Saint Francis University Friar Raises Over 100k for Charity


Saint Francis University is proud to announce that the Brother Shamus McGrenra Charity Bike Ride has raised $113,439 for local residents struggling with rural poverty. 

On September 14, 2020, Brother Shamus McGrenra, a 73-year-old, stage 4 colon cancer survivor and Franciscan Friar embarked on his 10th Annual #GoBroShamus Charity Bike Ride.

Brother Shamus cycled nearly 400 miles following the Erie Canal, starting his journey in Buffalo, NY and concluded his ride in Albany, NY.

All the money raised will be used to support the Dorothy Day Outreach Center at Saint Francis University. Donations were collected through December 2020.

This is the 10th year for the charity bike ride with each year increasing in goal and contributors. The goal has risen from $5,000 in 2011 to $92,500 in 2020. Over the past decade the charity ride has donated over a half-million dollars to the Outreach Center.

About Brother Shamus McGrenra

Born in Philadelphia in 1947, Brother Shamus was the youngest of six children. Knowing that he wanted to do something for the Lord, he became a Franciscan Friar at the age of 19. This is what led Brother Shamus to the Saint Francis Friary in Loretto, PA. After graduating from the University in 1972, he continued helping students working for several years in different higher education institutions. In 2008, Brother Shamus decided to return to his roots at Saint Francis University where his spiritual journey first began. After witnessing an emotional encounter of a young woman and her two children at the Dorothy Day Center, he decided to put his pastime of cycling to some good and established the annual Brother Shamus Charity Bike Ride. 

After going through a routine health check in 2013, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer which later spread to his lungs. Now, in remission, Brother Shamus continues his annual bike ride in hopes of spreading the word about rural poverty, the power of prayer and how life can be lived after a cancer diagnosis.

Brother Shamus credits his miraculous cancer recovery to the mercy of the Lord and the Saint Francis University Cancer Care Program. "I wouldn't have been able to ride one mile without the training and care of the students in the Master of Cancer Care Program at SFU," he said.

About the Dorothy Day Outreach Center at Saint Francis University

The Dorothy Day Outreach Center, created in 1981, is a volunteer-based agency on the Saint Francis University campus in Loretto, PA that strives to serve the local community while honoring its Franciscan values and by following in the footsteps of its namesake: Dorothy Day.

Through the generosity of the campus community and several local parishes, the center serves local families in need with support, programs, food, clothing and monetary assistance. The DDOC has initiatives geared toward children, the elderly, veterans, and people with special economic needs. With the assistance of agencies and volunteers, the DDOC has helped more than 1,500 families in need.