In a new podcast series from Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, we hear the stories of those who pass on the flame of faith and mission to the next generation.

Sister Bernardine Schmalhofer, MSBT and Deacon Anthony Willoughby are old friends whose paths have crossed many times in the decades they have spent assisting marginalized children and adults.

As Sister Bernardine approached her 100th birthday, she knew she needed to find someone to take her place as a spiritual director to the at-risk youth of the St. Francis-St. Joseph Homes for Children. Located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, the homes — an outreach of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services — provide a range of educational and social support to children often overlooked by other agencies.

Sister Bernadine’s prayers were answered when Deacon Anthony stepped forward to take hold of her torch and keep the flame burning.