As 2016 graduate Kathleen Strycula walked down the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with her Catholic University of America (CUA) diploma in hand, her gaze drifted across the street to the Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) office where she would begin the next chapter in her life.
While speaking with members of the campus ministry office at CUA and looking through the Catholic Volunteer Network service programs guide, Kathleen came across Franciscan Mission Service. FMS offered the pairing of community, spirituality, and service that Kathleen was seeking.
“I liked how all the branches of FMS work together and connect,” shared Kathleen. “The domestic branch of FMS, the Nonprofit Servant Leadership Program, offered the opportunity to serve without going overseas.”
During her thirteen months as a communications associate, Kathleen will live in intentional community with the other FMS associates and DC Service Corps members where volunteers share meals, pray together, and go on adventures around DC.
Kathleen was also drawn to FMS because of the Franciscan charism and looks forward to deepening her knowledge in this area and incorporating it more into her daily life.
With a father in the military, Kathleen has moved around a lot throughout her life. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, she most recently lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her parents and four siblings before coming to FMS.
Kathleen graduated with a major in psychology and a minor in studio art with a concentration in digital art. As the new communications associate, Kathleen will take on the graphic designer role where she will design promotional materials and other design projects for FMS, as well as work closely with the blog and social media.
In addition to her professional development, the office associate program includes a weekly service component which allows the associate to pair with a non-profit organization in DC and spend afternoons in various volunteer programs. Kathleen hopes to pair with an organization which will allow her to engage her love of and talent for art.
In her free time, Kathleen enjoys drawing, sculpting, singing, and going to museums.
Fun Fact: “My family and I have been to 42 states and 13 countries.”
Favorite Saint: “St. Francis. And I’m not just saying that because of where I am! I had the chance in the summer of 2002 to visit Assisi. Seeing all the sites and churches was an amazing experience and I’ve been drawn to St. Francis and Franciscanism ever since.”