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The Transient Southwest

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto shares glimpses, through poetry and prose, of the ever-changing nature of accompanying migrants on the U.S.-Mexico Border region.   Few people around, fewer things to do and see, Why do attachments here Seem to form so easily?   Neighbors, volunteer friends, confidantes, It all feels in vain. Mucho dolor…

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Day 14: Eternity

Editor’s Note: On this fourteenth day of Advent, we invite you to reflect on The Visitation, a sonnet by Malcom Guite that inspired our Advent blog series theme “Hidden Joys.” The lovely artwork of Mary journeying to visit Elizabeth was created by DC Service Corps volunteer Joanie McMahon.  The Visitation By Malcom Guite   Here…

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Walking Forward in Accompaniment

Editor’s Note: As Anna Metzger concludes her two years in Bolivia, she reflects on how God has worked through her time as an FMS missioner.  The past two years with FMS have brought their own ups and downs, twists and turns. For years, I dreamed of doing international mission and living in Latin America. When…

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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 Estephanie Alvarez: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: Estephanie Alvarez is a high school student who works in the FMS office once a week as part of Don Bosco Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). Today she reflects on the importance of loving yourself and others.  One of the most important things that matters to me is how much I…

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Introducing Victor Artaiz: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: Overseas lay missioner in formation, Victor Artaiz, reflects on how God tugged on his heart and led him to formation with FMS. God has always tugged on my sleeve and at my heart, especially during those times when I was only focused on myself! Here in the Brookland neighborhood of DC, I am…

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Introducing Sister Meg Earsley: What Matters to Me

Editor’s Note: Sr. Meg Earsley, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and Overseas Missioner in formation, reflects on the interconnectedness, beauty, and diversity of God’s creation in relation to her calling as a sister.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt passionate about inclusion. Perhaps it was connected to the loneliness I experienced…

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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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From A to B: The Humble Invitation to Encounter God and Others

Editor’s Note: Overseas lay missioner in formation, Julia Pinto, reflects on God’s invitation to encounter Him and the people around her.  For most of my life, I have identified myself as a doer. Having been raised by parents who primarily show love through acts of service, I often find myself thinking of what needs to…

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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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A Pandemic Playlist

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson shares a playlist of compiled songs that have helped the FMS community throughout this past year of pandemic.  To mix it up a little bit, I chose to use more music instead of words for this blog. I’ve asked current FMS Missioners and community members to share a song…

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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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“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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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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Day 24: Gather

Editor’s Note: Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Based in Washington, DC at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, Fr. Jim has served on the FMS Board of the Directors and is a friend of the FMS community. In this blog, Fr. Jim encourages readers to…

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Day 20: Humility

Editor’s Note: Second-year missioner Megan Hamilton writes from the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany convent in Kingston, Jamaica. One of her current ministries–with elderly sisters–becomes a springboard for looking back at a life-changing process of embracing humility. Drunks, Dentures & Humility My recent thoughts on humility started with Sister Goretti’s dentures, which didn’t return from the…

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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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Fleeting Eternity

Editor’s note: Lay missioner in formation, Nora McMahon, uses a poetic language to reflect on an early morning adventure with her casamates. 530 am Alarm 540 am Put on kettle 550 am Let tea cool 600 am Drink tea 610 am Head out   We make it to the Lincoln Memorial by 640 just as…

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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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Goretticisms: Joys Learned with a Tiny, Elder Sister

Editor’s note: In this blog, missioner Megan Hamilton welcomes readers into one of her ministries in Kingston, Jamaica, where she lives with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in their convent. As Megan reflects on the enduring personalities of the sisters in the infirmary, she invites readers to consider how other important things endure, even when…

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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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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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A Gallery of Triduum and Eastertide

From Bolivia to Washington, DC , and from Jamaica to Maryland, FMS missioners, volunteers, and staff found meaningful ways to pray through Holy Week and celebrate Easter. See some of their photos below! [unitegallery dcsceaster] [unitegallery easter2020_2]

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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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Advent Day 25: Rejoice

 Editor’s note: DCSC volunteer Matthew Fichter concludes our Advent blog series with a reflection on the word “rejoice”.  Merry Christmas!  At the mention of the word “rejoice” during this Advent season, the commonly played Christmas hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” comes most readily to mind.  The lyrics “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee,…

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Advent Day 24: Gather

Editor’s note: Executive Director Elizabeth Hughes uses imaginative prayer to reflect upon the Nativity and shares her experience of modern nativities along the border between Mexico and the United States. Christmas Eve.  Mary and Joseph are traveling to Jerusalem for the census.  A grumpy innkeeper harshly asserts that there is no room at the inn,…

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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 7: Presence

Editor’s note: Deanna Wolf, good friend to former staff member Bridget Higginbotham and previous casa resident and volunteer for the Columban Center for Outreach and Advocacy reflects on the word “presence”. Deanna discusses the impact a simple engraving on a bracelet has had on her life, as well as her relationship with both herself and…

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Advent Day 5: Darkness

Editor’s note: FMS board member Thomas King offers an excerpt from Sr. Joan Chittister for reflection on today’s Advent theme of darkness.    From Joan Chittister:   “Darkness, I have discovered, is the way we come to see It creates the depressions that, once faced, teaches us to trust.  It gives us the sensitivity it…

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Advent Day 2: Await

Editor’s note: Katie Rotterman, a DC Service Corps alumni, reflects on her relationship with God through the word “await”. Each year I struggle with the positive spin Advent puts on waiting. I see devotionals about joy-filled waiting, the wonder in the waiting, the anticipation found in waiting.  I don’t want to wait – I want…

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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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October 3, 2018 and the Promise of Resurrection

Editor’s note: Becky Kreidler is an FMS missioner who began her journey being present to those she encountered in Guatemala. Upon increased pain in her knee and learning she would need surgery, she discerned to return home to Mt. Prospect, Illinois in late March 2019 where she had surgery. Since then, has been dedicating time…

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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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The Slow Work of God and Cooking Beans

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps associate Hannah reflects on the ways God is slowly moving through her life throughout this new beginning.  According to a recent “guess how many beans in the jar” activity at a social hosted by Catholic Volunteer Network, an average serving of beans consists of 1100 beans.  A few weeks ago,…

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Transitus Speech — Honoring the Life and Death of Saint Francis

Editor’s note: Executive Director Elizabeth Hughes shared the Transitus Reflection at the Franciscan Monastery.  Liz focused on St. Francis’ message of humility, fraternity, and trust and how we continue to live that today. Good evening.  Thank you for the invitation to share with you tonight.  My name is Liz Hughes, and I am the Executive…

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A Concept: 100% Contemplation & 100% Action.. Is There a Word For That?

Editor’s note: Missioner Tim Shelgren reflects on the practice of contemplation and action and the ways this state of being has impacted his journey thus far.  “There’s no word for it in English.” This is a phrase my eldest son Troy, who lives in the German speaking part of Switzerland, often uses when he is…

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Art, Faith, Goodbyes and the Former Rich, Italian Party Boy

Editor’s Note: Missioner in formation, Megan, reflects on her journey in DC so far and the places she’s found beauty “wherever it rests.”   I have been thinking about the intersection of art and faith. I’m wearing a new set of clothes. Bought some at the Goodwill. They fit great, and I love ‘em. But…they’re a…

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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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Saturday at the Casa

Editor’s note: Missioner in formation, Tom, reflects on his Saturday and the inspiring people he met along the way.  Saturdays at Casa San Salvador are days when our many intentional community members become creative.  Last Saturday was no exception. Many of our housemates went to Salisbury, Maryland, to the National Folk Festival.  The day was…

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Finding Harmony in God and Myself

Editor’s Note: Missioner Anna reflects on her transition into intentional, simple living as she prepares to embark on service for the next 2 years with FMS.  This idea of Simple Living within the context of Franciscan Mission Service is actually not simple at all; it’s quite complex, and I am only just beginning to understand…

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Introducing Marina Jerry: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each…

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Introducing Michael Broughton: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  When discussing what matters most to me, it is hard to land on a single aspect of my life. There are so many things that I am passionate about and grateful for, so…

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Introducing Megan McCarthy: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  When I close my eyes and try to imagine my last days on Earth, there are a few significant figures in my life that immediately come to mind: my mother, my father, my…

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Introducing Hannah Puvalowski: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  The dog days of summer have come to an end, but the significance of dogs in my life does not waiver. When I was younger, I was extremely shy so to help with…

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Introducing Kate Keeley: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  I grew up in a very active church community. Both of my parents work at my home parish in Roanoke, Virginia. Therefore, I spent a lot of time there growing up and church…

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Introducing Matthew Fichter: What Matters Most To Me?

Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them.  In my inaugural FMS blog post I will be writing a little about who I am and what I care about.  I will start with who I am. My name is Matthew Lawrence…

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