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Franciscan Friday: St. Francis of Assisi – The Young Man

After writing Getting To Know the “Real” St. Francis of Assisi, Fr. George Corrigan, OFM. continues to bring to light the kind of person St. Francis was in context of his time, his upbringing, and his faith. St. Francis of Assisi – by dawnzy58 Even in Francis’ day Assisi was a small town, but it…

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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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World Mission Sunday!

We would like to bring awareness to the multitude of dedicated people living out a call to service abroad on mission. These individuals work hard with willing hands and listening hearts to bring God’s light and love to international communities. Please keep our missioners in Bolivia, Kenya, and South Africa in your prayers.  The work…

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Franciscan Friday: Not The Only Fool In The Square

This past week our missioner candidates and domestic volunteers took a day retreat to reflect on the theme of Simplicity and Authenticity.  Domestic Volunteer Anna Robinson shares her take on the group discussions and the “Discipline of Simplicity.” Assisi’s town square – by Peter Gutierrez When you think of St. Francis, what is the first…

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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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Challenged to live as Franciscan “Minority”

For this Franciscan Friday post, missioner candidate Annemarie Barrett answers a question discussed in her formation class, “What does the Franciscan value of “minority” mean to my life and relationships?” Throughout our formation thus far, the value of “minority” in Franciscan spirituality has particularly affected me. During our sessions instructed by Fransican religious, I have…

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The Ministry of Presence Found in the Barber’s Chair.

Missioner candidate Paul Heinzen has been volunteering at the Gift of Peace House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday mornings as part of his formation.  For this Wednesday he shares with us a bit of his work and the unusual role that has lead to new friendships. The Sisters of Charity, also known as Mother Theresa’s…

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Mission Monday: Sharing in Christ’s Fellowship

During their training in D.C., our mission candidates take a morning each week to volunteer in the local community.  For this Mission Monday, Annemarie Barrett shares what it’s like to work alongside Christ’s chosen company. Photo: www.fathermckennacenter.org Every Wednesday morning during formation, I visit the Father McKenna Center, a daytime drop-in center for men who…

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Hunger Action Month: Needy vs. NIMBY

Why haven’t we found a solution to hunger? Why do so many people differ on the issue? For our last Franciscan Friday post dedicated to Hunger Action Month, St. Francis Inn volunteer Karen Bushaw shares her take on the struggles of neighborhood food pantries. In this election year we are being told by analysts that…

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Identifying the Cause: A Candidate’s Reflection on the Caravan for Peace.

Our formation class attended the Caravan for Peace event when it came to D.C.  Paul Heinzen shares with us his reflection of the event and how it relates to the greater issues of drug trafficking. Photo taken from http://www.drugwar101.com/blog/archives/199 On September 10th, I attended a presentation by the Caravan for Peace, concerning increased citizen casualties…

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Mission Monday: Ready, Set…

For this Mission Monday post, mission candidate Jeff Sved shares the process of slowing down that he’s found challenging during formation. Jeff’s picture of the Franciscan Monastery If asked to describe how formation has been so far, I’d say it has been a walk in the park. Are most of you picturing a lazy, unproductive…

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Hunger Action Month: Hungry vs. Hunger

A high school student from New Hampshire reflects on volunteering at St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen in Philadelphia, for this Hunger Action Month post.  “I’m hungry.” This phrase is often spoken by my family, friends and myself. All we have to do is go look through the kitchen for something “good” to eat. The…

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Finding and Sharing Perfect Joy

The three members of our 28th Lay Mission Class have begun their training in Washington, D.C. Candidate Jeff Sved reflects on his formation so far. Over these first few weeks with FMS, one theme has continued to demand my attention. It has continued to surface during our various formation sessions and to dominate my personal…

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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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The Face of Hunger : Who is my brother? Who is my sister?

We’re featuring guest posts from fellow Franciscan organizations dealing with hunger in the U.S. as part of Hunger Action Month. Today’s post comes from a St. Francis Inn Ministries in Pennsylvania. On July 19, 393 people came to the doors of St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, for a…

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Hunger Action Month: Welcoming the Nameless is Welcoming Change

As part of Hunger Action Month, we’re featuring guest posts from fellow Franciscan organizations dealing with hunger in the U.S.  Today’s post comes from a Franciscan Outreach Volunteer serving at a soup kitchen in Chicago. Franciscan Outreach Association’s Marquard Center serves dinner to roughly 100 guests every night of the year. In addition to that,…

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New Mission Candidates get a taste of Bolivia

Over the Labor Day weekend the new mission candidates started arriving from all over the country.  And what good timing!  It just so happened there was a Bolivian festival going on at the Prince William County Fairgrounds in Manassas, VA.  Many of these candidates are interested in going to Bolivia for their two years, so…

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Mission Monday: Welcome Class XXVIII!

They came by plane.  They came by car.  And now they are all settled into Casa San Salvador.  Joining us at Franciscan Mission Service are three generous and faith-filled people from across the country.  Representing their native lands, they are:   Paul Heinzen: Wisconsin Jeff Sved: Pennsylvania Annemarie Barrett: Minnesota For the next 14 weeks…

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Franciscan Friday: Franciscan Education Part 2 – A Professor’s Perspective

As part of our mini-series in recognition of the start of the school year, a professor shares with us her experience working at a Franciscan institution and what is important about an education inspired by Franciscan values. I spent my first 15 years of teaching at state universities all over the country before we settled…

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Franciscan Friday: Franciscan Education Part 1 – A Student’s Perspective

Come August, students and faculty say goodbye to summer vacation and hello to a new school year. Blocks, streets, even towns dedicated as campuses bustle with knowledge seekers. Education becomes the number one priority in superstores and receives headlines come election season. As Claiborne Pell once said, “The strength of the United States is not…

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Meet Our Newest Volunteer, Anna!

Last week a new face moved into our office.  Anna Robinson has joined our communications team after completing a couple of volunteer programs this past year. Calling the Midwest home, Anna grew up in many places, but found herself in Milwaukee, WI in 2007 where she attended Cardinal Stritch University for four years, obtaining a…

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Feast Of The Assumption: May We All Be Tabernacles

Photo from flickr user Mr. Ducke On August 15,  the Catholic church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption, a day recognizing the Virgin Mary’s completion of her early life and “was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, 1950).  As we reflect on her transition into heaven, we remember that…

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Meet Our Newest Volunteer, Chelsea!

Chelsea Tanous recently joined our staff and volunteer community as program associate, jumping in to help with missioner formation and work on the Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness Trips. No stranger to service, Chelsea just finished a volunteer year in Connecticut with the Chi Rho Catholic Service Corps.  She served as a case worker at homeless shelter and as…

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FMS celebrates National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month and FMS kicks off our celebration with a message from our executive director, Kim Smolik. From a very young age, my parents gifted with me the experience of volunteering and lessons about the value of serving others. Through our church and community, we volunteered as a family throughout our hometown…

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Prayers for Christmas: Dreams and Goals

“My hope for the new year is that everyone I love fulfills their dreams and goals.” – Sylvia, a student worker at the pastoral juvenil vocacional in Bolivia where missioner Lynn Myrick teaches English and coordinates a film series. On this New Year’s Eve, Franciscan Mission Service certainly doesn’t believe that “old acquaintances should be forgot and…

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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: Volunteering and Human Rights

FMS Executive Director Kim Smolik offers a reflection as today’s prayer for Christmas: To say I am blessed in the work I do would be an understatement. I think a job like mine is a rare gift — it takes me around the world, to places one does not usually think of visiting, into the…

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Prayers for Christmas: Opportunity and Service

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Matthew 9: 36-38). FMS missioner Joel Vaughn expresses gratitude for being one of these laborers in his prayer for Christmas. “This Christmas, I am thankful for…

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Mission Monday: Learning to listen

Today’s post is taken from the blog of missioner-in-training, Kitzi Hendricks. Kitzi is nearing the end of her 13-week formation in D.C. and will leave for mission in Bolivia in January. One of Kitzi’s photos of the homeless. “The concept of sitting and listening isn’t always easy for me. As I have witnessed over the…

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Sharing Our Faith Story

“We come to share our story”: FMS community coming together in prayer and reflection following our fall formation. For the FMS community, the DC Fourth of July brought the usual parades, musical performances at the Capitol Building and of course the fireworks by the Washington Monument. On July 4th, visitors traveling downtown also had the…

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