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Month: October 2014

Carving Pumpkins

To get in the Halloween spirit, the Casa San Salvador intentional community of young adults carved pumpkins. “Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. God opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff–…

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Bolivian Election

October 12 was the national presidential election in Bolivia. What is interesting about this date? It was a Sunday. In true Bolivian tradition, there was a party feeling in the streets, as people walked dogs or biked with their families, as all transportation was suspended. When I went with my host family to watch them vote,…

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The Big Reveal

They’ve been waiting. And praying…and waiting and praying some more. With much anticipation, the five members of Mission Class 30 learned this week which countries they will each be traveling to in January to being at least two years of service and solidarity. Brandon Newland and Patrick Montine are on their way to Jamaica to…

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Walking Together on the Journey— US Catholic Mission Association Annual Mission Conference

Three years ago I was on my way to Miami, Florida for the annual Mission Conference hosted by the United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA). At the time, I had no idea what I would be getting myself in to. I was a college sophomore, had only been an intern with USCMA for two months, and…

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Prison Ministry – It’s No Joke

My family and friends laugh at me when I say,“ Talk to you later. I gotta go to jail,” “It sounds funny,” they tell me. But for me it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s what I do. I started prison ministry roughly six months ago. When I first started going to jail,…

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Overcoming Discomfort and Making Friends

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) In the weeks leading up to Christmas last year, my siblings and I received a group text message from our mother explaining the details of a caroling outing at a local convalescent home. When the time came, our family of seven trudged into…

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Owning My Ignorance

I was taught at a young age to try to find rooms in which I was the dumbest person there. It was not an invitation to be lazy or to not take education seriously. Quite the opposite: I was told that if I surrounded myself with people smarter than I, then it was an opportunity…

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Inspired by John Paul II

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I turned the ripe old age of 23 or 69, depending on who you ask (friends say that some of my interests – including my love of naps – make me an old man.) I had a great birthday – my parents came to visit as part…

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Homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk 1972 Los Angeles, CA by social documentary photographer Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Learning About Homelessness

The first few weeks of my training at FMS have been very eventful. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve met countless individuals that have opened up and shared stories that are both meaningful and full of great experiences. I have been a part of a community that is set on helping each other…

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Discomfort, Anger, Tears, Foolishness and the Feast of Saint Francis

One hundred feet. It couldn’t have been more than 100 feet. One hundred feet, from the Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina to the tour bus parked down the street. These 100 feet were the most significant parts of my Feast of St. Francis. Hand in hand and side by side we marched to the…

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Sticky note: Need v. Want

Living on Less

I lived on just $400 last month! Yes, this is a proud moment in the life of Hady Mendez. The $400 I spent includes some money from savings in addition to money from the stipend I am paid each month. I’m really proud of this accomplishment because living simply has taught me to be more…

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