Join Franciscan Mission Service in extending a warm welcome to our new Program Associate, John Quense!

A native of New Jersey, John graduated in 2011 from Rutgers University, where he double majored in Political Science and Spanish. He comes to Franciscan Mission Service with a good amount of international volunteer experience under his belt. The summer after he graduated from high school, he spent three months in Costa Rica, living with Arbol de Vida, an ecumenical lay community, and working with a local Catholic youth group. He also took six months off during his sophomore year at Rutgers to volunteer with Servants of the Word doing college outreach at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Monterrey, Mexico.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México

He heard about Franciscan Mission Service through a chance reading of Response Magazine and, already hoping to move to DC, was instantly intrigued by the opportunity to serve there with a Catholic international non-profit. He is especially looking forward to his work planning formation with and for the missioners.

“That three-pronged approach—preparing before mission, supporting during mission, and transitioning back after mission—having travelled to a couple different countries myself, I never experienced anything like that,” John says. “And looking back a couple years later, it’s a bigger deal than I realized. I think it’s really important that people get that.”

John confesses to not knowing much about the Franciscan order, but says that he is eager to learn more. He is particularly inspired by the example of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (C.F.R.) that he met in Newark, New Jersey.

“Those guys are just men,” he says with a laugh. “Loud, bald, bearded. They live in the worst ghettos of Newark and wear sandals year-round. They’re awesome.”

In his free time, John enjoys reading, rock climbing, and beach volleyball.

Favorite saint: St. Augustine. “He was my confirmation saint. I like the fact that he converted later in life. I feel like that gives me time!”

Fun fact: “I have a twin brother. He’s older than me by 30 seconds. I was very comfortable in the womb so I booted him out. He says it was because I was scared, but he was the one screaming.”