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Care for Creation

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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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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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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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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Ending My Year of Service in DC

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Emily Dold shares a thoughtful video compilation made throughout her year of service with DC Service Corps. She shows moments all reflective of intentional community, what service looks like, as well as the joy that has come from this year alone. 

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God’s Timing

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Domonique Thompson reflects on her time serving within the Father McKenna Center. She embraces all that she has learned and plans to carry it with her throughout her mission in Bolivia later this year.  This was the year that I never wanted and never thought that I would need. There is…

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The Enlightening Process of Interfaith Photovoice

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Bekah Galucki shares her experience taking part in an interfaith photovoice project across the country. She dives into the fruitful community of this leap into the unknown as well as deep personal growth.    Within this year of service, an abundance of opportunities have found themselves my way. Given that time…

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Habitual Welcome Mats

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Nora McMahon reflects on the acts of Holy Thursday and how it can relate to our modern times. Today is Holy Thursday (though by the time you are reading this I am sure it is well past that) and the readings and focus for Holy Thursday has always been on the…

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Give the Good.

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Erin Brown discusses a Lenten lesson that she is actively putting into practice. She delves into how it is in giving that we truly receive.    “There is a wonderful, almost mystical, law of nature that says three of the things we want most—happiness, freedom, and peace of mind—are always attained…

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Simon of Cyrene’s Hotline

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Fede Wettstein candidly shares some common experiences of his ministry site with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He openly correlates his weekly task of answering the refugee hotline to that of an accompanying Simon of Cyrene, all with a perspective of hope.   Every Wednesday from 2-3:30 pm I…

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FMS Lifelong Missioner Feature: Tim Shelgren

Program Director Emily Norton had the gift of interviewing Tim Shelgren (Mission Class 33, Serving from 2018-2020 in Kingston, Jamaica) via a Zoom call. Below is the interview.  Q: How have you chosen to live out Franciscan simplicity since returning to the US? The day I left Jamaica, I remember standing in the airport on…

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The Power of Simple Prayer

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson shares the story of her spring break babysitting turned God-moment. She expresses the power of a simple prayer through the eyes of her younger cousin. When I was in college, I excitedly volunteered to babysit my twin cousins while their parents were gone for the weekend. It was…

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A November Hush

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer, Bekah Galucki, invites the reader into her relationship with the Lord through a series of photographs. Emphasizing the transcendentals, she encourages a moment of relief and rest in hearing His whispers of the heart. We, in the FMS community, are gifted with the opportunity to write about our experiences. And for…

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A Time for Everything…

Editor’s note: Overseas Lay Missioner, Hannah Hagarty, reflects on her time of mission serving in Jamaica as well her time back at home, recognizing the beauty of Ecclesiastes within her life throughout this period of many transitions.  I just returned to Jamaica on September 20th from being home in the states for a 6-week stay.…

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In Awe of the Creator’s Love

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Fatima Godfrey, describes her tentative experience in approaching the DCSC fall retreat. However, by grace her hesitancy was dispelled by God’s hand in the transcendental beauty of creation, resulting in true peace and retreat. Before entering into an intentional community with my fourteen housemates and striving to live out…

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The Best of Both Worlds

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Fede Wettstein, discusses his experience living in the Casa with fourteen other women. With gratitude, he reflects on the fruits of this experience getting to grow closer to God. “Are you okay living with fourteen women and being the only man in the Casa?”  My fellow Casa residents take…

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Scripture, Alive

Editor’s note: Through the lens of scripture, DCSC volunteer, Emily Dold, recalls her experiences of God’s providence and peace at the Father McKenna Center. Soapy streaks marked the plastic folding table where I had successfully captured the bits of food, now between the textured ridges of the towel. The towel was certainly well-designed for the…

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Rest

Editor’s note: Current lay missioner in Formation, Jenny Tsui, gives a new perspective to the often overlooked afternoon nap, a deliberate choice of freedom and trust in the Lord.  One of the new habits I’ve adopted in Formation is a brief, post-lunch nap. Spurred on by the inspiring example of some of my Casa-mates and…

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Nourishment through Movement

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Erin Brown, reflects on the therapeutic nourishment of habitual running. She looks holistically into how exactly this movement brings about refreshing clarity, including fresh eyes to her relationship with the Creator. A personal introspection of the theology of the body.  For about four years now, I have wanted to…

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Finding Saint Friends for the Journey

Editor’s note: FMS Communications Associate, Bekah Galucki, reflects on her journey towards the Lord thus far. Pondering life through the lens of hindsight, she pauses to acknowledge the great distance of her walk already taken. She reflects on the impact and kinship of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis of Assisi, who have both…

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The Patience of the Seasons

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer, Hannah Puvalowski, uses nature and poetry to reflect on times of transition.  A flower cannot bloom without water and sunlight. Baby birds cannot fly without nourishment from their parents. It takes 40 years for a maple tree to be ready to share its sweet syrup. The transition from winter to spring…

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Creature Comforts and Shared Solidarity

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Julia, reflects on her time in DC and the ways it has helped her to appreciate simplicity and the will of God.  If I had to choose my least two favorite things, I would have to choose hot weather and bugs. As someone who gets hot very easily and…

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Call To Action

Editor’s Note: Sabrina Portner, serving in Bolivia, shares resources that are helping shape her understanding of power and privilege. She invites readers to join her on the journey by listening to and uplifting the voices of people of color.  My voice is not yearning to be heard, nor is it needed. Please listen to our…

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Living Water and Light

Editor’s note: Overseas missioner Anna reflects on the past two months quarantined in Bolivia through the song “Springtime” by Chris Renzema. Like all of you, we have been living in quarantine for the last two months in Bolivia.  With that comes a lot of uncertainty and free time.  I challenged you in my last blog…

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Lessons From A Mandatory Retreat

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps member, Julia reflects on the changes brought about by this pandemic and the insights she’s found along the way.  It has taken me six weeks to adjust to the changes brought on by quarantine living. We shifted to working remotely; our community shrunk from twelve to three as members went…

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Raspy

Editor’s note: FMS missioner Becky Kreidler reflects on the different sides of God she’s encountered through recent trials and tribulations in her life.  I’ve been abruptly learning that my soul has some rasp to it. Despite my resistance, it has kept coming up, begging for me to acknowledge its existence, and making it known that…

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Nothing or The Best of Something?

Editor’s note: FMS missioner Anna reflects on these times of quarantine and how she’s spending it in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  As the whole world is asked to stop, us missioners in Bolivia also find ourselves cooped up in our apartment in downtown Cochabamba.  Now, I have to say, I am extremely grateful for where we live. …

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The Song of the Soul

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Hannah reflects on how the birds of Michigan remind her of peace and love in times of unrest in our world.  Amidst the stillness of looking out my window, I have observed Robins dancing about and playful Bluebirds. I have heard the sweet hum of a Chickadee and the clanging of…

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Dark Hours to May Flowers

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Megan reflects on these uncertain, vulnerable times through her own experiences quarantined in New York.  These past few weeks have not been easy. Lately, the weight of the world feels so heavy that at any moment I feel as though my legs will snap like twigs and I won’t be…

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Ramblings from a Tropical Ramble

Editor’s note: FMS Missioner Megan Hamilton reflects on her new life in Kingston, Jamaica and her decision to stay and serve her new community throughout this pandemic.  I look out my balcony at an arching, rustling mass of green: palm and mango trees, a hundred-plus-year-old giant the Jamaicans call a French Peanut tree. The sun…

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Hannah’s Nature Vlog

Editor’s note: FMS missioner Hannah Hagarty has returned home from mission back to Iowa due to the Coronavirus outbreak. In this video, Hannah will take you on a peaceful journey of her childhood home sharing pictures and videos of the beautiful scenery that helps remind her of God’s presence even amidst all this chaos. We…

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You’re Not So Tough

Editor’s note: FMS missioner Sabrina reflects on vulnerability, friendship, and accompaniment.  I have always struggled with holding in and suppressing my emotions. I tell myself that I am just a very logical, level-headed person–one that doesn’t have emotions. It’s hard for me to express myself or admit what’s going on inside me. Most of the…

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The Ways Between Bethlehems

Editor’s note: Megan Hamilton, an FMS missioner serving in Kingston, Jamaica reflects on two Bethlehem’s: the first being the one that blossomed her love for catholic servant leadership, and the other being her new ministry site in country with FMS.  My second day in Kingston Jamaica I am at Bethlehem Home, an orphanage for kids…

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Rest In Our Past

Editor’s note: Becky, a current missioner in Cochabamba, Bolivia, reflects upon how her entire mission journey with FMS illuminates her present moment. She became a FMS missioner in 2018, and attended formation with class 34 in the fall of 2018. Upon discerning to be present to those in Guatemala, she left in January of 2019…

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Trusting In God’s Tomorrow

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Michael Broughton reflects on the ways trusting in God’s plan has brought him to FMS, along with new experiences, friends and passions for helping those in need. Hello! Since the last time I published a blog post, my life here in D.C. has transformed quite a bit. I have grown to…

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Peter

Editor’s note: Missioner Hannah Hagarty currently serving in Kingston, Jamaica reflects on 5 words that have become the foundation for her time on mission so far and the ways these words are exemplified in her friend Peter, a 15 year old boy from Jamaica living in a home for boys born HIV positive.  Presence. Love.…

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His Simple, Divine Provision

Editor’s note: Missioner Becky Kriedler adjusts to her new life in Bolivia where she will be serving for the next two years. In this piece, Becky reflects on the ways God continues to show her light, love and support amidst such a new and unpredictable journey. One of the things that made me so excited…

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God Leads the Blind

Editor’s note: Missioner Anna has just begun her journey in Bolivia and reflects on the ways her experiences on mission so far are teaching her how to really listen.  In my last blog post, I spoke of the true Spirit of Christmas, the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit prompts us to speak to others. While…

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Advent Day 22: Call

Editor’s note: Megan Hamilton reflects on a return visit to Shkoder, the city she volunteered in while in the Peace Corps (Albania 2015-2017).  A Balkan Call to a Caribbean Mission In English she is Shkoder. But if you come to know her, if she becomes yours, in Albanian, she is Shkodra, as she will always…

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Advent Day 21: Birth

Editor’s note: Former DCSC volunteer Alessia Catena celebrates day 21 of Advent with a reflection on the word ‘birth’.  I have always struggled with Advent—the idea of waiting for the birth of Christ and preparing our hearts for His arrival seemed a little fictitious. Like the characters in a Nativity play, I’ve always felt like I…

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Advent Day 19: Light

Editor’s note: FMS Missioner SarahJane Cauzillo currently serving in Cochabamba, Bolivia offers an Advent reflection ‘light’.  It is the rainy season here in Bolivia. In just a moment, a clear blue sky can be completely transformed as the dark clouds come rolling over the mountaintops. The sun can be covered in an instant as the…

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Advent Day 18: Growth

Editor’s note: DCSC Volunteer Hannah Puvalowski reflects on ‘growth’ through prayer and personal experiences.  The sun, flowers, and the renowned DC cherry blossom trees all so vibrantly express growth. However, in the current season of winter, a season characterized by dark and cold days, it is easy to feel stuck and not connected to God.…

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Advent Day 13: Embrace

Editor’s note: Former DCSC volunteer, Amy Brandt, reflects on the many different parts of her life waiting to be ’embraced’ including a rendition of St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun.  I am not yet the person I want to be. After responding to something in a snarky way, or wasting hours binge watching Netflix, that…

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Advent Day 11: Forgive

Editor’s note: Missioner Hannah Hagarty currently serving in Kingston, Jamaica reflects on what it means to forgive after the injustices she’s witnessed while serving overseas so far.  Children born with HIV. Children that have been abandoned by their families because they were born with a physical or mental disability. Women and men in my close…

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Advent Day 9: Healing

Editor’s note: Missioner Tim Shelgren serving in Kingston, Jamaica offers an advent reflection on healing by sharing some stories of the “extraordinary healers” he has encountered throughout his time on mission so far and his new found understanding of what Jesus might have meant when he used the term “greater works”.   “And Greater Works Than…

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Advent Day 6: Trust

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Kate reflects on the word “trust” this Advent season through song lyrics and the Annunciation story of Our Lady. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8_475FKJWQ I have traveled many moonless nights Cold and weary with a babe inside And I wonder what I’ve done Holy Father you have come And chosen me now To carry your…

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Advent Day 4: Patience

Edtior’s Note: In this blog, FMS Board member and secular Franciscan, Laura Rainey, OFS, shares a reflection from “Jesus Calling” that helps her focus and slow down during the season of Advent. ‘Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert…

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Faces of Jamaica

Editor’s note: missioner Hannah Hagarty reflects on the people and experiences she’s encountered in Jamaica through a series of photographs.  Here is a collection of photos of people who I have connected with so far during my time in Jamaica. These photos show my typical week during my time on mission in Jamaica.  [unitegallery Augblog1]…

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To Stop and To Be

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Nadia Barnett reflects on the importance of finding moments to pause and invite God to reveal their presence through our surroundings. It is imperative that we all remember to stop and to be – with God, with others and with self. I find the concept being, not doing does…

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