On October 6 at the close of the Brown Robe Benefit the Capuchin Franciscans, in proud partnership with the Routzon Family Foundation, unveiled their newest ministry: the Capuchin food truck. The food truck will allow the Capuchins to continue to serve Denver's physically and spiritually poor in a unique way. The Capuchins will distribute free nutritional meals, a list of important social service resources, and other necessities including gloves and hats in winter, bottled water in the summer heat and, most importantly, the gift of Gospel brotherhood.
Food trucks can be found all over downtown and the Denver metro area, serving up exquisite, sometimes exotic foods at prices that are far too steep for the homeless. The Capuchin food truck will be something entirely different. Our clientele will be the homeless, the friendless and the physically and spiritually hungry.
The Capuchin commitment to serving the marginalized dates back to the inception of the order. Following his conversion, St. Francis of Assisi did not enter a seminary or seek the reclusive prayer life of a monk. He began working with his hands, rebuilding crumbling churches on the outskirts of Assisi and later ministering to the physical needs of lepers. As young men flocked to join him, this growing religious movement worked alongside the poor and the sick, caring for their bodily and spiritual needs.
Amid the fast-paced life of contemporary society, the Capuchin Franciscans seek to continue the work of their founder, bringing the Gospel to the poor, the young, the dying and the imprisoned. In keeping with the New Evangelization, which is aimed at, according to St. John Paul II, “entire groups of the baptized [who] have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church, and live a life far removed from Christ and his Gospel,” the Capuchins have sought for new and creative ways to reach the spiritually and materially poor. One such initiative, begun in 2001, is The Catholic Center at the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs where friars celebrate Mass twice daily and hear confessions throughout the day. It is one means of bringing the Gospel to the modern market place and reaching those who may have lapsed in the practice of their Catholic faith.
As friars – a word derived from the Latin for 'brother' – the Capuchins seek to enter into a relationship of brotherhood with those who live in the greatest type of poverty or, as St. Teresa of Calcutta described it, the “poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for.” The Capuchin food truck will allow the friars to take their ministry of brotherhood right to where the poor live: on the city streets, huddled in groups alongside train tracks and camped out in tents at local parks.
Working alongside a group of volunteers, the Capuchins will begin this new mobile ministry in November. Please visit this site in the coming months for news and stories about the Capuchin food truck and ways that you can work alongside us in this new ministry.