Franciscans Downtown Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

July 04, 2024

Franciscans Downtown in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, recently marked a significant milestone. At a June 29, 2024 Celebration of Gratitude, Holy Spirit Parish Deacon Bill Holzhaeuser introduced Franciscan Friar of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province Fr. Placid Stroik. Founder of Franciscans Downtown and chaplain of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, he reflected on a decade of compassionate service and community building. Fr. Placid told the story of how this place for Gospel refreshment and hospitality for women, men and children came to be and how it offers meals and companionship to its guests today. The homeless, the lonely and other passersby longing for connection are all welcome. 

Provincial Councilor of the Franciscan Friars Our Lady of Guadalupe Province John Eaton also shared words of congratulations and praise for the goodness shown in this place of conversation and peace. There was recognition of people and groups who have helped along the way and continue to offer support today. These include generous volunteers, family and friends of Fr. Placid, priests and deacons of the Diocese of La Crosse, women religious including the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and of course, Fr. Placid’s Franciscan Friars of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province. A special tribute was given to 30 individuals whose lives are remembered on the wall of memory. 

Here’s some brief comments from those who have stepped in Franciscans Downtown over the years.

  • “Always here.”
  • “Accepted. Can sit down for a couple of hours.”
  • “Friendly.”
  • “Keeps us out of the heat.”
  • “I like to come to help, meet friends and meet people.”
  • “Looking forward to another ten years.”
  • “Home away from home.”
  • “Comfortable.”
  • “Franciscans Downtown is precisely the kind of place Jesus would be himself.”
  • “Thanks to Fr. Stroik for founding this safe and friendly environment for people in the Stevens Point and Plover areas. We, the regulars who come weekly, greatly appreciate the Wednesday afternoon movies and well led discussions by Father afterwards.”

It is hoped that Franciscans Downtown will provide opportunities to enjoy company with each other and conversation for many decades to come. The bottom floor of the building also offers a reflection area for those desiring to grow in Franciscan Spirituality.

Article Comments:

Sister Anne Marie Lom 07/04/2024 @ 10:02 am

Thank you to Father Placid, to Sister Julianne, and to all who support this very important Ministry of hospitality.


Fr. Placid Stroik, OFM 07/07/2024 @ 10:58 am

and I waited 48 hours to read such joy about a “point” … Main and Third …on the map in Stevens Point,WI … where some years back I walked as a kid and now stand in awe like Thomas Merton did on 4th and Walnut in Louisville, Kentucky, and knew God loved all these people and all belonged to God as I do. thank you.


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