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Many thanks to the Advent reflection series contributors. 

Below are reflections our readers particularly enjoyed, listed again in case you missed them:

The Light of One: The Gift of Yourself by Hady Mendez

The Light of One: Confessions of a Bad Listener by Sarah Hoffeditz

The Light of One: Preparing to Be Overwhelmed by Michael Carlson

The Light of One: Mother. Administrator. Agronomist. Jefa. Friend. by Annemarie Barret

Franciscan Mission Service celebrates 2013 by looking back at just a few highlights:
– In January, we sent two new lay missioners – Annemarie Barrett and Jeff Sved – to Cochabamba, Bolivia.

– In February, two staff members and our board president went on an exploratory trip to South Africa to finish developing our Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness Trips.
A few months later, we took our first group of college students abroad to learn about poverty, racism, and other social justice issues. 
– We connected college students from the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia to the realities of poverty and the importance of service and advocacy on our first alternative spring break trip to D.C. this March.
-In March we also welcomed into our hearts Pope Francis (and rejoiced over his choice of name). 
– In April we hosted our 2013 World Care Benefit and Celebration in which we honored Sr. Pat Farrell, OSF, past-president of the behalf of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, with the 8th annual Anselm Moons Award. We also enjoyed writer Melinda Henneberger’s keynote perspective on“Keeping the Door of Faith Open: Remaining in the Catholic Church Today.”

– Over the course of the year we welcomed several new faces to our staff: Natalie HelfrickJason BachSarah HoffeditzChanda Ikachana, and Michael Carlson

– In the summer we also welcomed three new members to our board of directors: returned missioner Doug Garofalo; Patrick Martin, OFS; and Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA. 
– Missioner Annemarie Barret shared with us this summer her experience with non-violence with a special “Paz y Bien” blog series.

– In June, our staff and 12 of our returned missioners gathered in Colorado for our triannual returned missioner retreat. Facilitator Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International helped us to reexamine our lifelong call to mission and how we are to be Franciscan and relational. 
– In August we moved our administrative offices a few blocks away. The new location puts us in closer proximity to friends like Franciscan Action Network, as well as creates more space at Casa San Salvador for the intentional residential community and mission formation facilities.

– We welcomed to training one of our largest mission classes in recent history this September and then commissioned them for service in December. We look forward to a wonderful 2014 with our four new missioners in the field: Mary MortensonNate MortensonHady Mendez, and Valerie Ellis.
Mission Class 29: Four New Missioners!

Class 29