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Auntie Hannah & Jamaica Day

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Hannah Hagarty describes her shifted role within her Jamaican school community. Through this new “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body” class, she’s been able to appreciate those around her and dig even deeper into her faith as well as her community.    When I returned to Jamaica after being home in the states…

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The Power of Simple Prayer

Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Joleen Johnson shares the story of her spring break babysitting turned God-moment. She expresses the power of a simple prayer through the eyes of her younger cousin. When I was in college, I excitedly volunteered to babysit my twin cousins while their parents were gone for the weekend. It was…

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Serving Children Safely and Effectively

Editor’s note: Missioner Tim Shelgren reflects on maintaining healthy boundaries with youth who long for love and affection.  As a missioner serving children over the past eighteen months, I have been introduced to a very real problem. Not only in Jamaica, but also in America and around the world, child abuse has become a common…

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I Whispered and He Heard Me: Notes from Valle de los Angeles

Editor’s note: missioner Misty Menis-Kyler shares several recent events from her mission experience in Guatemala. The end of the school year has come and the students are relieved to be done with their exams. It was a bitter sweet time for me personally. I did not want to say goodbye to my students whom I…

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The Dump

Editor’s note: Missioner Misty Menis-Kyler shares a glimpse of Guatemala City’s dump and the people who live and work there. Last month I had the privilege of taking the Holy Spirit mission group from Texas to a site off campus called the dump. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is the dump where…

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United by God’s Mercy

Editor’s note: Missioner Cindy Mizes shares two powerful experiences of human hands rescuing people in need and relates them to our call to unity with others. This past spring while visiting the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, I was given a tour of Hope Hospice. There I met the lovely and memorable “Miss Daisy.”…

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Sharing Culture

Editor’s Note: After sharing about US culture with Jamaican preschoolers, Missioner Janice Smullen reflects on the differences and similarities between the cultures. I was invited by the guidance counselor of the St. Aloysius Infant School (preschool) to give a presentation about the United States. The children were learning about world cultures and had hosted visitors…

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The Power of Presence

Editor’s Note: Missioner Amanda Ceraldi reflects on an experience of ministry of presence during her time at Valley of the Angels orphanage in Guatemala. St. Francis got a lot of things right. He understood the reason for radical poverty and simplicity and lived it out. He understood that stepping out of your comfort zone is…

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Learning About Cognitive Development

Second-year missioner Valerie Ellis shares about one of her ministry sites in Bolivia. I love working at Comunidad Educativa Para La Vida (CEV), a school in Chilimarca, Bolivia, dedicated to giving children in poverty a healthy start at life. It has a strong commitment to comprehensive childhood development and the protection of human rights. Recently…

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God Has A Plan For Me

Missioner Hady Mendez reflects on a recent decision and upcoming transition.  It’s true I decided to go back home to the U.S. this December at the end of my two-year contract with Franciscan Mission Service. It’s hard to describe how I feel: happy, excited, sad, and nervous, all wrapped into one. I’m happy because I finally…

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Throwback Thursday: “A New Definition of Rural”

Editor’s Note: In celebration of our 25th year of preparing and supporting lay missioners, we look back to our archives at a World Care newsletter from 2005 with an article from returned missioner Cecilia Marcy from Class 19, serving in Bolivia with her husband, Tim, from 2004-2006.   What does it mean to be rural? Living in…

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Learning from Children with Special Needs

The last couple of of weeks I have had the amazing opportunity to work in a classroom with some student teachers from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH). They came to work with children with special needs. They needed assistance for their student teaching, and I have some experience teaching, so I agreed to help. I worked…

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Dave El Pulpo

For many people, my name is difficult to pronounce. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, someone will manage to mispronounce it. I became used to this at a young age and I don’t mind gently correcting people. Many of the kids in Guatemala find my name especially difficult to say due to…

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Throwback Thursday: “A Letter from Vietnam”

Editor’s Note: In celebration of our 25th year of preparing and supporting lay missioners, we look back to our archives at a World Care newsletter from 2004 with an article from returned missioner Hao Nguyen from Class 19 serving in Vietnam in 2004. This article was written during his time serving in Vietnam.   Hy Vong means…

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Nature vs Nurture

Starting in the month of May, Pat and I will begin our endeavor of raising chickens from a day old chick to adulthood. They will be completely reliant on us for the first two weeks of their lives while they live in the brooder we built for them until we place them in the larger…

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Are you hungry?

From time to time, my ministry site CUBE has short term volunteers from the United States. They come to share their time, learn more about Bolivia, and learn more about the fight against sexual violence. Although they bring the best of intentions, at times they struggle to understand the populations with which they are spending time.…

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Valerie’s New Ministries: Violence Prevention and Awareness Raising

Lay missioner Valerie Ellis talks about the two new ministries in which she has been invited to serve.  I came to Bolivia with the goal of working with children, and possibly women, who are survivors or current victims of violence. Unfortunately, like in the United States, this is not hard to find. I saved one…

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Community 101: Prayer

For the next four weeks, we will feature a four part series on faith in community every Franciscan Friday: “Community 101: An Introduction to Intentional Living”! It will feature weekly contributors highlighting specific features of intentional-living in faith communities: Prayer, Listening, Sharing, and Learning to Love. Today’s post about prayer is by Paola Piscitelli, President…

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Franciscan Friday: Returned Missioner Lorraine Kelley on Mission and Reconciliation Pt. I

This is part of a three part series by Lorraine Kelley: “Mission and Reconciliation” Part I Part II Part III Continuing our series Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples, returned missioner Lorraine Kelley (Bolivia, 1994-2002) writes about her faith’s relationship to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and experiences on mission.  My work as a…

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Taste and See: Surrendering My Will

Part of our mission preparation program includes regular volunteering with impoverished or vulnerable populations in the area. Today missioner-in-training Valerie Ellis talks about the first few weeks of her volunteer experience. My dream for going on mission is to work with children, and I was thrilled when I received the email from Franciscan Mission Service …

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Franciscan Friday: Visiting an AIDS Hospice

Today, travelers on our Short-Term Missions and Global Awareness Trip to South Africa visit an HIV/AIDS Hospice center.   A few months ago Domestic Volunteer Anna Robinson also went on this trip and visited patients affected by AIDS.  For this Franciscan Friday post, she shares with us a reflection on the experience and finding common ground…

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Encountering God in Children

Domestic Volunteers Naomi Amsberry and Anna Robinson have spent their Wednesday afternoons at an after-school program for immigrant families.  Today they share how they’ve found God in the midst of D.C.’s lower-income youth. “For the last several months, I have been volunteering at an after school program with Mary House for children ages pre-K through…

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Mission Monday: They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

 Missioner Nora Pfeiffer is not the only one moving on from their community in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  And saying goodbye to neighbors just makes you realize how much you appreciated the company. I find myself recently reminded of the words from the Joni Mitchell song “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you got…

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Happy Father’s Day – Ministry of Presence

Richard Nalen encourages nap time with two girls, Noemi and Natalia, that are being treated for burns at Mosoj P’unchay, part of the Franciscan Social Center located in Cochabamba, Bolivia “‘Zeechard, no te vayas,’ whines Marcos, who expresses dissatisfaction as I near the door. He is my two-and-a-half year-old friend, although my wife Kristen once…

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National Volunteer Month Profile: Nora in Bolivia

The green thumb of our missioners has to be Nora Pfeiffer. Most of Nora’s ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia relate to the environment — from hosting radio shows, helping with retreats, composting, and tending a garden with the children at the Franciscan Social Center where she lives. The University of Richmond graduate is today’s National Volunteer…

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National Volunteer Month Profile: Catherine in Cochabamba

After having served in Bolivia from 2002 to 2004 and returning in 2010, Catherine Giller is in her final year of lay mission with FMS. Her primary ministry has been serving in programs  focusing on children and youth, including lunch and afterschool programs. She was recently invited to work with Voces Para Latinoamerica and Voces…

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Deadline for tax-deductible donations: Dec. 31

Original photo by Charles Thompson Don’t miss your chance to make a tax-deductible gift in 2011 and help us promote peace and social justice through Franciscan lay mission! Donations made out to “Franciscan Mission Service” must be postmarked to P.O. Box 29034, Washington, DC 20017 or submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on December 31 to met the…

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Prayers for Christmas: Children

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas, patron saint of children! Today’s prayer for Christmas comes from our youngest contributors: 6-year-old Bolivians recovering from burns. “We are grateful for airplanes, flowers, dolls, backpacks and shoes.” The children live and heal at the Franciscan burn center in Cochabamba until they are well enough to return home to their…

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