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Mission Monday: Busting Myths

Our Associate Director Mariam Mitry busts the myths she frequently hears about mission:

In the past couple months, I have had the pleasure of speaking with more than 100 students interested in volunteering internationally after they complete their undergraduate studies. I find that whenever I’m recruiting — whether I’m talking to college students or retirees — I hear the same myths over and over again, and it’s time to clear them up.  

MYTH 1: Mission is converting people to Christianity

With FMS, you train to serve in ways that are respectful of cultural and religious differences.
MYTH 2 : Mission is starting projects that the host country doesn’t want or need.
With FMS, you serve with Franciscans in established ministries that local people invite you to join.
MYTH 3: Mission is just for priests and nuns.
Mission with FMS is for anyone committed to working for peace, solidarity and justice. In the past 20 years, FMS has sent more than 130 lay people to serve in 19 different countries.
MYTH 4: Mission is giving up two years of my life.
You’ll learn more about yourself on mission. You’ll build lasting relationships, deepen your faith life, and strengthen your communication and leadership skills – not to mention your cross-cultural awareness. What better way to prepare for a career in an increasingly multicultural society? 
Mariam recruiting at Catholic University of America’s Long Term Service Fair  in November 2011
When I’m recruiting, I explain that St. Francis truly believed in journeying with those that are physically poor, and in peace and social justice. This is a tradition that FMS continues through our missioners.  
One way I describe FMS is as a “Catholic Peace Corps.” From there, I delve into talking about the incredible 13-week training we provide, the support we offer to missioners during their two-years abroad, and the partnership we have with religious Franciscans in the field that opens the door to amazing service opportunities.
I get most excited about potential missioners who are passionate about human rights, environmental justice, or they have a heart for a country where Franciscans are already working, such as Bolivia, Zambia, Kenya and Jamaica. With these people, I can see the possibilities for service forming in my mind.  

Are you interested in learning more about serving overseas? Let us know and we’ll get in contact with you. 

We are currently accepting applications for our Fall 2012 formation group, who would leave for mission in January 2013.

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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