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humility

Habitual Welcome Mats

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Nora McMahon reflects on the acts of Holy Thursday and how it can relate to our modern times. Today is Holy Thursday (though by the time you are reading this I am sure it is well past that) and the readings and focus for Holy Thursday has always been on the…

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Day 20: Humility

Editor’s Note: Second-year missioner Megan Hamilton writes from the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany convent in Kingston, Jamaica. One of her current ministries–with elderly sisters–becomes a springboard for looking back at a life-changing process of embracing humility. Drunks, Dentures & Humility My recent thoughts on humility started with Sister Goretti’s dentures, which didn’t return from the…

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Honestly, a Continuous Work in Progress

Editor’s note: Missioner SarahJane reflects on her personal privileges and what that means while serving others in a different part of the world.  “We don’t go to the margins to make a difference. We go to the margins so that folks at the margins make us different.” “We want to bridge the gap that exists…

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Embracing Littleness

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Amy Brandt, reflects on the purpose behind the smaller details of her daily routine and how they play a powerful role in the bigger picture.  I’m a big picture kind of gal. I have dreams and I long to dive into them. My community members can attest to this,…

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Beginner Level Transformation… In the Soup Kitchen

Editor’s Note: Current Missioner, Tim Shelgren describes the transformation and change of perspective he experienced through serving at a soup kitchen in Kingston, Jamaica. Every week, I spend a few hours serving at the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) soup kitchen in downtown Kingston called Jesus the Redeemer. Recently, a group of volunteers from the…

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Embracing Humility

Editor’s Note: Maggie Van Roekel, current missioner in Bolivia, reflects on a moment that invited her to embrace humility and cast aside shame. “¿Quién necesita carpicola?” What I thought I had asked was, “Who needs toothpaste?” I stood in the kitchen with several kids who were about to brush their teeth before going to class.…

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Jesus Commands Us To Love, Part 3: Transformation

Editor’s note: Missioner Janice Smullen shares her reflections on forgiveness and redemption. When I write “I will talk about my experience,” I only say that because my experience is all that I know. As you read, take what you like and leave the rest, but know that I share this with you because I am…

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We Are Each Other’s Angels and We Meet When It Is Time

Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh shares her gratitude for her host community, the Valley of the Angels School in Guatemala. I have found myself reflecting on my year and half as an FMS missioner with a song called We Are Each Other’s Angels. I played it for my family and friend before leaving for Jamaica…

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My Jeremiah Miracle

Editor’s note: Tim Shelgren, a new missioner, recalls a lesson in Franciscanism—and football—he learned from boys at a group home. As a 56-year-old American, I hear many of my peers talking about their retirement accounts and soon-to-be retirement dates. I ask myself as I prepare for Formation to be a lay missioner with FMS, am…

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“I Don’t Know”

Editor’s Note: Missioner-in-training Catherine Sullivan shares her new-found freedom in humility. As a child, I hated asking for help. As the youngest of five, I refused to believe that my siblings knew anything that I didn’t. My response to any new information was a stubborn “I know.” (I didn’t know). Over time, I have learned…

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Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Bonaventure, the “Seraphic Doctor”

Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint Bonaventure, the first and greatest of the Franciscan Doctors of the Church. Saint Bonaventure was born in 1221 and joined the Franciscans in 1243, where he quickly established himself as one of the brightest minds in the Order. Having been sent to study at the University of…

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Takeaway Wednesday: 8 Characteristics of Discernment

It’s National Volunteer Month with Franciscan Mission Service! Get excited, be inspired, and serve others during April. In today’s post, Program Coordinator Natalie Helfrick writes about the importance of prayerful discernment when considering both service opportunities and life-paths. In the joyful Franciscan spirit, Natalie advises us that the most important aspect of discernment is inviting…

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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: Learning about Humility In the Strangest Ways

Lay missioner Jeff Sved tells a story of purchasing food for the prison kitchen in Cochabamba, Bolivia. “Cabeza de baca…” “Wait a second! You want me to buy cow heads?” The head delegate of one of the prisons here was actually asking us to go out and buy cow heads. I guess when you’re cooking…

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Mission Monday: The Act of Grounding

We all can use a check on our humility every now and then. But what does it really mean to be humble? Missioner Candidate Jeff Sved shares his reflection on this topic that was discussed on this past week’s formation retreat. Photo by Ian W Scott I wish there was an embarrassing story of some…

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Mission Monday: Realizing one’s humanity is a good place to start.

Finishing up her second week in formation, mission candidate Annemarie Barrett shares her initial thoughts and reflections on preparing for mission. What was the essence of the life of Saint Francis? Following his example, how am I called to live as a lay missioner? As I engage the second week of formation as a lay…

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