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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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Step into The Moment

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Anna Metzger speaks about her active call to ministry while in Bolivia. As she awaits both the welcome of another FMS missioner, Nora, and an official ministry site in Cochabamba, she reflects on the life giving relationships throughout her day to day. As followers of Christ, we are all called…

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Day 19: Accompaniment

Editor’s Note: Missioner Hannah Hagarty, serving in Kingston, Jamaica, reflects on the the various meanings of “accompaniment” and how her own understanding of the word has grown during her time in mission. Accompaniment is the reason I was drawn to FMS. When choosing which organization to serve abroad with, I came across FMS and read…

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Day 8: Community

Editor’s Note: Newly commissioned lay missioner, Domonique Thompson, reflects on her experience living within the intentional community of Casa San Salvador. In her brief hiatus between Formation this fall and returning as a DCSC volunteer in January, she highlights some of the best parts of community life in anticipation for coming back to the Casa…

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Finding Saint Friends for the Journey

Editor’s note: FMS Communications Associate, Bekah Galucki, reflects on her journey towards the Lord thus far. Pondering life through the lens of hindsight, she pauses to acknowledge the great distance of her walk already taken. She reflects on the impact and kinship of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis of Assisi, who have both…

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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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Walking in Jesus’ Feet

Editor’s note: Missioner Cindy Mizes shares insights into a new ministry she has started in Kingston, Jamaica. I never imagined what it could be like walking in Jesus’ feet until I started walking along the city streets and narrow back alleys of Kingston, Jamaica handing out food and water to people living on the streets. …

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Learning Humility and ‘The Sacrament of the Present Moment’

Editor’s note: Missioner SarahJane Cauzillo reflects on her ability to be present to those she serves in Cochabamba, Bolivia and the graces God has given her to do so. “If you have come here to help me… you are wasting your time. But, if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine,…

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Dios Está Aquí

Editor’s Note: Executive Director Elizabeth Hughes shares a reflection from her October site visit to FMS communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia and Carmen Pampa, Bolivia. There is a popular Spanish worship song — that also happens to be one of my favorites — called “Dios Está Aquí.” Its English lyrics proclaim “God is here, as certain…

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Conversations with Desi

Editor’s note: Missioner Anna Klonowski experiences the ministry of presence with a new friend at a ministry site. I met a woman named Desi the other day at Hogar San José, the nursing home in Cochabamba that is one of my ministries. She was sitting alone in a courtyard, and I said hello as I…

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Were You There: Entrusting Our Crosses to Christ

Editor’s Note: Missioner Janice Smullen reflects on the figure of Simon the Cyrenian who helped Jesus carry his cross, and relates it to a personal encounter on mission. “As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on…

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Were You There: Stand and Watch

Editor’s note: Missioner Catherine Sullivan shares a time when she was called to accompany and witness the painful suffering of a friend throughout their trial and testimony. About half of the way through our pre-mission formation, our formation director set an album in the middle of the kitchen table that contained little bios and quotes…

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Be Not Afraid: Waiting With Them

Editor’s Note: Missioner Allison Dethlefs shares how fear of being an intruder and of not knowing enough about the Bolivian medical system led to a new understanding of what it means to walk with others through complex and scary situations. I stood on the corner feeling utterly helpless. I was supposed to be meeting four…

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Que Sueñes con los Angelitos

Editor’s Note: Missioner Amanda Ceraldi shares how she brought a foundational childhood tradition from her own life into the lives of some of the boys in Guatemala. Growing up, one of my favorite things about my day was bedtime. I never particularly liked having to go bed, but I loved the act of being tucked…

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Dancing Through the Doorway

Editor’s Note: Missioner Allison Dethlefs shares how she’s been able to start forming relationships through teaching Zumba classes to girls who are survivors of sexual abuse. Upon arriving in Cochabamba, Bolivia, over seven months ago, I had no idea what kind of ministry I was going to get involved in. By a stroke of luck, during my six…

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Love in a Suffering World

Editor’s Note: After accompanying her friend and fellow missioner through illness, missioner Allison Dethlefs reflects on fighting through feeling helpless and finding assurance that merely being present is more powerful than we often realize.  For three months during our training for long-term mission it was repeatedly pounded into our heads that our main ministry was…

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Prison Ministry – It’s No Joke

My family and friends laugh at me when I say,“ Talk to you later. I gotta go to jail,” “It sounds funny,” they tell me. But for me it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s what I do. I started prison ministry roughly six months ago. When I first started going to jail,…

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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Second-year lay missioner Kitzi Hendricks writes about her current ministry in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Every 26th of June, organizations and individuals all over the world stand together in solidarity to support victims of torture and bring awareness to this atrocious violation of human rights. As a part of an organization in Cochabamba that provides accompaniment and…

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Lifelong Accompaniment: Being inspired by our Returned Missioners

For more photos from our returned missioner retreat, please see our online album. Domestic Volunteer Sarah Hoffeditz writes about her experience last weekend as the Franciscan Mission Service staff joined some of our returned missioners in Colorado for a retreat we host every three years for those who have served with us. Their stories were…

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Franciscan Friday: Experiencing the Ministry of Presence

One of the hallmarks of Franciscan service is something we often refer to as the “ministry of presence” or “accompaniment.” From community gardens in Cochabamba to the slums of Nairobi to the after-school programs and homeless shelters in Washington, D.C., FMS missioners and volunteers spend their time focusing on being with people rather than doing…

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Merry Christmas!

The FMS staff: (front) Mariam Mitry, Anna Robinson, Naomi Amsberry, (back) Chelsea Tanous, Br. Paul O’Keeffe, Kim Smolik and Bridget Higginbotham Merry Christmas from the Franciscan Mission Service staff in Washington, D.C.! This Advent, we’ve been sharing stories of encountering God this year in our families, friends, strangers and those whom we serve. But there is…

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Encountering God in the Wisdom of Others

Program associate and domestic volunteer Chelsea Tanous spends Wednesday afternoons at the Gift of Peace House, a hospice care center run by the Missionaries of Charity. Today Chelsea shares how one resident helps her encounter God through weekly lessons. Chelsea  with a resident of the Gift of Peace House From the the importance of confession…

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