ANDERSON -- On a small podium in this chapel is a wallet-size photo. A young black man looks out from the photo, smiling. It's a school picture. And it's lying to the left side of Father Aubrey McNeil's prayer book.

This is the Father's personal chapel -- the place where he goes to pray every day.

"That's Dory," Father Aubrey says. "I met him in the Bronx. He'd been shot. He recovered but he became bitter. His mother gave me his photo and asked me to pray for him. I have it here so I don't forget to pray for him."

Father Aubrey doesn't forget. He knows Dory needs the help.

It's what he does, what he's lived his life for -- to be the intercessor for the hurting, the poor, the needy and all of those in between.

For 30 years he's been a Franciscan friar. He's been a priest for 25.

At 65 years old, he leads St. Mary's of the Angels Catholic Church in Anderson. But he's been all over the world, from here to the Bronx to the crime-plagued streets of Camden, N.J., and to Africa.

On this day, he's already held daily Mass at 8 a.m. for 14 people. And he's preparing for a trip to the Perry Correctional Institution to visit state inmates.

"Going to Perry is like the frosting on the cake, because who can be more down and out than the inmate?" he said. "I am not there to convert them, but to show them that the Lord is with them, that He loves them."

Father Aubrey was born in Nova Scotia, the first son among four siblings. His father was a coal miner, a man who'd left school in the third grade so he could help his father take care of the horses they used in that dark underground.

After 19 years in the mines, his father moved the McNeil family to Boston.

"I remember living in apartments we paid $32 a month for," Father Aubrey says. "If the man put it up, we moved. But nevertheless, we grew up with a Catholic education."

He watched his father work two jobs, only to come home and help everyone around him. He read books, taught himself electrical work and plumbing. He cut hair for the family, he repaired pipes, helped his cousin deliver ice and oil, he fixed broken lights -- whatever was needed.

"He couldn't see someone suffer," Father Aubrey says.

Neither can Father Aubrey.

It's what led him to live the life of a friar. Even as a child, he never saw himself as anything else.

It's why he prays for Dory. It's why his eyes light up with joy when he talks about reconciling a dying man with his God, or when he describes helping a patient with AIDS whose only hope is a healed spirit, or when he talks of sitting with a family as they absorb the news of their son's death.

"When we worked with AIDS patients in Uganda, they knew they weren't going to get any better," Father Aubrey says.

"You are there to say, 'I am here to be your brother.' "