We are making an impact now and building future leaders with technical/skill-based experience, deep engagement with other cultures, and personal and social analysis to ensure a future committed to social change.
Here are just a few examples of the impact of our current ministries, all amidst the current state of the pandemic:
Accompaniment through AA
In Kingston, Jamaica, missioner Megan Hamilton has continued to accompany those recovering from alcoholism in a variety of ways. With alcoholics being often marginalized, she has found a home advocating for this ministry on the island. Having journeyed through AA herself, she connects personally to the number of individuals she sponsors in knowing the great struggles of sobriety sustainability. As the pandemic continues, Megan has adapted these ministries to a safe, virtual space via phone calls, Zoom, Whats App. Read more of her ministry here.
In Solidarity with those on the Border
Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman is currently serving marginalized communities at the US-Mexico border. Her mission site, the Migrante Center in Agua Prieta helps provide basic needs to the migrant community. While explicitly handing out food, water, and clothes, she is able to tangibly take care of their human necessities. More implicitly, Rhonda is able to observe and tend to the emotional needs of the migrant community. Read more of her border ministry stories here.
Encounter those Seeking Asylum
FMS has recently partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with it’s first DC Service Corps volunteer Federico Wettstein. Through his position with UNHCR, he is able to empower and connect asylum seekers to NGOs that can provide pro bono legal assistance. Through sending materials on navigating the US asylum system and covering hotline shifts, he is able to encounter some of the over 16,000 asylum seekers currently in detention centers across the United States. Read more of his experience here.
FMS overseas lay missioners and DC Service Corps volunteers are committed not just to a year or more of service in DC or several years of overseas mission, but to a lifetime of living out faith, peace, and justice in the Franciscan tradition. The photo above shows the gathering of alumni at a Commissioning Mass. Their commitment to live out their call to mission goes well beyond their time with FMS, and how each missioner and DC Service Corps volunteer does so looks different for each person.
San Damiano Servant Leadership Award
When St. Francis prayed in the small Portiuncula chapel before the San Damiano Cross, he heard our Lord tell him, “Rebuild my Church.” This call inspired St. Francis not only to rebuild the debilitated Portiuncula chapel, but also to establish a community of brothers and to care for all of God’s creation as a channel of his peace. FMS’ San Damiano award recognizes young men and women who, like St. Francis, heed Christ’s call to rebuild his church. We encourage servant-leaders with empathetic and service-oriented hearts to apply for this award.
How are we called to be spiritually bold?
It’s a question for all seasons. It’s a question for a lifetime! Answers come though prayer, discernment, and listening–practices which sit at the heart of Franciscan Mission Service’s ministries overseas and in the United States. Below, we share some resources, developed by or in partnership with Franciscan Mission Service, to support you in your own spiritual practice