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Franciscanism

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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100 Days in Jamaica

Editor’s Note: Joleen Johnson reflects on her first 100 days as an Overseas Lay Missioner in Jamaica.  I’ve officially been in Jamaica for three months now. In fact, I calculated it, and my 100th day in Jamaica was June 9th, 2022. My time here has felt like it’s just flown by, and I really can’t…

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La Paz Sea Contigo

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on the gifts of the Holy Spirit working in his life as he serves on mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I recently celebrated the Feast of Pentecost with men and families at El Abra prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Within the Catholic chapel, the celebrant priest, Padre Juan of…

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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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The Kitchen: A Sacred Space

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner in Bolivia Anna Metzger reveals the tenderness that lies within the seemingly common kitchen. She shares different stories of how this space has become sacred to her through meaningful connections. Before my time with FMS, I worked for another mission organization called YouthWorks. During my summers with YouthWorks, I spent many…

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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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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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Two Desert Days

Editor’s Note: Lay missioner Rhonda Eckerman describes two days from her time in mission at the US-Mexico border. She dives into the details of her experiences of encountering the harsh realities and hardships of a migrant.  I am in the first months of my border mission here in Douglas, Arizona and recently have had two…

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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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“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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Constantly Immaculate: From Luxury Hotel to Franciscan Home Base

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Megan Hamilton delves into the history and Franciscan connections of her daily home-base within the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany convent in Kingston, Jamaica. Megan would like to thank her friend Adrianna Amari who contributed critical research on Constant Spring Hotel. At my November 16, 2019 Commissioning Mass in Washington DC 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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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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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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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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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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“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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Language and Culture: A Vibrant Relationship

Editor’s note: Overseas missioner, Anna Metzger, reminisces on her time in Bolivia while at home in Kentucky. She dives into the connections between language and culture, considering lessons learned from her journey into the Quechua language. Most simply put, being home is hard.  For years, I dreamed of living in Latin America, and just as…

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Convent COVID Retreats and What I’ve Learned…

Editor’s note: Megan Hamilton, an FMS missioner serving in Kingston, Jamaica reflects on her time during the pandemic, the many things she has learned, the idea of intentional luxury, and what it means to truly live the Franciscan charism.  I’ve spent most of the last six months self-quarantined in an historic building in Kingston, Jamaica…

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The Unknown Ways of God

Editor’s note: Domonique Thompson, a current Lay Missioner in Formation, dives into an experience during her time serving at the Father McKenna Center. She recalls her encounter with someone at the Center, and allows for further reflection introspectively. The inward ponderings of her heart echo a greater call towards action in living intentionally and wholeheartedly. …

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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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Summum Bonum

Editor’s note: In this excerpt from Sunrise of the Soul, guest writer Gerard Thomas Straub reflects on the intersection of Franciscan spirituality and poverty. St. Francis’s love of not only the poor but of poverty itself led me to explore the worst slums on earth in order to understand the saint’s deeper meaning, his radical…

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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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The Comfort of Art

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Kate Keeley reflects on the ways art has brought her comfort during these hard times and shares a poem by one of her favorite poets.  In the midst of the pandemic, I left DC and came home to Salem, VA to be with my family during these hard times. It’s easy…

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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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God’s Call

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Matthew Fichter reflects on what God’s calling might be for him after completing the book “The Secret Lives of Introverts” by Jenn Granneman.  In these strange times that persist, perhaps one question that might continue to present itself is “what is God’s calling for me”? In thinking about this…

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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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