Hannah Hagarty Becky Kreidler Sabrina Portner

 

Hannah Hagarty – Missioner in Formation

Hometown: Colfax, IA

Path to FMS: I have always known that I wanted to live and serve abroad, and I have always felt a calling to live, work, and study outside my comfort zone. I explored different programs, but none of them felt right. FMS is right.  Building genuine relationships and being present to those in need is what I am called to do, and that is a major part of the Overseas Lay Mission Program at FMS.

In addition, I have been going on medical service trips to El Salvador since I was in 7th grade. These trips changed my perspective on life and on the world. I grew up understanding and seeing poverty firsthand. . When I went back to El Salvador as a college graduate, the trip was totally different. I allowed myself to be completely immersed in the culture. I experienced the life of a Salvadoran. I crossed a barrier and created beautiful interpersonal relationships. On this last trip, I realized that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to live in solidarity with people who are oppressed and marginalized and be a vessel for God’s love among them.

Scripture passage meaningful for mission: (Matthew 25:35-40) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

A Catholic role model: Oscar Romero is my exemplary Catholic role model (he will be canonized October 2018). I first learned about Romero when I was in 6th grade preparing to go on my first mission trip to El Salvador. As an 11-year-old, I didn’t fully understand how the El Salvadoran government, to which Romero used to be connected, could kill a man who was helping the poor and marginalized. Even when the government warned Romero that they would have to kill him if he did not stop what he was doing, he continued to do what he believed was right and to speak for the people. When I finally got to El Salvador, I prayed in the church where Romero was assassinated. I walked though his modest, simple home. I saw the clothes he was wearing with the gunshot wounds from when he was murdered. Oscar Romero is my role model because I believe that God can be found in poverty and suffering. I want to live how Romero lived, and believe what he believed. 

 

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Becky Kreidler – Missioner in Formation

Hometown: Mt. Prospect, IL
Recent residence: Chicago, IL

Path to FMS: 

In 2015, I spoke with an active student in campus ministry who was discerning post-graduate volunteer service. She looked at me purposefully and told me she thought I would be a great fit for post-grad service work. I remember shaking my head at her, thinking that was too big a task for someone with such little and shaky faith. A few months later I am having coffee with one of the deans of the John Felice Rome center chatting about faith, life abroad, and our passions. After that conversation, I felt an excitement and unexpected urgency; I had this deep, certain feeling that “I will go.”

While researching service organizations, I stumbled upon the Franciscan Mission Service and was surprised by how much of their mission spoke deeply to me, such as seeing the world as a graced place and believing in the transforming power of Christ’s love in the world. Lay mission work will undoubtedly be one of many walking on water moments in my faith journey, yet I am filled with hope and certainty as I have come to understand that it is difficult to grow faith inside one’s comfort zone. 

Method of seeking God in everyday life: 

I see God most in the relationships and interactions I have with people, both those I know and with strangers. No matter if the encounter is long, short, challenging, or comforting, I believe that God is calling me to grow and listen to Him through the people whose stories intersect with mine.

Favorite Scripture passage: 

(John 15: 16) “It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit.” This passage is one that has always spoke to me, but has taken on new meaning with my call to mission. I feel that God has called me and woven mission into my path; He has chosen me for this moment in this place. Through fulfilling Jesus’ commands and living out my calling, I hope to embrace God’s choice and bear the fruit of His love in my time on mission.

A Catholic role model:

My grandpa, Charlie Meyer. He is the most grace-filled person I have ever known. His kindness, generosity, ability to forgive, never-fading support, and most importantly, true love are at the center of every action and every relationship he has. He has been a father figure and a model of a faithful Catholic in my life.

Favorite saint: 

Mary Mother of God. Upon being chosen by God, Mary did not run away in fear, but rather trusted in her God, as a grace-filled believer. Mary’s bold “yes” to God’s invitation is a testament to her unwavering faith and an inspiring challenge to me to be fearless in a world that perpetuates conformity and doubt.

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Sabrina Portner – Missioner in Training

Hometown: Sleepy Eye, MN
Recent residence: Sleepy Eye, MN

Path to FMS:

Ever since high school, I have set service work and helping those in third-world countries as one of my goals. The Franciscan way of life is exactly how I envisioned myself doing mission work. I yearn to live in solidarity with those who have less than I have materially. I want to help others in a sustainable way for a significant amount of time all while surrounding myself with those striving in the Catholic faith as I am as well.

The more I served others through small local initiatives, the more I realized that through my passion for serving others God was calling me to something more. I came to know he was calling me to let this greatest joy of mine, serving others, become the focus of my life by living in solidarity with the poor. The Lord has blessed me beyond belief. I can’t wait to continue following His will in this way through the Franciscan Mission Service.

Method of seeking God in everyday life: 

Every morning the daily readings provide God’s lessons to carry with me throughout the day. I seek conversation with the Lord, especially the Holy Spirit, throughout the day whether that be to thank him, implore his help or to ask for intercession. I also turn to Mary often that she may teach me to love her Son more deeply. I ask the Lord what His will might be for me that day and that He would be with me in every moment. Striving to truly be present in every moment of the day shows me how God is constantly working in my life, even in the smallest of things like a smile from a stranger.

Favorite Scripture passage: 

(Amos 7: 14-15) “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” My fears of not using all my talents, knowledge and skills I had just gained through my college degree always held me back from committing myself to mission. Amos who was a farmer herdsman like myself. However, God called Amos to leave the only life he knew as a shepherd in exchange for preaching of our Lord to the people of Israel. This passage gave me confidence to finally say yes to God’s call for me to leave my life behind to go on mission for him.

A Catholic role model:

My grandma Joan has always been a role model for me and is my confirmation sponsor. My grandma quietly serves all those around her. She took care of my ailing grandpa and eventually her older siblings, all without one single complaint. Ever since I can remember, she has ended every conversation I have with her with “I will be praying for you.” She has been the greatest example of humble, quiet, unceasing service of others.

Favorite saint: 

I have a special devotion to St. Teresa of Calcutta. Reading about her life I have been inspired by the way she followed God’s call no matter how difficult it was. She never asked God, ‘isn’t what I’ve done so far enough?’. She just continued to say yes to God even when she was struggling to feel His presence. She truly embraced Jesus’ thirst for souls and strived to bring these souls to Him in everything she did no matter how small. I want to live my life like St. Teresa.  

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