Editor’s note: New Programs Associate Rose Urankar shares her path to becoming a DC Service Corps volunteer and looks forward to the year ahead.

Welcome Rose Urankar, the new DC Service Corps Programs Associate. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Rose attended the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Theology and American Studies. From the former she acquired a special liking for the Rule of St. Benedict, and from the latter she learned that she liked interdisciplinary studies about religion in a cultural context.

Rose has intercultural experience from her college year abroad in Spain, as well as from spending the last year in the Dominican Republic. There she completed a service year working with the sisters from the Society of the Holy Child Jesus at a Montessori school in a Haitian immigrant community.

“A lot of what I did applies directly to the FMS mission,” Rose says. “I was accompanying the community, walking with them and learning from the way they organized to meet their needs.”

Rose hopes to continue her involvement with international service through her position as Programs Associate. Two years ago, she served at another organization based in DC’s Brookland area, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she used her Spanish skills at the Office of Hispanic and Latino Ministries. She was helping to lay the groundwork for a US conference of Latino ministers.

One day, Rose decided to visit the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. She saw the sign for Casa San Salvador, where FMS volunteers live in intentional community. Thinking it might be a Catholic Worker community, Rose remembered the name. During her senior year of college she was discerning between becoming an overseas missioner with FMS and joining the program in the Dominican Republic. After returning to the US this summer, Rose decided to return to the District of Columbia as part of DC Service Corps.

In part due to her interest in the Catholic Worker movement and Dorothy Day, one of Rose’s favorite saints is St. Dorothy. She also has a special feeling for St. Lucy, whose name means “light,” and her devotion to God.

Rose’s hobbies include singing, performing in musical theater, and speaking Spanish. “I enjoy being immersed in a culture like I was in the Dominican Republic,” she says. “I stopped worrying about making a mistake and was able to communicate fluidly in Spanish.” She also enjoys salsa and merengue dancing.

Our new Programs Associate is excited about accompanying missioners and missioners in training during her time at FMS. “In the future, I see myself doing creative and collaborative work,” Rose says. At FMS headquarters she should have many opportunities to do just that in the coming year.