Hometown Hero: Kelly McCracken

Often peace and understanding are in short supply in our diverse and ever changing world. In her role as President of Franciscan Media, Kelly McCracken wants to bring the timely message of the Franciscans to assist Christians in living out their faith.

Kelly came to Franciscan Media with an extensive resume in strategy and professional management. What she didn’t have was an intimate knowledge of the life changing beliefs of the Franciscans. She says, “Before coming to Franciscan Media, I didn’t know anything about St. Francis or St. Clare. All I knew was that Franciscan Media was spreading the gospel. They talked a lot about living the gospel. That’s what was attracting me to them. Once I got here and I started reading about St. Clare and St. Francis, and I was sent on a pilgrimage to Assisi, I really discovered them to be saints who challenged the status quo of the society they lived in. They were radical in their faith and in their following of Jesus.

Over the years I have fallen in love with the Franciscan spirituality because it is very inclusive. I have always felt very comfortable here. The more and more I learn about St. Francis and St. Clare and the environment they lived in, I feel like it’s a message and a story that people today could really relate to.”

She continues, “The connectedness of all of us, that we’re all connected through Christ, has changed the way I look at the world and how I look at people. I see the brother and the sister rather than the ‘other’. What I’ve learned through Franciscan Media and through St. Clare and St. Francis has informed my faith and informed how I am able to connect with other people. Leaning in to try to understand and to try to be that peacemaker especially in this time of polarization in our society is so important. It is really simple. They talk about simplicity. They talk about love, about peacemaking. It’s going to sound cliché but it is God is good all the time. All the time God is good.”

When asked about the practical application of spreading the gospel, Kelly says, “We try to inspire people to live out their faith every single day by meeting them where they are. So we produce products and services to guide them on their journey. If they’re on Facebook, we’re on Facebook. If they’re on Pinterest, we’re on Pinterest. We’re on Instagram and Twitter. We’re trying to provide an infusion of something that will help them think about and grow in their faith in the midst of this busy world that we’re living in. We want to give them a space and a moment to internally pause and reflect Christ and His love. Sometimes it’s a minute meditation, a short blog, a longer blog, St. Anthony Messenger magazine, books: digital, audio, print. We’re trying to create material that they can consume however they want to consume it and wherever they want to consume it. We get close to a million hits to our website per month. We send out 4 million emails per month and 2 million are opened. We sent out 60,000 books last year. We have 45,000 who still subscribe to the print magazine.”

Kelly concludes, “If you’re not familiar with St. Francis’s peace prayer, now is the ultimate opportunity to make yourself familiar with it. It’s exactly what we need in this moment. I would pray that everyone would read that prayer and reflect on it. If we all really try to embrace it, the world would be a better place.”

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Kelly has been married to her childhood sweetheart for 25 years and has two daughters. They live in Springboro, OH. For more information about Franciscan Media, check out their website: https://info.franciscanmedia.org/