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DC Service Corps

Embrace the Breeze, Protect Your Peace

Editor’s Note: As DC Service Corps volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh reaches the end of her year of service, she reflects on how she has learned to surrender to God’s will throughout the year. Right now, as I sit on the front porch of Casa San Salvador, my home for the past 10 months, I witness the…

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I Can Still Remember How That Music Used to Make Me Smile

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Bo O’Shaughnessy details a night of fun and fellowship and reflects on the spirituality of intentional community. Here at Casa San Salvador, my housemates and I live in an intentional community, meaning we make a purposeful commitment to grow in our relationship to one another and with God. Practically speaking, this…

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Beauty and Joy

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Noah Duclos shares some takeaways from participating in a Holy Thursday tradition with his family and DCSC community this year. I had the great privilege of celebrating Easter in DC with my parents, who decided to visit and stay in Casa San Salvador with me and my community. It…

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Dreaming and Discerning

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh contemplates the various ways that God is calling her to serve and reflects on her year of service thus far. When I was a young child, I dreamed of being a missionary. I spent many days imagining a life among people and places unknown to me. I dreamed of…

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Committed to the Bike (Except When it Rains)

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Bohdan O’Shaughnessy shares his decision to change his daily commute and how he “reframed” his bike rides to be more mindful and spiritually fulfilling. Around 6:20 in the morning and then again at 4 in the afternoon, you can find me marching around Brookland in my light blue scrubs,…

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The Spirituality of Hello and Goodbye

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Jennifer Eburuoh contemplates being fully present even in brief interactions through a concept that she calls “the spirituality of hello and goodbye.” Being halfway through my service year, I would like to share an unexpected grace that I have begun to call the spirituality of hello and goodbye. This…

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Silent Accompaniment

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Noah Duclos shares a thoughtful reflection on God’s stillness and silence in a Bible passage and how this inspires his way of accompanying others. This week, I’d like to share a reflection on 1 Kings 19:9-13. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you…

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Day 8: Solemn: An Advent that Looks Beyond the Blow-Up Santa

Editor’s Note: For day 8 of our Advent series “The Day of Joy Drew Near,” DC Service Corps  member Bohdan O’Shaughnessy contemplates the solemn nature of Advent and Christmas. Admittedly, the word “solemn” is not a term I have associated with Advent or Christmas. I typically would assign “joy” or “anticipation” to describe this time…

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Day 7: Prepared

Editor’s Note: For day 7 of our Advent series “The Day of Joy Drew Near,” Grace Kueber, a DC Service Corps alumna, describes her tendency to over prepare and resolves to trust in God. I always grew up making sure I was prepared. For bad weather – dress warmly, maybe an umbrella,  For traffic –…

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A Tribute to Our Lay Missioners

Editor’s Note: As this year’s Overseas Lay Missioner Formation comes to a close, DC Service Corps member Bohdan O’Shaughnessy dedicates this blog to FMS’s three recently commissioned missioners. In the not-too-distant future, the Casa is losing our three lay missioners as they embark to their international ministry sites. Last Saturday was their Commissioning Mass, and…

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The Need to Achieve

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Noah Duclos reflects on how God led him to Franciscan Mission Service after attending an Ivy League school and how he has taken Franciscan values to heart. For the past three years, I studied theology and ministry at Yale Divinity School, acquiring my Master of Divinity degree. That’s right;…

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Sacred Spaces and Receptivity

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Jennifer Eburuoh admires the sacred art in the Casa San Salvador chapel. She allows the art to draw her deeper into prayer and to reflect on her year of service thus far. The first day that I arrived at Casa San Salvador, I was immediately drawn to our chapel.…

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In the Midst of God’s Grace

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Nadia Barnett reflects on God’s grace that is often revealed through the present moment. I live my life in the midst of God’s grace. We all do. It’s not always apparent, but it is always present. This time of service has taught me many lessons about God, my faith,…

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Seeing Ourselves Today

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member, Nadia Barnett reflects on a moment she encountered during a nature meditation and how taking time to notice beauty in everyday life allowed her to more clearly see herself. On October 30th, I participated in a meditative walk with my fellow FMS missioners in a joint formation session. During…

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My Time at the Father McKenna Center

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Nayeli Garcia describes some of the experiences and lessons she has encountered through serving at the Father McKenna Center. It has been a few months since I’ve moved down to DC and started my time at the Father McKenna Center. With the amount of time that I have been…

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The Weight of Surrender

Editor’s Note: Current DC Service Corps volunteer, Amy Brandt reflects on the transition and surrender that accompanied her move from Washington State to DC for a year of service. Moving almost 3000 miles from home, I am often confronted with the unfamiliarity and newness of my surroundings here in Washington, DC. I find myself searching…

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My Time at FMS

Editor’s Note: Derek Slaton reflects on his time with DC Service Corps as he has recently discerned out of the program in order to pursue a different path. My time at FMS has been short but filled with many ups and downs. The downside, being far from home and far from all the people I…

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The Intersection of Business and Faith

Editor’s Note: Current missioner in formation Becky Kreidler, interviews DC Service Corps member Derek Slaton about his passion for business how his goals are motivated by faith. Meet Derek Slaton: Texas native, FMS Development Associate, and one of my community mates! I recently had the opportunity to talk with Derek about what matters to him…

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Quiet Soul Finds Her Voice with God

Editor’s Note: Programs Associate Kevin Ruano describes a conversation he had with DC Service Corp member Nayeli Garcia about her openness with others and her quiet confidence. She sat comfortably on the couch in our community living room. Her voice and laugh may be soft, perhaps would have been drowned by others if we were…

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Being There

Editor’s note: Former DC Service Corps volunteer Chase Medelberg shares what he learned about the ministry of presence while serving at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School last year. What a year it was at FMS. I still remember walking up the mountain of steps in front of Casa San Salvador and being greeted by…

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Women’s Wisdom

Editor’s note: Former DC Service Corps volunteer Chase Medelberg reflects on the women got to know during his last year living in intentional community at Casa San Salvador. My year at FMS was full of surprises–none bigger than living in a volunteer community with so many women. Before I came to DC, I sort of…

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Introducing DC Service Corps member Anne-Marie Elsinger

Editor’s note: Learn more about Anne-Marie Elsinger, DC Service Corps member and volunteer at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. Anne-Marie Elsinger joined DC Service Corps shortly after graduating with bachelor’s degrees in music and social work from Loras College, a Catholic school run by the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa. Born in Herndon, Virginia, she…

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An FMS Welcome to PJ Herrera, New DC Service Corps Member

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps member PJ Herrera shares his background and motivation for becoming a volunteer at SOME, a nonprofit serving people who have experienced homelessness.  Last week I sat down with PJ Herrera, a DC Service Corps member serving at So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith organization serving people who have experienced…

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Inner and Outer Beauty: An Interview with Alessia Catena

Editor’s note: Tim Shelgren deepened his acquaintance with DC Service Corps member Alessia Catena in an interview last week. I have known Alessia Catena for two weeks. My first impression of Alessia reflects maturity and both inner and outer beauty. She presents herself in a way that shows she has confidence and does not hesitate…

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Get to Know Rose Urankar, the New DC Service Corps Programs Associate

Editor’s note: New Programs Associate Rose Urankar shares her path to becoming a DC Service Corps volunteer and looks forward to the year ahead. Welcome Rose Urankar, the new DC Service Corps Programs Associate. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Rose attended the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Theology and American Studies.…

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Introducing Sam Hardwick, DC Service Corps Development Associate

Editor’s note: Learn about DC Service Corps participant Sam Hardwick’s background and his hopes for this service year. Sam Hardwick, the new DC Service Corps Development Associate, will be helping with donations and data management and growing in his faith during his service year with FMS. Sam, one of four brothers, was born in the…

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Being a Missionary in a Distracted World, Abroad and at Home

Last fall, FMS was invited to present at a Theology on Tap event for young adults, hosted by the the Diocese of Arlington at the Auld Shebeen pub in Fairfax.  As part of the evening’s program of faith formation and fellowship, Meghan Meros, Associate Director of Programs and Operations, DC Service Corps volunteers, and Amanda…

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The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Franciscan Simplicity

Editor’s note: DCSC member Madonna Enwe shares about a book she read about decluttering and organizing, reflecting on how it helped her learn simplicity and presence in the moment. “Life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something.” This is a line from Marie Kondo’s…

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“The Lost Boys” Play

Editor’s note: DC Service Corps member Ali Sentmanat reflects on her experience of creating and performing a play with some of the men at the Father McKenna Center. I have been serving at the Father McKenna Center for nine months now, working with the men who come to the Center and who are determined to…

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Were You There: “Mary Stood”

Editor’s note: DCSC member Amanda Saunders reflects on the example of Mary standing at the foot of the Cross during Christ’s crucifixion. “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother.” (John 19:25) Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother. It does not say that near the cross of Jesus, his mother wailed, screamed, fought,…

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Were You There: The Unlikely Hero

Editor’s note: DCSC member Kathleen Strycula reflects on the unassuming but pivotal role of the disciple John throughout Christ’s Passion on the Cross. “Where’s Bilbo?” In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is the one who is constantly overlooked, forgotten about, and left behind by the group of dwarves with whom he is travelling. And…

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Were You There: Being Simon

Editor’s note: DCSC member Chase Medelberg reflects on the Fifth Station of the Cross, and how we—like Simon of Cyrene—should be open to those times that we find ourselves called upon to help others carry their crosses. When we pray and participate in the Stations of the Cross during Lent, we get to experience the journey…

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Were You There: Jesus, Help Us to Carry Our Cross

Editor’s Note: recent DC Service Corps member Josh Maxey reflects on what it means to “take up our cross,” and how he came to a deeper understanding of the phrase through his year of service with FMS. “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up…

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Were You There: What Can I Give?

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Madonna Enwe shares how a particular encounter with a client at the Refugee Service Center at Catholic Charities moved her to compassion, generosity, and a humble recognition of her own limitations. As I work at the Refugee Service Center at Catholic Charities, one of my most difficult moments  is…

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Be Not Afraid: Casting My Cares Upon God

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps participant Madonna Enwe shares how answering a call to help those who were affected by the earthquake in Nepal showed her a deeper lesson about placing trust in God. I was sitting in one of the cramped study rooms at my college intensely studying for an Organic Chemistry exam when…

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Be Not Afraid and Offer Your Yes

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Ali Sentmanat reflects on the road that led her to a year of direct service with Franciscan Mission Service and the anxieties she overcame along the way. If you are overcome with fear all the time, will you get anywhere? At the same time that I was looking into…

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Be Not Afraid of the Unknown

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Chase Medelberg shares how the journey that led him to FMS required him to push through his fears of choosing a year of service over a corporate job. Since my sophomore year of college I really wanted to participate in a year of service. I told my parents and they…

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Welcome DC Service Corps Member Madonna

Even while she was in pursuit of a neuroscience degree in college, Madonna Enwe still engaged in service as much as possible. Participating in a DC Urban Plunge experience left a lasting impression on her and she knew she wanted to do more. Madonna met one of the FMS office associates at a pizza night…

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Welcome DC Service Corps Member Ali

When Ali stepped into St. Theresa’s room in Lisieux, France, her journey to service began. In the same place St. Theresa had an interior conversion and decided to become a missionary, Ali experienced a similar moment of hearing God’s call. Instead of St. Theresa’s characteristic roses, Ali saw that Stargazer lilies – her favorite flower…

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Welcome DC Service Corps Member Chase

Chase Medelberg is a proud Texan and was teaching the Texas Pledge of Allegiance to the curious FMS community within days of his arrival at FMS. Born and raised in the city of Krum – “home of the Fighting Bobcats” – he loves golfing, reading, snow, college football, and education. Chase’s passion for education and…

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Portraits of Christ: Tom and the Paradox of Poverty

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Lizzy Balboa concludes her series on the “Portraits of Christ.” In this final post, she tells the story of a man who had to lose it all to find his way back to Christ. I’ve received the warm smile of Christ in His modern embodiment of Tom. Tom was a prominent…

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McKenna Center session

Portraits of Christ: The Wisdom of King David

Editor’s Note: As part of DC Service Corps, Lizzy Balboa volunteers with Little Friends For Peace, a nonprofit organization that promotes inner and interpersonal peace skills within children and adults. In the third installment of her “Portraits of Christ” series, Lizzy reflects on her experiences at the Father McKenna Center, a Catholic social service agency…

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Portraits of Christ: LeShay and the Sins of Our Fathers

Editor’s Note: For her year of service as part of DC Service Corps, Lizzy Balboa volunteers with Little Friends for Peace, a nonprofit organization in the DC area that promotes inner and inter-personal peace skills within children and adults. In the second installment of her “Portraits of Christ” series, Lizzy shares a story of brokenness passed…

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Portraits of Christ

Editor’s Note: For her year of service as part of DC Service Corps, Lizzy Balboa volunteers with Little Friends for Peace, a nonprofit organization in the DC area that promotes inner and inter-personal peace skills within children and adults. With this special series, she will provide an in-depth look at some of the lives that she’s…

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World Care Benefit and Celebration 2016 Recap

When everyone gathered in St. Francis Hall on May 13 for the 2016 World Care Benefit and Celebration, the spirits of generosity and gratitude were almost tangible. This annual celebration at Franciscan Mission Service is more than a fancy catered event; it’s a call to action. It’s a reminder of how important it is to…

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Letting Go and Having Total Trust in God

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Josh Maxey reflects on the fact that if we focus too much on what the world wants of us, it will be harder to discern what God wants of us. Philippians 4:6-7, NLT Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him…

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Letting Go of Bitterness

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Lizzy Balboa shares how a major shift in the expected trajectory of her life led her to reevaluate her priorities and value relationships over a sense of achievement. When a relationship central to my identity dissolved without warning, I became incredibly disoriented. Why was something so good and joyous…

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Letting Go: Daily Surrender

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps member Julie Bauerle reflects on her journey before she arrived at Franciscan Mission Service and the realization that striving to follow God’s will applies to daily life as well as the extended future. In my life, I have always tried to do the will of God. A few months ago…

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Welcome DC Service Corps Member Julie!

Sometimes, following God’s call redirects us off our current path and takes us down a much different one. For Julie Bauerle, moving to Washington, DC to join the inaugural class of DC Service Corps wasn’t the traditional next step. After attending Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law and passing the Bar Examination, Julie realized that her heart was not set on…

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Comfort and Joy: Vulnerability

Editor’s note: As part of our “Comfort and Joy” Advent/Christmas blog series, DC Service Corps member Lizzy Balboa shares how living in community has challenged her to embrace vulnerability and how, through this vulnerability, she has found comfort and joy. A few weeks ago, one of my community members asked when in my life I’ve felt most at…

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