Franciscan Mission Service recently celebrated the 2014 World Care Benefit! In today’s blog, we share the evening in a post of gratitude for Anselm Moons, OFM award recipient Jack Jezreel, keynote speaker Fr. Dan Horan, OFM, and all of our sponsors and members of the Franciscan family.

As part of Friday night’s 2014 World Care Benefit, Franciscan Mission Service honored JustFaith founder Jack Jezreel for his impact on adult faith formation in the U.S. with the 9th Annual Anselm Moons, OFM Award.

About 120 people gathered at St. Francis Hall in northeast DC for an evening themed, “Profoundly Changed: New Disciples for Peace, Justice, and Hope.” JustFaith is a faith formation program for adults that, like Franciscan Mission Service, emphasizes social justice and mission service for the marginalized as essential to authentic faith formation.

9th Annual Anselm Moons, OFM Award recipient Jack Jezreel with Executive Director Kim Smolik

A video from Hady Mendez, an FMS missioner in Bolivia, testified to JustFaith’s influence on her discernment to answer God’s call to mission through Franciscan Mission Service.

During his acceptance speech, Jack addressed the urgent need for Catholics to follow the encouragement of Pope Francis to rejuvenate the Church through attention to Matthew 25, a Gospel chapter emphasizing faith formation as an integral aspect of discipleship.

“There should be no Christian disinterested in justice because that would be dismissing Jesus,” Jack said, “Social mission must be connected to spiritual mission.”

Attendee Cara Costa greatly enjoyed Jack’s acceptance speech, saying, “The words that stand out are, ‘We need to die for something to move on to the next phase of our lives.’ That’s really helpful for me to hear, this call to travel to a new phase by asking myself the question ‘What do I need to die to in order to move on?’”

Following Jack’s acceptance was another well-received and thought-provoking speech by keynote speaker Fr. Dan Horan, OFM. The popular author and retreat leader focused on the similarities between St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis, highlighting the foundation of Franciscanism: relationships.

Keynote speaker Fr. Dan Horan, OFM

“A better translation for Yaweh is ‘I AM the one who will always be there for you’…The name of God is ‘relationship’,” Fr. Horan said, “If the name of God is ‘relationship’, who do we say that we are?”

Fr. Curt Kreml, OFM Conv., who taught a class on moral theology for lay Franciscan missioner formation this fall, stated that his favorite part of the evening was hearing both Jack Jezreel and Fr. Horan speak.

“I think Fr. Horan got to the heart of the Franciscan charism. It’s about relationships. His words animate all Franciscans to form relationships in love,” Fr. Kreml said, “But, it was also nice just to have similar-minded people come together for an evening and enjoy each other.”

The branches of the Franciscan family tree were represented by the Conventuals, Capuchins and Order of Friars Minors; Franciscan sisters; the Friars of the Atonement, a Third Order Regular organization; Secular Franciscans from various fraternities; and members of other organizations such as Franciscan Action Network. Catholic Climate Covenant was also represented, as well as Education and Outreach for USCCB.

Members and guests of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, including current Franciscan Mission Service board member Fr. Wayne Hellmann, OFM (Conv.) (top row, second from left.)

Before and after the speakers, guests enjoyed mingling over Lenten Friday-friendly appetizers and desserts and perusing the silent auction, which featured art such as wooden inlays from Bolivia. New to this year’s event were free samples of the wine and dessert items that were up for bid.

The sales table featured originally designed posters of Pope Francis as well as two original t-shirts: “Hanging with Franciscans: Make it a Habit” and “The Pope Gives Me Hope”. Both t-shirts are also available online. Proceeds from the entire evening, including the auction and sales table, went toward Franciscan Mission Service’s many ministries that create pathways for mission for the laity.

“The event was a success in so many ways,” Executive Director Kim Smolik said, “Above all, it was wonderful for so many Franciscans, religious and secular, and Franciscan-hearted people to gather and share an evening celebrating our mission: forming new disciples for peace, justice, and hope in the spirit of St. Francis.”

Thank you to all of our guests, silent auction donors, event volunteers, and sponsors.