Enjoying the homemade pizza dinner over at the Immaculate Heart of Mary community, located across the street from Franciscan Mission Service.

In just a matter of two months, the 27th class of lay missioners will be beginning courses at Casa San Salvador, with new mission candidates who will be continuing to discern where Christ is leading them through their studies in subjects including theology and Franciscan Spirituality. Just across the street from us, another group of individuals are also taking formation courses in theology and philosophy – the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin Matara, religious sisters also preparing to further understand God’s call in their lives.

FMS prospective missioner Kitzi Hendricks alongside two of our neighbors.

This past Thursday, we were able to share a meal and conversation with our neighbors the Servants of the Lord at their home. Since we also had been planning our Discernment Days’ Sorbet Social for the very same evening, following our meal the sisters and the FMS community walked across the street to Casa San Salvador for a tasty ice cream treat.


The topic of discernment ended up being very prevalent, as many of the sisters shared with us their vocation stories and decision to becoming a sister with the Servants of the Lord. It was quite fitting for FMS since we were holding our discernment retreat, which is designed to help prospective mission candidates pray about the decision to commit three years of their lives to lay mission work. Though religious and lay each have unique vocations, we still found our common ground, through our desire to live in community and by the assertion that each and every one of us had the overall longing to love and serve Christ always (amar y servir Cristo siempre).
Following dinner the sisters came over with us to Casa San Salvador for our Discernment Days’ Sorbet Social.

It was interesting to hear conversations across the room as all of us discussed the significance of the logos and symbols of their organization. At my table the sister shared with us the Cross of Matara which the sisters wear around their neck and what each symbolized in relation to their charism and mission, how their gray habits symbolized Christ’s humanity and mission on earth, whereas their blue aprons represented his divinity. Across the room, at another table an FMS domestic volunteer could be heard telling the sister about our the FMS tree, how the tree trunk is made up of two people emphasizing our partnership and community approach to mission.

The Cross of Matara is the cross that each of the Sisters – Servants of the Lord – wear around their neck. Beside that is the FMS logo, a tree with its trunk representing two individuals coming together in community and partnership.

Overall it was a blessing to be able to spend this time with neighbors, to be able to contemplate our roles as religious and lay and how we work together towards helping others to know Christ’s humanity and mission.