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The Anselm Moons Award: Remembering our Founder


The award was created to honor the founder of Franciscan Mission Service and to recognize an individual who exemplifies the organization’s mission and Franciscan values. It is presented during the World Care Annual Benefit and Celebration.

About Anselm Moons

Dutch Franciscan friar Fr. Anselm Moons, OFM, passed away on  Nov. 14, 2016. A native of Holland, he served as a missionary in Pakistan for 25 years and then traveled widely as a member of the General Council of the Franciscan Order in Rome. In 1985, he came to the U.S. at the request of a group of North American Franciscan friars (OFM) to help prepare friars for overseas mission.

But Fr. Moons deeply believed in the role of the laity in the Church, and wished to encourage them in their desire to go on mission. He believed the “laity are the future of the Church.” With the support of the North American Franciscan friars, Fr. Moons started the Lay Mission Formation Program in 1989 to offer lay Catholics the opportunity to serve overseas in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare. The first Franciscan Mission Service class was commissioned and sent into the field in 1990.

Fr. Moons was convinced that the missionary task of the Catholic Church extends not only to impoverished areas of the world but also to places of power, affluence and privilege. For this reason, missioners are called to lifelong mission in North America after their service abroad, by drawing on the knowledge, skills, and faith development that were part of their overseas mission experience as the basis for their commitment to social change in the North American Church and society.

In His Own Words

Fr. Anselm Moon's articles from the World Care newsletter:

The Challenge of Lay Missioners,” 1990.

Laity Co-Lead with Clergy,” 1991.

Past Awardees