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Choosing the Lesser Ministry

Editor’s Note: Lay missioner Ralph Anderson, OFS recalls his previous mission experiences and reflects on how God is calling him to serve in “lesser” ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Mission is not something new in my life. My first experience was in 1966 with the Knights of Columbus. I was 12 years old, and we drove…

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All Aboard to Tucson: Facing My Fears. Mission Accepted.

Editor’s Note: Lay missioner Julia Pinto reflects on how God strengthens her to face her fear of driving so that she can serve migrants at her ministry site. March 13, 2024 Lengthy disclaimer: When you go on mission, especially to do some hot-topic work like humanitarian aid on the US-Mexico border, people often act like…

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A Happy Ending

Editor’s Note: Ralph Anderson, a newly-commissioned missioner, reflects on FMS’s in-depth Formation for Overseas Lay Missioners and his experiences with living in intentional community. “What can they possibly teach me in thirteen weeks of Formation?” That was my thought before beginning Formation at Casa San Salvador. I knew there was a lot I needed to…

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Holy Ground

Editor’s note: Reflecting on the Scriptural concept of “holy ground,” missioner Joleen Johnson ponders how each person she encounters, created in the image of God, is inviting her to holy ground. Have you ever thought about why God told Moses to take off his sandals when he came over to the burning bush? The story…

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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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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 Ministry of a Programs Associate

Editor’s Note: DCSC Volunteer and Programs Associate Fatima Godfrey reflects on her role within the FMS office, finding the mission of accompaniment abundantly. Working at the FMS office as the Programs Associate provides me the opportunity to serve as the first point of contact for those inquiring with FMS. This means I get the privilege…

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Simon of Cyrene’s Hotline

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Fede Wettstein candidly shares some common experiences of his ministry site with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He openly correlates his weekly task of answering the refugee hotline to that of an accompanying Simon of Cyrene, all with a perspective of hope.   Every Wednesday from 2-3:30 pm I…

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Ministry Grounded in Gratitude

Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Domonique Thompson shares an experience from her placement site at the Father McKenna Center. She reflects on an encounter with one of the men, leading to long-term lessons and deep gratitude. As we are entering the coldest times of this winter season, it puts the meaning of homeless into a different…

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Glimpses of the Kingdom

Editors’ Note: Missioner in Guatemala, Becky Kreidler, describes a moment of receptivity as she encountered the children of Xela. Sometimes I get caught up in the intended purpose for each chapter of my life and underestimate how God is at work all around me. When I came to Guatemala my eyes were fixed on the…

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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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Searching for, and Finding, Community

Editor’s note: Stephanie Ashley Caban, a new FMS missioner, traces the path that led her to overseas mission and her hopes for ministry. God and I sat down and talked one day a few months ago, and we’ve decided that serving abroad for two years seemed like a pretty good plan for my life. I am…

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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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Little Bits of Solidarity

Editor’s Note: Missioner Allison Dethlefs reflects on the notion of solidarity and what it looks like now that she’s on mission in Bolivia. Solidarity is a big, somewhat ambiguous word that we throw around a lot nowadays. We often talked during formation about how we were going on mission to live and work in solidarity…

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Some of My Favorite Moments with the Kids in Chilimarca

Editor’s Note: Missioner Valerie Ellis shares some of her favorite moments with the pre-school children she works with from impoverished families in Chilimarca, Bolivia.   When counting, it was commonplace for one little girl to say, “1…2…8,” so I asked her if “8” was her favorite number and she responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Since then,…

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Learning to be present

“Just be with some people.” Those were Elaine’s words of wisdom to me last week at Calvary Women’s Services. She oversees my work as part of the LEAP program there, and those five words reminded me of my purpose for that afternoon. Ministry of presence is something I am still trying to grasp—even though I’ve…

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Reality Strikes

Editor’s Note: The following is part of our daily holiday series celebrating “The Shared World.” As part of his ministry, Jeff works alongside the work delegates in the different prisons to coordinate material purchases and machinery upkeep for the inmates’ workshops. Through his relationships with the artisans and leather workers, he also works as one of their…

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The Big Reveal

They’ve been waiting. And praying…and waiting and praying some more. With much anticipation, the five members of Mission Class 30 learned this week which countries they will each be traveling to in January to being at least two years of service and solidarity. Brandon Newland and Patrick Montine are on their way to Jamaica to…

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Mission Monday: I’m Happy Here!

In today’s post, we share the joy, wonder, and happiness expressed by current lay missioner Hady Mendez at the beauty of mission service. I’m happy here in Bolivia. And even as I write these words, I’m knocking on wood because I don’t want to somehow jinx myself. I’ll admit it. I didn’t expect to be…

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Mission Monday: Arroz By Any Other Name

Editor’s Note: This is Part IV in a series called “Visiting Christ the Prisoner: A Look into Prison Ministry in Bolivia”.  Enjoy previous posts in the series:   Part I: Plantas Part II: Chess Part III: Council “Christ of Maryknoll” by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM In this post, missioner Jeff shares with us a little about how…

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Mission Monday: “Hospitality”

Since they arrived in January early this year, the missioners have been living with host families while engaging language study. In this post, missioner Mary Mortenson describes the joys and graces she has received while living with her host family in Cochabamba, the Mustafa family.  Nate and I have been here for a little under…

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Report from Guatemala: Potential New Service Site!

Thirty minutes east of Guatemala City, a Franciscan boarding school called Valley of the Angels lives its motto: “Give the best to the poor.” Their emphasis on restoring dignity through service resonates with Franciscan Mission Service Executive Director Kim Smolik. Executive Director Kim Smolik with girls from Livingstone, Guatemala.  The girls are friends of board member,…

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Visiting Christ the Prisoner: “Chess”

Editor’s Note: This is Part II in a series called “Visiting Christ the Prisoner: A Look into Prison Ministry in Bolivia”.  Read Part I  and Part III. In this post, Jeff shares with us a story of his time in El Centro Productivo de San Antonio. Home to 500 men along with their wives and children, San Antonio is…

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Outreach and Charity: Help Finding the Right Ministry

As we continue this journey of “Walking in Solidarity,” we take a moment reflect on how we might act. To go along with this week’s theme of outreach and charity, we have some suggestions, traditional and nontraditional, on how you might impact others. Lent is a time of personal reflection and prayer, of reexamining our…

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Les Misérables and the Ministry of Presence

Domestic Volunteer Anna didn’t expect to feel the spirit of St. Francis in a movie theater.  And yet she couldn’t help but hear a familiar Franciscan message in the context of this pop-culture film. Les Misérables, the movie that everyone seems to be talking about struck an unexpected chord when I finally viewed it a…

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Mission Monday: “Death ends a life, not a relationship”

This week, missioner Nora returns to Casa San Salvador, along with seven other returning missioners, to begin the process of re-entry from her time in Bolivia.  As Nora recalls her service abroad, she reflects on the memories that center around life’s biggest transition – death. Memorial in honor of Bolivian Protesters. For me, one of…

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