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Servant Leadership

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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Looking Forward

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Hannah Hagarty shares her discernment of “What comes next?” following the end of her service with FMS. In her final blog, Hannah candidly opens up about her approaches in trusting God with her steps moving forward.    My time serving as a Franciscan Mission Service Overseas Lay Missioner (FMSOLM) is coming…

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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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Auntie Hannah & Jamaica Day

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Hannah Hagarty describes her shifted role within her Jamaican school community. Through this new “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body” class, she’s been able to appreciate those around her and dig even deeper into her faith as well as her community.    When I returned to Jamaica after being home in the states…

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You Got It All!

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Anna Metzger reflects on giving her gifts and talents to all those she encounters. Through a happenstance reply, she recounts how God has provided through her with a renewed gratitude and awareness.  In my last blog, I challenged you to “be attentive to the present and step into the moments where…

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Gains and Growth

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson, in sharing the story of her dad’s physical therapy, reflects on the positive impact of growing beyond your limits of comfort.   A few weeks ago my dad had his right knee replaced. At a recent physical therapy session, the physical therapist said something that got me thinking about growth. …

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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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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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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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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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Awaken Your Emotions

Upon returning home from Bolivia, I jumped on an opportunity to facilitate a mission trip with another organization.  During the last week of July, I was privileged to serve alongside teenagers at some pretty awesome service sites.  Not only did we serve in the community, but we also took time to process the trip together. …

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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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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 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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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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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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Old Habits Die Hard in Community

Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Kate Keeley reflects on a recent retreat with her fellow year-long volunteers and the ways this experience has opened her heart to a new way of understanding community life.  For a long time, I thought I understood what it meant to be in community. I come from multiple tight-knit communities: a…

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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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Understanding Servant Leadership

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Matthew Fichter reflects on what it means to integrate leading and serving through his experiences at the Fr. Mckenna Center as well as lessons discussed in the book “Toxic Charity” by Robert Lupton.  Prior to our February retreat at Harpers Ferry, the DC Service Corps team was asked to…

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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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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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Not Where You Go, But Who You Travel With

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Julia reflects on the unexpected, beautiful discoveries she made during a work trip to Chicago. Julia touches on friendship, self discovery, and Franciscan values throughout her writing.  Work Trip in Chicago? Sign Me Up!  This blog idea comes to you by courtesy of Mrs. Nichole Petty. When my site supervisor, Dr.…

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If It’s Not Of You God, I Don’t Want It

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Kate reflects on a sentiment offered by a good friend that has helped re-shape the ways she understands both herself and her relationship with God.  These are the words that a good friend and spiritual mentor of mine, BryAnna, told me to repeat to myself when my soul feels torn. When…

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Love Personified

Editor’s Note: Regular readers of the FMS blog are familiar with the reflections of FMS missioners and volunteers. Today, however, we share with you a different voice, that of Bradley Hagarty, father of first-year missioner Hannah Hagarty. While not serving overseas as his daughter is, Bradley is part of the FMS story because his story…

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The Odd Uneven Time

Editor’s note: Megan, a DC Service Corps volunteer, uses poetry to reflect on change within her present life.  I think change is so scary because it forces us to face our inner demons head on rather than hiding behind comfort. Human beings are all creatures of comfort to some extent. Some more than others, but…

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God’s Language of Love

Editor’s note: Former missioner Erin reflects on her time in Guatemala and the many ways love broke all barriers during her time on mission as she readjusts to her life back in the states. After being back from Guatemala now almost three months, I have found myself taking the time to  re-read my journals, blogs,…

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Serving Children Safely and Effectively

Editor’s note: Missioner Tim Shelgren reflects on maintaining healthy boundaries with youth who long for love and affection.  As a missioner serving children over the past eighteen months, I have been introduced to a very real problem. Not only in Jamaica, but also in America and around the world, child abuse has become a common…

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A Love for Athletics

Editor’s Note: Current missioner in formation Hannah Hagarty shares with us how her experience with athletics has shaped who she is today. Athletics was an important part of my life growing up. My great grandfather was a professional boxer. His son, my grandpa, played both basketball and tennis in college. Like their dad, my mom…

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Quiet Soul Finds Her Voice with God

Editor’s Note: Programs Associate Kevin Ruano describes a conversation he had with DC Service Corp member Nayeli Garcia about her openness with others and her quiet confidence. She sat comfortably on the couch in our community living room. Her voice and laugh may be soft, perhaps would have been drowned by others if we were…

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Braids of Love

Editor’s note: Missioner SarahJane Cauzillo reflects on the importance of receiving within the act of serving through an experience she had at Nuestra Casa, one of her ministry sites in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I am only human, and so last week I went to Nuestra Casa a little worn-down. It was Friday afternoon, and I was…

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World Care Benefit & Celebration: A Success Story

Editor’s note: Development Associate Sam Hardwick shares his unexpected impression of FMS’ 2018 World Care Benefit—the impact of which is still being felt a month later!  On Friday April 27th, FMS held its annual World Care Benefit & Celebration in which I had a hand in helping host. If you have ever been a part…

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Update from the Field: Food Changes Lives!

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps Volunteer PJ Herrera shares about a new health and wellness program he helped develop at his ministry site, So Others Might Eat (SOME). Food changes lives. Think about it! Likely some of your best memories have revolved around a dinner table, right? What about the times when someone shared a…

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Seeing Clearly: Happy Presence Day

Editor’s note: As part of FMS’ Lenten blog series, Programs Associate Rose Urankar shares an unexpected experience practicing ministry of presence. Ah, a day off!  One of the best things about transitioning into the working world after 18 years of Catholic education is celebrating federal holidays with a vacation day.  This President’s Day, I was…

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A New Year… A New Beginning

Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh reflects on her mission in Guatemala at the Valley of the Angels school: past, present, and future.  As this New Year begins and I embark on year two of mission in Guatemala, I have found myself reflecting on the journey of mission and this new beginning. I recently came across…

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Faith Call Us to be Neighbors: In Thanksgiving for Community

Editor’s note: As part of FMS’ 2017 Advent blog series, Programs Associate Rose Urankar reflects on the past year and how community has welcomed her during that time. “Where were you one year ago today?” As we sat around the table, bellies full from our “Friendsgiving” feast, the FMS Casa community reflected on how our…

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The Sweet Presences of God

Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh shares her gratitude for God’s presence on a retreat she lead for the girls at Valley in Guatemala. “I’m a little pencil in the hand of God writing love letters to the world.” —Mother Teresa I love this quote from Mother Teresa, as that’s exactly how I feel on mission.…

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Beneath the Paint

Editor’s note: Missioner Allison Dethlefs reflects on the transformative process of an art project with the girls at Nuestra Casa in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It started out as a boredom prevention project. The girls at Nuestra Casa—a home for girls who have experienced sexual violence or abuse—were about to start their month-and-a-half of winter vacation (in…

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Being There

Editor’s note: Former DC Service Corps volunteer Chase Medelberg shares what he learned about the ministry of presence while serving at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School last year. What a year it was at FMS. I still remember walking up the mountain of steps in front of Casa San Salvador and being greeted by…

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Many Passions: An Interview with Stephanie Ashley Caban

Editor’s note: Missioner SarahJane Cauzillo compiled her interview with fellow missioner in training Stephanie Ashley Caban, who shared her journey to FMS and towards a sense of cultural identity. It’s early in the morning. The sun has yet to grace us with its presence, and the grass still glistens with the night’s dropping of dew.…

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Humbling Myself and Embracing My Imperfections

Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh relates how embracing vulnerability has allowed for deeper relationships with her students. I have always found myself feeling pressured to be “perfect,” whether it is because people tell me I have a “perfect” body, or that I say the “perfect” things. I have been called a “perfect” little angel because…

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Get to Know Rose Urankar, the New DC Service Corps Programs Associate

Editor’s note: New Programs Associate Rose Urankar shares her path to becoming a DC Service Corps volunteer and looks forward to the year ahead. Welcome Rose Urankar, the new DC Service Corps Programs Associate. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Rose attended the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Theology and American Studies.…

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Introducing Sam Hardwick, DC Service Corps Development Associate

Editor’s note: Learn about DC Service Corps participant Sam Hardwick’s background and his hopes for this service year. Sam Hardwick, the new DC Service Corps Development Associate, will be helping with donations and data management and growing in his faith during his service year with FMS. Sam, one of four brothers, was born in the…

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Meet Alessia Catena, the New Graphic Design Associate

Editor’s note: Learn more about DC Service Corps member Alessia Catena, the new Graphic Design Associate. FMS’ new DC Service Corps Graphic Design Associate, Alessia Catena, was born in Rome, Italy, where she spent much of her life. She owes her world travels to being part of a military family–she and her two older sisters and…

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We Are Each Other’s Angels and We Meet When It Is Time

Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh shares her gratitude for her host community, the Valley of the Angels School in Guatemala. I have found myself reflecting on my year and half as an FMS missioner with a song called We Are Each Other’s Angels. I played it for my family and friend before leaving for Jamaica…

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