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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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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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A Peek into my Thought Process

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Madeline McKissick shares her experience from a recent Formation Session, reflecting on her time thus far within the program. She welcomes the pause that comes with stopping and recognizing the moments that have formed her into who she is.  Every week, DC Service Corps attends a Tuesday session where we gain…

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On Decision-Making Circles

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Fede Wettstein ponders the impactful reality of one’s decision-making bubble brought about from our DCSC Formational reading, “The Defining Decade.” On Tuesday afternoons, we have Franciscan Formation sessions with DC Service Corps. Throughout the year, these sessions have taken the form of discussions, workshops, or presentations with topics ranging from spirituality…

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The Graces of Change

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Emily Dold discusses the impact of change through the experiences of Casa changes as well as her role within the Father McKenna Center shifting.  Have you ever felt as though a homily was meant just for you? Or, more likely, that God wanted you to hear the homily’s contents? The Easter…

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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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Complaint Fasting

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Domonique Thompson shares her experience of fasting from complaints this Lent. In a continuation from her last blog, reflecting on her blessings, she shares her process of practicing gratitude this season. Part of Lent is taking time to fast and sacrifice. When most people think of fasting, they often think of…

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The Ministry of a Programs Associate

Editor’s Note: DCSC Volunteer and Programs Associate Fatima Godfrey reflects on her role within the FMS office, finding the mission of accompaniment abundantly. Working at the FMS office as the Programs Associate provides me the opportunity to serve as the first point of contact for those inquiring with FMS. This means I get the privilege…

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“Who do you say that I am?”

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Madeline McKissick brings the reader into an experience from the DCSC Mid-year retreat. In playing a get-to-know-you game there, she reflects on her identity both within Christ and this intentional community. I anticipated the mid-year retreat for several reasons. First of all, we spent three days in a cute little Airbnb…

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Meals Made to Share

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Airianna Beitler shares her experience of cooking for our great, big Casa San Salvador community. She delves into the importance of food for her and the significance of being able to share this with others. Food is very important to how people express themselves and their cultures. You can guess that…

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One Year: A Reflection on my DCSC Discernment Days

Editor’s Note: Communications Associate, Bekah Galucki, reflects on the impact a year can have in thinking of her discernment a year ago. She openly shares from a perspective of gratitude about the movements of her heart in those few days last February that have brought much fruit.   So much can happen when giving God…

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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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Lest I Want to Remain as I am.

Editor’s Note: Reminded by a brief snowfall, DCSC volunteer Emily Dold recognizes the differences between her and the men of her ministry site, the Father McKenna Center. While recognizing her own experiences do not align entirely with those experiencing homelessness, she strives towards the long road of deeper understanding, knowledge, and love. It’s snowing in…

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New Year, New Me

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Airianna Beitler reflects on her past year, in ways that she has grown and still yet has room to grow, with hope for this new year in mind. “New year, new me.” This is a the common phrase we hear around this time of year; it is a time of transition…

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Ministry Grounded in Gratitude

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Domonique Thompson shares an experience from her placement site at the Father McKenna Center. She reflects on an encounter with one of the men, leading to long-term lessons and deep gratitude. As we are entering the coldest times of this winter season, it puts the meaning of homeless into a different…

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Goodness, Then and Now

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Erin Brown enters this new year in contemplation of the word “good” and what that can look like. Inspired by Fr. Mike Schmitz’ “Bible in a Year” podcast, she reflects on this word from both the context of the Bible to her own life.  In the New Year, I have been…

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Developing Gratitude

Editor’s Note: Development Associate Madeline McKissick shares a deeper meaning of her ministry with FMS. She describes what her day to day looks like, often in the form practicing gratitude, within a non-profit office setting. As the Development Associate of Franciscan Mission Service, I do a lot of work with donor relations. I make phone…

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Pulled to Prayer

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer, Madeline McKissick, leads the reader through an all too common ordinary afternoon practice. She reflects on the idea of prioritizing time in prayer amidst busy and chaotic schedules.  It was another whirlwind of a day. I worked at the FMS office from 9-5, came home for spiritual direction at 5:30, worked…

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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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How COVID Affects Life in an Intentional Community

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer, Airianna Beitler, brings the reader into Casa community life during this time of pandemic through the personal lens of various photos taken thus far.  As everyone is aware, we live in an intentional community. As with any community, it can be stressful at times, but it’s also different this year because…

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“God, You and I Dance.”

Editor’s note: Madeline McKissick, FMS Development Associate, reflects on her passion for dance and that correlation to the Lord’s relationship with each of his children. The beauty of the combined movement, the giving and taking between two entities, and the goodness of new creation from mutual reciprocity.  I began taking dance classes when I was…

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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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