The St. Francis Center is a neighborhood youth outreach run by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. Starting back in 1993 under the direction of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, the Youth for Christ program has enabled many young people the opportunity to learn about their Catholic faith in challenging and fun ways. Being a safe haven where young people of all backgrounds learn the love of Jesus Christ, the St. Francis Center offers many inner-city youth hope. And some, for the first time, are in an environment where they feel loved and accepted.
The focus of the St. Francis Center is Jesus Christ and His Church. Weekly catechism classes, youth prayer services, annual Summer Life camp, home visits, and neighborhood witness walks are various ways that many young people experience the Truth of the Gospel.
The young people who come to St. Francis Center enjoy a weekly after school program where they receive personal attention, snacks, and a tutor to help in any studies that they might be struggling with.
The St. Francis Center also realizes that young people have a need for physical fitness, athletic discipline, and fun. The young people have access to a gymnasium and organized basketball tournaments along with a pool table and a closet full of toys and games. Trips taken outside the city to parks, pools, shrines, ball games, etc. always prove to be a great help in developing community and showing the young people their true value in God's eyes as well.
Needs / Assistance
All of the young people who walk through our doors are daily faced with the many temptations and dangers of the South Bronx. Increased gang activity and violence, drug and substance abuse, dysfunction on the family level, and teenage pregnancy are all too common. Added to this is the rejection, the anger, the loneliness, and the peer pressure that is a result of a "culture" that has lied to them and left them empty. It is our duty and privilege to lead these young people to Christ. Would you like to help?
How to Help
The St. Francis Center is non-profit and relies totally on the Providence of God through the generosity of His people. If you are interested in supporting our outreach to the youth in the South Bronx, please contact us at:
St. Francis Center
427 East 155th St.
Bronx, NY 10455