Franciscan Mission Service has been blessed with many dedicated men and women, both lay and religious, who have given generously of their time and talents to grow this new branch on the tree of the Franciscan Family. Our staff’s dedication and enthusiasm has breathed new life and a fresh vision into our organization.
Liz is thrilled to lead FMS. It is an honor to partner with individuals living and serving in solidarity with individuals in economically poor communities. Liz’s own mission commitment was shaped through serving as a 4th grade teacher in Birmingham, Alabama with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and later as a teacher in a bilingual Catholic elementary school in Juticalpa, Honduras.
Liz comes to FMS from the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where she served as the Director of the International Program for three years. Previously, she dedicated over a decade to serving in internationally focused positions with the U.S. government, including two years in Mexico City. Liz graduated with an M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.S in International Studies and Management from Boston College.
In her free time, Liz enjoys tutoring DC junior high students, learning languages, reading, exploring hidden gems of DC, traveling, retreats, and sharing time with family and friends.
Meghan is grateful that her position allows her to serve in an office setting that incorporates her love for mission and her strong ties to Latin America. Among her various duties, Meghan serves as the day-to-day operations leader, leads/co-leads short-term domestic and international trips, engages in international field evaluation through site visits, helps coordinate the Returned Missioner program, and cultivates the values of FMS within the organization.
Meghan first heard about FMS in 2011 when she met FMS missioner Nora Pfieffer while Meghan was volunteering in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Meghan received her undergraduate degree at Goucher College where she majored in Spanish and English. After graduation, she received her masters in the Spanish: Latin American studies program at American University. Meghan was a Spanish teacher for a few years and has also led trips abroad for high school students to Peru and Ecuador. These experiences allowed her to engage her love for teaching outside the traditional classroom setting where she could empower her students to broaden their minds and their understanding of the world.
Originally from Thousand Oaks, California, Meghan has lived in the DC area since 2006. Before coming to FMS, Meghan worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a Management and Program Analyst.
Emily enjoys overseeing Franciscan Mission Service’s expanding programs, and is grateful to be in a role that allows her to combine her program management skills with her passion for faith-based service. Emily has worked at various local, national, and international NGOs, all of which shared her goal of serving marginalized populations and promoting social justice. Prior to working at FMS, Emily managed different service-focused programs at The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command and The George Washington University.
Latin America holds a special spot in Emily’s heart, and she has studied and served in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador. During her time in Ecuador, Emily volunteered with a Catholic service program similar to FMS. Her time living simply in an intentional community, focused on ministry of presence, and living in solidarity with the poor was transformational for her, and she is eager to help support the FMS missioners during their life-giving time on mission.
Emily is a proud native of Portland, Oregon, and a proud Bucknellian (i.e. she graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA), who loves learning about different cultures, exploring new places, being active and going on spontaneous adventures.
Kim grew up in North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Warren Wilson College in Asheville. Her first job out of college was working in a state psychiatric institution, and this interest in people living with mental illness carried through to later positions as a psychiatric social worker at Fountain House and a job with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In between, she spent a year of service with Mercy Corps in the greater New York City area, where she developed an interest in people experiencing homelessness or poverty.
Always interested in people’s stories, Kim later turned her attention to communications work, but it’s at FMS that she has found a way to combine her spiritual journey with writing and editing. Kim is very inspired by the Franciscan charism, as well as inspiring others about FMS programs.
Nonprofit Servant Leadership Associates:
These young adults volunteer in our office 35 hours a week and spend Wednesday afternoons serving with marginalized populations in the Washington, D.C. area. Interested in serving in our office? See the program page to learn about this unique opportunity.
With a passion for service and Franciscan spirituality, Amanda Saunders joined the Nonprofit Servant Leadership program in June 2016. Having served on short-term immersion trips herself, she is excited to be working as a programs associate to support the FMS short-term trips, Discernment Days, and the formation classes for the missioners preparing to travel abroad for service. Originally from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Amanda graduated from Neumann University, studying Theology, Psychology, and Youth Ministry within a liberal arts program.
Kathleen Strycula joined the Nonprofit Servant Leadership program in June 2016 after graduating from the Catholic University of America. As the graphic design associate for Franciscan Mission Service, Kathleen will be able to engage her minor in studio art as she designs and creates promotional materials and other design projects for FMS. Kathleen looks forward to the year ahead and all of its opportunities for professional and spiritual development within a community of other young adult volunteers.