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Br. Richard Goodin, OFM, of Lebanon, is in his third year of temporary vows. During this time of discernment, Goodin is doing a year of service in Negril, Jamaica. A fair-skinned redhead with a Southern twang and a brown robe, he certainly does not go unnoticed in this country.
Goodin’s outgoing personality has made him a favorite among the locals. His main ministry focus in Negril is St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, which opened in April of 2010. Working there the entire time it is open, he pretty much runs the place, according to fellow missionary Fr. Jim Bok. Goodin orders the food and coordinates everything to make sure that they are able to provide hearty meals to roughly 135 people per day.
In addition, he teaches catechism classes helping children to prepare for their first Holy Communion.
Goodin was also one of six friars who took part in a 300-mile walking pilgrimage in the spirit of St. Francis from Roanoke, Va., to Washington, D.C., in 2009. He and the others took only bare necessities and relied on the generosity of people they met along the way for work, food and shelter. It was a life-changing experience for Goodin. He remembers fondly the incredible kindness of people that they met along the way.
Goodin will finish up his ministry in Jamaica in May 2011. He will then return to Chicago to continue his studies into the priesthood.
“He has been invaluable to us here. I’m not sure what we are going to do without him,” says Friar Jim Bok.