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Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness Trips


Since our founding days, Franciscan Mission Service has been committed to intentional preparation for mission.

Our long-term program provides 14 weeks of full-time training before our missioners depart. Our short-term program will provide pre-departure preparation as well. Depending upon the group, we will either provide materials or guide a weekend preparation retreat. And just like our long-term program, we offer re-entry materials and/or facilitation to help process the learning after the experience.

Like our long-term missioners, those who go on short-term trips will learn how to share their experience and the social realities of the host country with their own communities upon returning to the U.S. We believe the experience of mission gives all people the potential to transform North American societies and churches and to act as advocates for peace, justice, reconciliation, and care for creation.

We offer short-term mission and global awareness trips in Washington, DC and at our mission sites in Bolivia, Jamaica, and the US/Mexico border.

If you are interested in scheduling a trip for your group, please contact us at info@franciscanmissionservice.org and a staff member will get in contact with you shortly.


Trip Goals

  • Develop social and cultural awareness/service
  • Grow in faith with a particular understanding of Franciscan charism
  • Learn about mission advocacy
  • Strengthen your commitment to service
  • Build community within your group through a shared experience
  • Deepen your understanding of structural poverty


  • Daily prayer and guided reflection
  • Grow in faith with a particular understanding of Franciscan charism
  • Visits with local people with whom FMS has relationships
  • Glimpses into the ministries of FMS missioners in the area
  • Service opportunities
  • Cultural encounters and opportunities
  • Additional Support
  • Pre-trip session
  • E-reader with links to articles, books and movies
  • Re-entry materials
  • Fundraising tools



How is a Mission Trip Different from Travel?

We are committed to “treading lightly” in our host country and to approach the people we meet with respect as listeners and learners, as opposed to seeing the negative aspects of the realities we will face and then trying to find ways to “fix” or make them better.

Our intention is to nurture an appreciation of different cultures and customs. Participants will be exposed to the economic and social realities faced by the people by engaging with different ethnic groups, local youth and teachers, fair trade and artisan cooperatives, and human rights advocates.

Our approach and philosophy is based on the popular education model and the “Pastoral Circle” approach of “see, reflect, act.” This model asks us to be observant, to reflect and ask questions as we face puzzling and new realities, and then to consider how this new information will impact our behavior. Group learning, prayer and reflection will allow for discussion, debriefing and processing. Participants will think critically of their experiences abroad in order to better appreciate God’s work and to better discern their responsibility as Christians in building the kingdom of God on earth.

This group learning and common experience of a mission trip are an excellent way to build community. We look forward to working with parishes, secular fraternities and schools to help them build and strengthen relationships among their members while connecting with the poor abroad.

Washington, D.C.

Build intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical awareness of the root causes and realities of poverty in the United States and work with local agencies that serve those in poverty through a Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness Trip to Washington, DC.

This trip is particularly designed to be an alternative spring break experience for college students, but works for other groups as well.

The program’s agenda is structured as stepping stones and can include:

  • Walking tour of DC from the poorest areas of town to the wealthiest
  • Direct service experiences, such as visiting those in hospice care and sorting food at a food bank
  • Workshops tailored to fit the specific interests of the group
  • Daily prayer and facilitated reflection

Hear From Program Participants

Comments from previous trip participants about how they’ve benefited from their Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness experience:

“My overall impression of the trip is powerful, inspiring, and diverse. I liked that we went to different organizations and did a variety of service; all still based and rooted from the theme of Franciscan values.”

“I am already in service at home, but this trip opened up my eyes to unique ways to provide service. It also taught me ways to empower the people I work with; the importance of presence of ministry; and how you can come to see and appreciate God’s light through our work and the people we meet.”

“This trip allowed me to fully immerse myself in the culture and put a face to the social issues that our nation faces. This trip increased my spirituality and awareness of healthcare for immigrants and the homeless population.”

“I definitely grew as a person by being on this trip and engaging in the opportunities provided by FMS. I learned not only about myself, but also about how poverty and homelessness affect access to needs such as healthcare. My perspective was changed and my heart was opened throughout this trip. I will always be thankful for the positive impact this experience had on my life and outlook.”

“Through my journey with FMS I have found a purpose in the life I have been blessed with and it entails giving back to those in need. Plus seeing everyone as an equal, a brother or sister in Christ.”

“One meaningful experience happened during prayer: I truly was at peace in my relationship with God.”

If you are interested in scheduling a Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness trip to Washington, DC for your group, please fill out the form below and a staff member will get in contact with you shortly.

However God is calling you to love your neighbors, we have an opportunity for you...