The charity work that is the hallmark of the Friars illustrates the mission so ardently pursued by Servant of God, Fr. Paul Wattson, SA. So moved was Fr. Paul to the plight of the underserved and the need for benefactors for missionary services, he created the Union That Nothing Be Lost, which to this day supports humanitarian projects around the world.
Charity is always needed; in times of turmoil, it is imperative. Fr. Paul recognized this as World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression, and the beginning of World War II raged around him. From 1903 until his death in 1940, Fr. Paul was a voice for the voiceless in his magazine The Lamp. In those pages, Fr. Paul told the stories of those in need and requested benefactors to help them.
Because of his charity, hundreds of babies around the world found the care and compassion they needed through the Holy Childhood Association. Fr. Paul also welcomed Germans who escaped Nazi persecution in the 1930s, took up the cause of Catholic sisters teaching in segregated schools, and helped homeless men find a sense of self at St. Christopher’s Inn.
Fr. Paul eventually took his message to the radio with the Ave Maria Radio Hour. In his weekly broadcast, Fr. Paul talked about the charity involved in caring for the men of St. Christopher’s Inn. His words touched the hearts of many listeners who donated funds to help the Friars expand the Inn. We see Fr. Paul’s handiwork continues at the Inn as thousands of men discover healing and hope.
Today, we find ourselves in a time not unlike what Fr. Paul experienced. A pandemic, inequality, and social unrest are in the forefront of our lives. Just as in Fr. Paul’s time, the Friars are in the thick of it, providing ministries to the poor, the neglected, and the underserved. Charity knows no limits for the Friars as they seek to further Fr. Paul’s vision of At-One-Ment. This is a legacy the Friars proudly continue.