clinical instruments (X-Ray machines, laparoscopy, dental instruments or gynecologic….) that once in a while need to be restored or bought new, involves tens of thousands of dollars. The website of this hospital is: www.hospitalcatolico.org and on Facebook is in: https://www.facebook.com/HospitalCatolico
We do all this not because we are an NGO, not even a Catholic NGO, but because we are a religious institution that cannot pretend to serve God, who is not seen, if it doesn’t serve the neighbor who can be seen and in whom God is. It is our love for God which leads us to serve our brothers.