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Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Noah Duclos shares how he embraces the present and trusts in God during life transitions. We hear so often that we should live in the present moment, but the realities of life often require us to turn toward the future, and in doing so, we begin to worry. This…

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Embrace the Breeze, Protect Your Peace

Editor’s Note: As DC Service Corps volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh reaches the end of her year of service, she reflects on how she has learned to surrender to God’s will throughout the year. Right now, as I sit on the front porch of Casa San Salvador, my home for the past 10 months, I witness the…

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Beauty and Joy

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Noah Duclos shares some takeaways from participating in a Holy Thursday tradition with his family and DCSC community this year. I had the great privilege of celebrating Easter in DC with my parents, who decided to visit and stay in Casa San Salvador with me and my community. It…

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Dreaming and Discerning

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh contemplates the various ways that God is calling her to serve and reflects on her year of service thus far. When I was a young child, I dreamed of being a missionary. I spent many days imagining a life among people and places unknown to me. I dreamed of…

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Committed to the Bike (Except When it Rains)

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Bohdan O’Shaughnessy shares his decision to change his daily commute and how he “reframed” his bike rides to be more mindful and spiritually fulfilling. Around 6:20 in the morning and then again at 4 in the afternoon, you can find me marching around Brookland in my light blue scrubs,…

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The Spirituality of Hello and Goodbye

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh contemplates being fully present even in brief interactions through a concept that she calls “the spirituality of hello and goodbye.” Being halfway through my service year, I would like to share an unexpected grace that I have begun to call the spirituality of hello and goodbye. This…

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Silent Accompaniment

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Noah Duclos shares a thoughtful reflection on God’s stillness and silence in a Bible passage and how this inspires his way of accompanying others. This week, I’d like to share a reflection on 1 Kings 19:9-13. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you…

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Day 8: Solemn: An Advent that Looks Beyond the Blow-Up Santa

Editor’s Note: For day 8 of our Advent series “The Day of Joy Drew Near,” DC Service Corps  member Bohdan O’Shaughnessy contemplates the solemn nature of Advent and Christmas. Admittedly, the word “solemn” is not a term I have associated with Advent or Christmas. I typically would assign “joy” or “anticipation” to describe this time…

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A Tribute to Our Lay Missioners

Editor’s Note: As this year’s Overseas Lay Missioner Formation comes to a close, DC Service Corps member Bohdan O’Shaughnessy dedicates this blog to FMS’s three recently commissioned missioners. In the not-too-distant future, the Casa is losing our three lay missioners as they embark to their international ministry sites. Last Saturday was their Commissioning Mass, and…

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The Need to Achieve

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Noah Duclos reflects on how God led him to Franciscan Mission Service after attending an Ivy League school and how he has taken Franciscan values to heart. For the past three years, I studied theology and ministry at Yale Divinity School, acquiring my Master of Divinity degree. That’s right;…

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Sacred Spaces and Receptivity

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Jennifer Eburuoh admires the sacred art in the Casa San Salvador chapel. She allows the art to draw her deeper into prayer and to reflect on her year of service thus far. The first day that I arrived at Casa San Salvador, I was immediately drawn to our chapel.…

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DC Transportation Woes: An Unlikely, but Valuable, Lesson of Franciscan Spirituality

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Bohdan O’Shaughnessy has an unlikely experience of ministry of presence while taking public transportation. One of the great aspects of living in DC is the accessibility of public transportation. Last Saturday night, after catching up with a close friend from high school who lives in the nearby NoMa neighborhood,…

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Finding Hope in Seemingly Hopeless Situations

Editor’s Note: When someone asks DC Service Corps member Sam Goodyear what she does for a living, she is always a bit unsure how to respond. Here, Sam gives us a full answer with a glimpse at her challenging but rewarding work at the UN Refugee Agency. She shares her experience talking with migrants and…

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Small Acts

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Matthew Hinderberger recalls a small act of service that he witnessed during his ministry at Christ House, and reflects on how our Catholic faith draws us toward others in service.  “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves…

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The Disappearing Act of Finding Aspirations

Editor’s Note: Reflecting on an excerpt from one of his favorite poetry collections, DC Service Corps member Jarrett Murano shares his experience in finding his life’s aspiration. He shares the unexpected ways in which his aspirations have shifted, and how it draws him back to reflection and discernment.   “…what you want does not disappear …

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Transformation

Editor’s note: Transformed through her intentional peace ministry with Little Friends for Peace, DC Service Corps volunteer Erin Frances Reinhart shares an experience of collective transformation for her students, her colleagues, and herself. Alexandria City Public Schools offers high-quality after-school programming at schools and community-based sites through Linking Instruction Nurturing Knowledge (LINK) Club. Link Clubs…

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Food and Friends and Photography

Editor’s note: Recognizing that we can practice Franciscan values in all aspects of life and work, DC Service Corps volunteer Jarrett Murano practices humility by centering the desires of the client in his graphic design ministry at Food & Friends. At Food & Friends, one of my current projects is to make postcards to reach…

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Kindness

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Erin Frances Reinhart, who ministers with Little Friends for Peace, shares the impact of a peace education workshop for students on kindness. Little Friends for Peace provides in-school and after-school programming for students at many sites, including schools in Riverdale Park, Maryland, Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC. I have…

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Designing My Ministry of Presence

Editor’s note: Through his ministry at Food & Friends, DC Service Corps volunteer Jarrett Murano both designs communications materials and makes food deliveries of medically-tailored groceries to clients who live with life-challenging illnesses.  He views both parts of his ministry as accompaniment. The holiday season is always a great time to reflect. There’s something about…

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Almsgiving on a Stipend

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps member Matthew Hinderberger volunteers at Christ House, a home for men experiencing homelessness with acute medical needs.  Inspired by the call to increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent, Matthew reflects on creative ways to give alms, even while living on a stipend or limited income. Jesus answered, “If you want…

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Trust

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Erin Frances Reinhart leads peace workshops at organizations throughout the DC area with her ministry site, Little Friends for Peace. While leading a workshop on trust at the Father McKenna Center, Erin Frances was challenged to trust herself, others, and God more deeply. Little Friends for Peace is an…

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Compassionate Companionship

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Matthew Hinderberger reflects on the need for companionship through an experience at his ministry site, Christ House, a home for men experiencing homelessness with acute medical needs. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then…

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Day 11: Peace

Editor’s note: On this eleventh day of our Advent and Christmas blog series “His Light Would Not Go Out,” DC Service Corps volunteer Erin Frances Reinhart shares the glimpses of God’s peace that she has seen through her time with FMS and her service with Little Friends for Peace. In the poem “First Coming” by…

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Hospitality: Having a Servant Heart

Editor’s Note: Our new class of DC Service Corps volunteers will each be reflecting on a way that they resonate with Franciscan Mission Service’s mission and spirituality. Matthew Hinderberger reflects on his past and present service and shares his favorite Benedictine and Franciscan value – hospitality. I have always felt that I have been called…

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A Radical Faith: What I’ve Learned from St. Clare about being Franciscan

Editor’s Note: Our new class of DC Service Corps volunteers will each be reflecting on a way that they resonate with Franciscan Mission Service’s mission and spirituality. Sam Goodyear shares the radical story of St. Clare of Assisi and reflects on what it truly means to be a Catholic follower of Christ. Since moving to…

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Ears to Listen: My Ministry of Presence

Editor’s note: Our new class of DC Service Corps volunteers will each be reflecting on a way that they resonate with Franciscan Mission Service’s mission and spirituality. Jarrett Murano shares how his ministry of presence is lived out at his ministry site, Food and Friends, which delivers medically tailored meals and medical nutrition therapy to…

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Beholding

Editor’s Note: Our new class of DC Service Corps volunteers will each be reflecting on a way that they resonate with Franciscan 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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When Death Comes

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Tori Wangler shares an original poem that she wrote in honor of Día de los Muertos. When death comes like an old friend, open your door with gratitude.   Do not be afraid of her darkness and her mysterious ways.   Just step aside  and whisper a blessing.  …

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Introducing Grace Kueber: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. Grace Kueber serves as a Protection Counselor at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Today, she reflects on the importance of authenticity.  I used to forget to not put myself in a box. At what…

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Introducing Joanie McMahon: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. FMS’ Programs Associate, Joanie McMahon, shares what matters to her through a video blog.

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Introducing Christopher Zaragoza: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. Chris Zaragoza serves at the Father McKenna Center as a Case Manager Assistant. Today, he reflects on the importance of faith, family, and social justice.  This year of volunteer work and community life with the Franciscan…

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Introducing Victoria Wangler: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. FMS’ Development Associate, Victoria Wangler, shares the moments and experiences that matter to her through an original poem.  The softness of a sunrise cresting my childhood window.       Blushing pinks and purples    …

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Introducing Lauren Barry: What Matters to Me

Editors Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. Lauren Barry, who serves at the Father McKenna Center, discusses how love enriches her life.  Love matters to me because it fills and enriches my life. Love strengthens my relationships, whether it be with myself, my…

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Introducing Emily Putzke: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2021-2022 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters to them. FMS’ Communications Associate, Emily Putzke, discusses the importance of stories in her life. Some of my earliest memories revolve around stories: my mom reading picture books aloud to me (chosen from the many gloriously overstuffed bookshelves…

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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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