Domestic Volunteers who staff the office at our headquarters are taking Wednesday afternoons to serve at various sites around the D.C. area.  Each volunteer is partnered with a non-profit and spending a few hours each week there through their service commitment at Franciscan Mission Service.  So far, volunteer Chelsea has had a festive experience at the Gift of Peace House.

photo by sinosplice on Flickr

September 5th, on the anniversary of her death, people around the world celebrate the feast of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

As the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, she is remembered for her compassion and selflessness towards the poor and the overlooked. Quotes from her work have inspired millions and she continues to be a role-model for the people of our times.

The Gift of Peace House, a ministry of the Missionaries of Charity and located in D.C., is a hospice care for people who have no family and no means of supporting themselves. They come from all over the world, in different levels of ability, but that didn’t keep them from celebrating the founder of their current support.

“All fifty-five residents went to mass in suits, dresses, hats, and jewelry,” described Chelsea.  As part of her Wednesday volunteering she helped get the residents dolled-up, put make-up on the women and drive the residents to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where mass was held in honor of Mother Teresa.

Chelsea’s time so far at Gift of Peace House has been a gift in her eyes.  She’s enjoyed spending time doing the simple things that bring daily joy to the residents, whether it’s singing Amazing Grace or playing a card game.  “It’s a really humbling experience to help feed the people there – to know that they must rely on others and I am someone who is still able to help.”

Besides the Wednesday volunteering, the Gift of Peace House will be a host service site for students on short-term mission to D.C. – a new program Franciscan Mission Service will start in the spring.  We are excited to expand this relationship with the Missionaries of Charity and look forward to continuing our mutual mission of presence.