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Year: 2022

Beholding

Editor’s Note: Our new class of DC Service Corps volunteers will each be reflecting on a way that they resonate with Fraciscan Mission Service’s mission and spirituality. Erin Frances Reinhart shares the Franciscan practice of contemplative beholding as a counterpoint to living life on autopilot. I spent the last seven years earning my doctoral degree…

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JOSE, ROAD TRIP, LIGHTS, AND SIRENS

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman reflects on her encounter with suffering and injustice along the U.S.-Mexico Border.  Early one morning at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta, Mexico, I noticed a young man in the courtyard sitting apart from the group looking very sad and scared. I noticed he had several scratches…

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DAY IN THE LIFE OF DOMONIQUE

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Domonique Thompson shares about a typical Tuesday at her ministry sites in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  I shall choose Tuesday for a day in my life, because it is one of my favorite days. I live at the Franciscan Social Center in the center of the city. It is a space open…

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The Precious of Uvalde

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder laments and reflects on the mass shooting crisis in the U.S. through the lens of the tragedy in Uvalde. The Precious of Uvalde   By Mari Snyder   In the fresh spring of their lives  They could sniff summer wafting  Through louvered windows.     One … twice…

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Creature Comforts – How God has Accompanied Me Through His Animals

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Joanie McMahon reflects on the Franciscan perspective that encourages her to stop and look for signs of God in all life and through his creatures.  As my year in DC Service Corps draws to a close, I have been reflecting on God’s presence throughout the ebbs and flows of…

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100 Days in Jamaica

Editor’s Note: Joleen Johnson reflects on her first 100 days as an Overseas Lay Missioner in Jamaica.  I’ve officially been in Jamaica for three months now. In fact, I calculated it, and my 100th day in Jamaica was June 9th, 2022. My time here has felt like it’s just flown by, and I really can’t…

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2021-2022 DCSC Year in Review

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Grace Kueber serves as a Protection Counselor at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She shares a video and reflection as the 2021-2022 DC Service Corps program year draws to an end.    A year ago I had a completely different path in mind. I was a…

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Estephanie’s Last Day at FMS

Editor’s Note: Estephanie Alvarez is a high school student who works in the FMS office once a week as part of Don Bosco Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). As the school year closes, she reflects on her experience working with FMS.  When I first came to Franciscan Mission Service, I wasn’t sure what…

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La Paz Sea Contigo

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on the gifts of the Holy Spirit working in his life as he serves on mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I recently celebrated the Feast of Pentecost with men and families at El Abra prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Within the Catholic chapel, the celebrant priest, Padre Juan of…

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Chris’ Week

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza shares a few highlights from a week in April, including a volunteer appreciation dinner at the Father McKenna Center, Divine Mercy Sunday, and a spring garden tour at the White House. On April 28th, Lauren, Alex (JVC volunteer), and I attended a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at The…

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Discovering Our Common Tongue

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto shares how the gift of music created a moment of connection despite differences in language and culture on the U.S.-Mexico border. Just a typical afternoon in the Arizona May “springtime” – 94 degrees, 7% humidity, clear skies, and plenty of sunshine. I park near an abandoned shoe store…

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Wednesday Morning (A Robin’s Protest)

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler shares a poem that she wrote after walking to the FMS office on a beautiful spring day. Wednesday Morning (A Robin’s Protest) By Victoria Wangler   The morning seeps itself across the low clouds like a painter who has muddled the water.   Pale, questioning–turning up the…

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Accompaniment, Knots, and the One Who Can Undo Them

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Joanie McMahon reflects on the ministry of presence and the importance of giving the burdens of life to Mary, the Undoer of Knots, to untangle.  As Programs Associate, my ministry of presence often looks different than my housemates’. Most of my fellow DC Service Corps volunteers serve in more…

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Hugs, Hugs, and More Hugs

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman shares a reflection on greeting strangers with hugs on the U.S.-Mexico border to convey comfort and love.  I have now been working across the U.S.-Mexico border for over a year, and one of my favorite customs is greeting a stranger with a hug. I watched in wonder as…

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Lauren’s Week

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry shares her highlights from a week in April through a photo-a-day series.  For the week of April 2nd-April 10th, I took a photo every day to highlight various points. Here is a collection of my highlights throughout the week. Enjoy :).     Saturday, April 2nd, 2022. This…

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The “Our Father” I Lived Yesterday Afternoon

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder participated in her first shift at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta, Mexico, just yards away from the U.S.-Mexico Border. She shares the Our Father in Spanish with a very personal English-language interpretation.   Padre Nuestro, Our Father,   Que estas en el cielo,  Who art in heaven, but…

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Appreciating God’s Creation in Jamaica

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson shares a photo blog of God’s creation in Kingston, Jamaica.  As a way to appreciate God’s intricate creation, this blog post consists of photos of just a few flowers and plants (and one parrot) found in Kingston, Jamaica. Each petal is different than the next and has God’s…

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Night at the Art Car Museum

Editor’s Note: Julia Pinto, an FMS missioner on the U.S.-Mexico border, shares a story of meeting a retired Border Patrol agent and how he challenged her assumptions.  My fellow missioner and I were invited by one of our ministry partners to a dinner on March 22nd at Art Car World, a small, local museum in…

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Prayer for Trust

Editor’s Note: As journeyed through the sacred season of Lent, our staff, Overseas Lay Missioners, and DC Service Corps volunteers compiled a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. To end our Lenten Litany today, DC Service Corps volunteer Emily Putzke shares a prayer for trust.  Christ, have mercy on us. Lord,…

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Prayer For Those Who Are Suffering

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our staff, Overseas Lay Missioners, and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Estephanie Alvarez is a high school student who works in the FMS office once a week as part of Don…

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Franciscan Values and Blessing In Cochabamba

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on Franciscan values and blessings he is experiencing while serving in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Heading into my third month of mission here in the beautiful city of Cochabamba, I am overwhelmed, delighted, and reminded daily of the various Franciscan values and blessings I encounter along this journey. A continuing…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer to See God’s Presence

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our staff, Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder, who serves on the U.S.-Mexico border, shares a prayer to see and know God’s…

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Lauren’s Day at the Fr. McKenna Center

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry shares a video blog of her day-to-day service at the Fr. McKenna Center.

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Prayer for Unconditional Love and Mercy

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our staff, Overseas Lay Missioners, and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza shares a prayer to experience God’s unconditional love and mercy. Christ, have mercy on…

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Prayer for Radical Love

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our staff, Overseas Lay Missioners, and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, FMS’ Programs Director Emily Norton shares a prayer for radical love.  Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy…

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Expect the Unexpected

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Domonique Thompson challenges her preconceived ideas about life in Bolivia and reflects on the power of small changes for the betterment of her new community. Since I have been in Bolivia, I have been overwhelmed by the overflowing grace that has been present since I arrived. It’s honestly been difficult…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for Detachment

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto, who serves on the U.S.-Mexico border, shares a prayer to detach from the things of this…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer For Resilience

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, DC Service Corps volunteer Grace Kueber, who serves as a Protection Counselor at the UNHCR, shares a prayer for resilience. …

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BE PRESENT — THIS LENTEN SEASON IS A GIFT

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University and is written by FMS’ Board Chair, Emmjolee Mendoza Waters. Emmjolee is Director of Community Engagement, Social Justice, and Catholic Social Teaching Initiatives at the Catholic University of America.  Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season have arrived. I remember thinking…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for Greater Trust in God’s Goodness

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler shares a prayer for greater trust in God’s goodness.  Christ, have mercy on us.…

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Fasting, Ham Sandwiches, and a Gift

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman, who serves on the U.S.-Mexico border, reflects on a moment she will never forget during a time of fasting.  In the spring of 2021, I participated in a fast entitled “Fast for More Compassion from the People of the United States for the Migrants Coming to the Southern…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for the Gift of Grace

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, Overseas Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson, who serves in Jamaica, shares a prayer for the gift of grace.   Christ, have…

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Three Lenten Resources

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Emily Putzke shares three resources (music, art, and a poem) to help us journey through Lent.  Dear friends, As we journey through the season of Lent, I’d like to share three resources to help us enter into a hushed and contemplative space.  1. Lenten Musical Meditation by Joel Clarkson …

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for Restoration

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, DC Service Corps volunteer Anna Fluharty shares a prayer for healing and restoration.  Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have…

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Blessed are the Peacemakers

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza shares a reflection on being peacemakers amid the war in Ukraine.  These past days we have all witnessed the tragedy that unfortunately has unfolded in Eastern Europe. Our hearts break for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are experiencing hardship. Families have been separated, innocent civilians have…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for Ukraine

Editor’s Note: As we journey through the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz, who serves in Bolivia, shares a prayer for peace in Ukraine.  Lord, have mercy…

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Lenten Litany: Prayer for Migrants

Editor’s Note: As we enter into the sacred season of Lent, our Overseas Lay Missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers will be compiling a Lenten Litany, each writing a one-line prayer close to their hearts. Today, Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman, who serves on the U.S.-Mexico border, shares a prayer for migrants.  Lord, have mercy…

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¡Bienvenido a Cochabamba!

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on his recent arrival to Cochabamba, Bolivia. What a joy to have arrived and spent my first month here in the land of the “Cochabambinos,” an endearing name for the dear, diverse, multicultural, indigenous, and cosmopolitan people of this Bolivian department. Kind, gracious, and muy simpatico are…

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A Spark of Joy Revealed 

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder reflects on simplicity, gratitude, books that spark joy, and preparing to leave for the U.S.-Mexico border.  Does this display of books “spark joy” for you like it does for me? If you have read one of these books and wish to recommend it, please note it in the comment…

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Walk With Me

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson reflects on the meaning of accompaniment and friendship.  My close friend and fellow missioner Rhonda Eckerman, who is serving on the U.S.-Mexico border, recently helped me brainstorm ideas for the topic of this blog. As I reflected on some of the ideas presented, I embraced a moment of…

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Choosing Happiness

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler shares a vlog about intentionally choosing happiness with a heart full of gratitude. 

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Why Wait?

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto reflects on the hidden blessings she’s discovered during a season of waiting as she prepares to serve on the U.S.-Mexico border. Holdups are often perceived as torment, especially in the context of a culture of instant gratification. We would rather not wait longer for our package or dinner…

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Back To High School

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Anna Fluharty shares about her service site at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. I am stationed at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School (DBCR) as my full time service placement. I am a mentor/teacher, a coach, and a leader in youth ministry. What that practically looks like throughout…

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Grace’s Day at the UNHCR

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Grace Kueber shares a day in the life video of serving as a Protection Counselor at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.     

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Casa Thanksgiving

Editor’s Note: FMS’ Programs Associate, Joanie McMahon, shares her original artwork that gives a glimpse into Casa San Salvador during meal preparations. Check out more of Joanie’s beautiful artwork on her website and Instagram.  

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Chris’ Day at the Fr. McKenna Center

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza shares a video blog of his day-to-day service at the Fr. McKenna Center. 

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The Snake, St. Francis, and Me

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman shares a story about finding a snake outside her home on the U.S.-Mexico border and how she embraced her inner St. Francis.  During FMS Formation back in the Fall of 2020, when I lived with 14 other Franciscan volunteers at Casa San Salvador, we adopted the acronym WWSFD (What…

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The Artist’s Garden

Editor’s Note: FMS’ Communications Associate Emily Putzke reflects on the ways God invites us to become co-creators of beauty with Him. It was a drizzly October morning as I sauntered up the National Gallery of Art’s copious steps. DC Service Corps was given the day to explore the galleries, reflect, and recharge as part of…

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