Baked goods can stimulate those wonderful memories from our past, reminding us of people, places and occasions we hold dear to us. Behind these delicious treats we find the puppeteer, the one responsible for creating the experience or the memory. For the Religious Nuns and Friars of Saint Roger Abbey, the ones pulling the strings are looking to alleviate some of the pain the disadvantaged undergo. (More on those sweets later!)
This order of religious men and women (aka the Fraternité Notre-Dame) find their origin in 1977 in Fréchou, located in southwestern France, north of Lourdes. The order’s founder, Jean Marie Kozik, a Frenchman of Polish descent, was inspired by an apparition of the Virgin Mary. This inspiration propelled him to begin humanitarian efforts in France and beyond. Though this traditionalist Catholic order is not in union with the pope and the Church, they carry on a large part of its mission and continually pledge to help the most vulnerable throughout the world, including Paris, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia), to name a few. Charity travels, as the nuns and friars of Fraternité Notre-Dame have demonstrated over a period of only a few decades.
Recently, this young order has set its sights on Northeastern Pennsylvania, spreading its mission to Scranton in under fifty years. It’s remarkable, really! Their work has impacted the poorest of the poor in various regions of our country. Their mission is carried on through soup kitchens, after school programs, orphanages, schools, clinics and food nutrition services. They lift up the homeless, the suffering, families, care for lepers and prisoners. Their founder gained inspiration from God to help the poor and needy and that’s been their mission from day one. This worthy cause has arrived in the south side of Scranton.
How do they raise the funds for these works of charity? The nuns and friars of Saint Roger Abbey are able to serve through the generosity of their benefactors as well as many self-sustaining operations, such as breweries, wineries, gift shops and bakeries, to name a few. These religious, who have taken a vow of poverty, use their culinary talents and time to feed the outcast in society. They do it with much more than just physical food – In the spirit of Saint Teresa of Ávila, they are the hands, feet and body of Christ in this world.
They’ll be that in the Greater Scranton area too! Roughly two months ago, the Religious Nuns and Friars of Saint Roger Abbey closed on the multi-use commercial complex, located at 421 Hickory Street in Scranton, which they’ll use to cater to the less fortunate. The property sold for $650,000 through the efforts of nineteen-year veteran REALTOR®, Cheryl Gerrity, Realty Network Group. “I am thrilled to see these architecturally magnificent buildings being brought back to life and used for their intended purpose,” asserts Mrs. Gerrity. “The residents and business owners of South Scranton will most certainly benefit from the activity the Fraternité Notre-Dame will bring to our area.”
When you buy pastries from Saint Roger Abbey, you’re purchasing authentic and traditional French recipes, using the best organic ingredients available. These quality baked goods are virtually baked with love. When you buy from them, you provide relief to the physical and spiritual suffering of the destitute. See their catalog of freshly baked goodies here. They feature everything from macarons to French madeleines (reminiscent of Italian ciambrelli orange cookies) to chocolate croissants to tartlets to breton cakes and much more. Take a peek today and see all the great things the nuns and friars of Saint Roger Abbey will soon be doing for our community in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In France they say, merci à l’avance, which means thanks in advance!