Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.
When discussing what matters most to me, it is hard to land on a single aspect of my life. There are so many things that I am passionate about and grateful for, so deciding on just one is difficult. For instance, family has always come first in my life, so it would be an easy choice for what matters most. I have always leaned on family for support and guidance, especially in recent years. But perhaps it is that support system that matters most, regardless if it comes from family, friends, or an entire community. Just having others to lean on has provided me with a strong foundation to build my future around. For that I am grateful, and it is unlikely that I would be in such a positive place without those people in my life.
As I enter into this new experience, I think that a strong support system becomes even more important. I was drawn to Franciscan Mission Service for a number of reasons, but a few stood out above the rest. For one, my experience in a Franciscan community at St. Bonaventure was extraordinary. I had never felt so welcomed and loved outside of my own home. Regardless of whether I was dealing with my close friends or complete strangers, there was an atmosphere of warmth and love amongst everybody. There is so much more to Franciscanism than just acceptance and community, and I often try to apply all Franciscan values to my own life, but those specific experiences made for a remarkable 4 years. The idea of being able to continue to feel that compassion from those around me helped make my decision to join FMS an easy one.
The idea of intentional community was appealing as well. This obviously ties into my experiences at St. Bonaventure. Having people around me who want to build strong relationships and support each other was intriguing. These are people who have a similar passion for serving their community and positively impacting the world . If this year was to be spent by myself in a one bedroom apartment, I may not have considered it as an option. By placing me with others who share my interests, I was immediately given a community that can provide support as I become accustomed to a new lifestyle. As I said, having a strong support system is very important to me, and this concept of intentional community provided me with that before I even stepped foot in the Casa.
If I listed all of the things that matter most to me, I could probably write an entire book. However, as I enter this new stage in my life, I think the most relevant would be a caring and supportive group of people that give me the strength and courage needed to accomplish my goals. Through FMS, I have found that community and support system. Though I have only been here for a few short weeks, the group around me has provided me with all that I could have hoped for and more!