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Advent

Day 2: Wait

Editor’s note: On this second day of our Advent blog series “His Light Would Not Go Out,” DC Service Corps alum and former House Manager Amanda MacMillan shares how a newfound interest in baking is challenging her to be a more patient person who “waits with purpose.” I do not like to wait. I am…

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Day 1: His Light Would Not Go Out

Editor’s Note: We begin our Advent 2022 blog series, “His Light would not go out,” with a reflection written by our Associate Director, Rose Hardwick.  Using an image from her mission experience in the Dominican Republic, she reflects on discernment as a process where God lights our way, step by step. Careening down the dark…

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Day 28: Incarnation

Editor’s Note: Merry Christmas! On this final day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” we invite you to reflect on the poem “Made Flesh” written by Luci Shaw as we celebrate the incarnation of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Made Flesh By Luci Shaw After the bright beam of hot annunciation fused…

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Day 27: Wait

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-seventh day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Overseas Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman, who is serving on the US-Mexico border, reflects on finding joy, hope, and grace in seasons of waiting.  As I sit in my car in line with many other cars at the entrance into the United States,…

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Day 26: Quiet

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-sixth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” FMS’ Program Director Emily Norton shares a poem she wrote about the holy waiting, quiet, and sacred preparation of a personal Advent season she is experiencing in her life right now. How stunned I am As I realize God’s invitation for me…

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Day 25: Respond

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-fifth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” we invite you to ponder the responses of Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist in Luke 1:39-55 to the miracle of Mary carrying the son of God in her womb.  “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill…

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Day 24: Remembrance

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-fourth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Grace Kueber shares memories of specific times of growth in her relationship with God. In honor of remembering you,  I may not remember all of the moments of the day I came home from Korea, into the arms…

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Day 23: Wonder

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-third day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry discusses her experience with wonder and contemplation. I’ve always been curious about the world around me. When I was younger, the majority of my wonders consisted of ‘how’ questions. I would wonder:  At this stage in…

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Day 22: Prophecy

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-second day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler shares an original piece of prose that touches on the specific details within a person’s life at a given moment: “How small it can seem (arriving to a new life in a new city, understanding that our earthly…

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Day 21: Goodness

Editor’s Note: On this twenty-first day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” FMS’ Executive Director Liz Hughes reflects on the importance of seeing goodness in the world. Earlier this fall, Fr. Joe Nangle ended a homily in the FMS chapel with a poignant story and the reflection: “If people only knew how good they…

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Day 20: Gaze

Editor’s Note: On this twentieth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” FMS board member Teresa Redder reflects on the importance of gazing upon God’s creation with awe and wonder after a camping trip in Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota with her husband. While returning to my husband’s home state of South Dakota this…

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Day 19: Ponder

Editor’s Note: On this nineteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Brigid Prosser, director of Catholic Charities Volunteer Medical Clinic, shares a poem she wrote that ponders the incarnation of Christ.  Let us celebrate this season By contemplating the Incarnation The mystery of God’s humility In His unfolding of salvation.   The Messiah…

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Day 18: Unknown

Editor’s Note: On this eighteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto reflects on the importance of relying on God despite the unknowns in her life, as Mary did. When Mary came to terms with the fact that the Son of God would be growing within her womb, she…

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Day 17: Humility

Editor’s Note: On this seventeenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Anna Metzger, who just completed her time on mission in Bolivia with FMS,  shares what a bike injury taught her about humility.  Nothing teaches us humility quite like the Christ child. God chose to come to earth as a baby…babies are the…

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Day 16: Promise

Editor’s Note: On this sixteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” FMS Board Member Dr. Hans Dethlefs encourages us to place our hope in God’s promises. Promise is a powerful word as we await the coming of Christ during Advent. Promise is hope personified. When we receive a promise from another person, we…

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Day 15: Sojourn

Editor’s Note: On this fifteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza reflects on what it means to be pilgrims on earth.  Advent is a time of reflection, meditation, and prayer. The Church gives us this season as an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the first coming of…

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Day 13: Praise

Editor’s Note: On this thirteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Joanie McMahon collaborates with Sr. Meg Earsley, FSPA to bring you “The Canticle of Underappreciated Creatures,” written by Sr. Meg and illustrated by Joanie. Check out more of Joanie’s beautiful artwork on her website and Instagram.  Back in…

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Day 12: Community

Editor’s Note: On this twelfth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” former DC Service Corps volunteer and current FMS House Manager Fatima Godfrey reflects on living in intentional community.  I assume “community” is not a word commonly used on a daily basis for the average person. I can certainly say “community” only became…

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Day 11: Presence

Editor’s Note: On this eleventh day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry reflects on how living in community at Casa San Salvador (FMS’ house of hospitality) during her year of service is helping her appreciate the present moment.  I have lived in Casa San Salvador for about four…

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Day 10: Grace

Editor’s Note: On this tenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corp volunteer Grace Kueber shares how God’s grace has been revealed to her while learning to navigate Washington, D.C. A new environment keeps me unsteady Relying on Google maps to tell me when I am ready. To explore,  Open the…

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Day 9: Shelter

Editor’s Note: On this ninth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler writes a moving poem about God being a shelter throughout her life.  Hold it in your hands. Touch it in the air.   Inhale the breath and feel  the earth as it slips in there.  …

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Day 8: Accompany

Editor’s Note: On this eighth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Kim Smolik, Ed.D reflects on what the pandemic taught her about accompaniment. Kim serves as Executive Partner at Leadership Roundtable, an international Catholic organization based in Washington, DC. Prior to her current role, she served as Executive Director of FMS from 2009-2016, after…

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Day 7: Hospitality

Editor’s Note: On this seventh day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Overseas Lay Missioner Mari Snyder reflects on a hospitality practice that she is leaning into this Advent. I have 21 days to make my newly created Advent hospitality practice into a habit.  This is the hardest time of year for me to…

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Day 6: Friendship

Editor’s Note: On this sixth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Victoria Wangler reflects on the gift of friendship from the perspective of being a triplet.  A friend loves at all times. [Proverb 17.17] “Friend.” “Friendship.” “Best friend.” “BFFs.” “Bestie.” These are words that are used so commonly that…

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Day 5: Generations

Editor’s Note: On this fifth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on generations of faith in his family.  As I leave the Thanksgiving holiday celebrations with family and friends, I carry cherished feelings of gratitude, faith, hope, and love into the spirit and season of Advent. We…

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Day 4: Embrace

Editor’s Note:  On this fourth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Anna Fluharty reflects on what it means to embrace Advent as a DC Service Corps volunteer serving at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School.  To embrace is to hold someone close or to conceive and radically support a motion. There’s a difference…

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Day 3: Blessed

Editor’s Note: On this third day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Sr. Meg Earsley FSPA, who recently completed her formation with FMS and will be serving with the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis in Bolivia, shares a reflection on her experience of “blessed leavings” as she said goodbye to the Casa community.  Oh, only…

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Day 2: Meeting

Editor’s Note: On this second day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Associate Director Meghan Meros shares how a reunion with a long-distance friend in Scotland inspired new reflections about Mary and Elizabeth’s meeting in the Visitation. Through the drizzle of a wet night in Glasgow, Scotland, a familiar face emerged from a hotel…

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Day 1: Hidden Joys

Editor’s Note: We invite you to join the FMS family as we journey toward Christmas with a new Advent blog series, “Hidden Joys.” In this first post of the series, DC Service Corps volunteer Emily Putzke reflects on the hidden joys of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, along with the hidden joys of being in the…

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Day 33: Wisdom

Editor’s Note: To close out this Advent Blog series, Programs Director Emily Norton reflects on the gift of wisdom in the context of the Magi come Epiphany. She shares from her own experiences on how she has found this “sacred wisdom” throughout her past year.  The Wise Magi of 2020 “Sacred wisdom.”  These are the…

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Day 32: Wonder & Awe

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer and Programs Associate, Fatima Godfrey, reflects on this gift of the Holy Spirit in this Christmas time. She shares how wonder and awe are ever-present should we actively choose to accept their call.  Sitting around the dinner table on Christmas day with the Casa Christmas crew, I mentioned to my housemates,…

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Day 31: Courage

Editor’s Note: Former DCSC volunteer Nayeli Garcia reflects on having the courage to recognize your full self, the sum of all that makes up who you are in this moment, and being able to grow in your faith through it.  As individuals, we strive to be our true selves. We want to feel invincible, undefeated,…

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Day 30: Knowledge

Editor’s Note: Former DCSC volunteer Julia Pinto reexamines the gift of repeated and applied knowledge to her faith life, especially during this yearly season of Advent. She shares this through her lens as a teacher, while conversely contemplating and reflecting as a student who still has much to learn.  There is a common phrase about there being a vast…

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Day 29: Right Judgement

Editor’s Note: Newly-commissioned Lay Missioner Jenny Tsui shares her journey of acquainting herself with the gift of Right Judgement. With being one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, she continues to see how He has been using this gift and working through her.  To preface this, I had to do a little research to…

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Day 28: Call to Holiness

Editor’s Note: Fr. Brad Milunski, OFM Conv. serves as Chair of the FMS Board of Directors and as Postulancy Director for the Our Lady of the Angels Province in Chicago. Reflecting on the meaning of holiness, Fr. Brad considers how Jesus’ life serves as a roadmap for our own lives and how baptism helps us…

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Day 27: Gifts

Editor’s Note: Communications Associate Bekah Galucki dives into what “gifts” and how we can offer them back to God by recalling the Presentation of the Gifts within the context of Mass. She shares how her own personal experience of bringing gifts to the altar has been transformed.  When I think of gifts, my mind immediately…

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Day 26: Light

Editor’s Note: Executive Director Elizabeth Hughes discusses the light that has contrasted the darkness of this past year. On this Christmas Day, she reflects on the power of Christ’s light within us.  One of my favorite websites is NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. Each day, NASA features a different image of the cosmos, along…

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Day 25: Truth

Editor’s Note: Margaret Carney, OSF, is a member of the FMS Board of Directors and served as the 20th President of St. Bonaventure University, a position she held from 2004 until 2016. Speaking to the difficult realities of a pandemic Christmastide, Sr. Margaret invites readers to find truth and goodness in the heroic acts of…

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Day 24: Gather

Editor’s Note: Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Based in Washington, DC at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, Fr. Jim has served on the FMS Board of the Directors and is a friend of the FMS community. In this blog, Fr. Jim encourages readers to…

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Day 23: Movement

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Emily Dold shares her experience with learning yoga and the meaning of “peace” within movement.  I would like to begin this blog by saying how wonderfully sneaky the Lord is in how He has led me to reflect on movement and has helped me connect it to His Divine plan. I…

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Day 22: Preparation

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Airianna Beitler reflects on the impact of preparation, in its many forms. She invites us into introspection as we prepare ourselves in this time of Advent.  The big day is almost here and I can’t wait to spend Christmas morning with my family. We have been prepping for dinner all day,…

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Day 21: Pilgrimage

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Anna Metzger reflects on the meaning of “pilgrimage” and how it has been lived during this new transition of returning to mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia.              Many often think of a journey to a new place with a religious purpose when they think of a pilgrimage.  In one way, that…

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Day 20: Humility

Editor’s Note: Second-year missioner Megan Hamilton writes from the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany convent in Kingston, Jamaica. One of her current ministries–with elderly sisters–becomes a springboard for looking back at a life-changing process of embracing humility. Drunks, Dentures & Humility My recent thoughts on humility started with Sister Goretti’s dentures, which didn’t return from the…

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Day 19: Accompaniment

Editor’s Note: Missioner Hannah Hagarty, serving in Kingston, Jamaica, reflects on the the various meanings of “accompaniment” and how her own understanding of the word has grown during her time in mission. Accompaniment is the reason I was drawn to FMS. When choosing which organization to serve abroad with, I came across FMS and read…

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Day 18: Transition

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman reflects on the impact of trust amidst transition. She walks us through the process of transitioning from one familiar identity to a calling for another new identity serving with FMS at the US-Mexico border.  The loss of my mom was a difficult time and a major transition in my…

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Day 17: Process

Editor’s Note: Darleen Pryds is a professor history and spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in San Diego. She researches and writes on the role of lay women and men in the Franciscan tradition. In this blog, Darleen reflects on the prayerful process of preparing for the Incarnation and how it often nudges us…

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Day 16: Dwelling

Editor’s Note: Communications Associate Bekah Galucki reflects on spiritually dwelling in the Lord, despite where you may find yourself. In an overarching metaphor, she relates this idea of dwelling to the workings of nourishing a plant to its fullness of life.  When thinking about life’s major themes, especially in reflecting on what it means to…

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Day 15: Open/Closed Doors

Editor’s Note: Development and Operations Associate Madeline McKissick reflects on accepting Jesus’ invitation to walk a path of trust. Looking back on doors that God closed to different opportunities, Madeline shares the sense of purpose she found in the door that opened to join DC Service Corps. I’ve always heard that when God closes a…

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Day 14: Joy

Editor’s Note: Sister Cathy Cahill, OSF, shares in excitement for this great joy that comes with the season. She reflects on the truth of His joy, how we can encounter it, and offers a prayer for us to each share the joy we’ve received with others, as joy itself only multiplies.  Joy to This World!…

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Day 13: Family

Editor’s note: Erin Brown, DCSC volunteer in ministry with the Father McKenna Center, discusses the Holy Family in all their extraordinary qualities and more-relatably ordinary ways.  As Catholics, Joseph and Mary and Jesus are the family we look up to. Although they are the extraordinary Holy Family, they were also just an ordinary family. In…

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