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Day 18: Transition

Editor’s Note: Lay Missioner Rhonda Eckerman reflects on the impact of trust amidst transition. She walks us through the process of transitioning from one familiar identity to a calling for another new identity serving with FMS at the US-Mexico border.  The loss of my mom was a difficult time and a major transition in my…

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Day 3: “Fiat”

Editor’s Note: On Day 3 of FMS’ Advent blog series., DCSC volunteer, Madeline McKissick, reflects on Mary’s fiat and how she can aspire to that great act of trust in the Lord.  “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 I learned the meaning…

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The Unknown Ways of God

Editor’s note: Domonique Thompson, a current Lay Missioner in Formation, dives into an experience during her time serving at the Father McKenna Center. She recalls her encounter with someone at the Center, and allows for further reflection introspectively. The inward ponderings of her heart echo a greater call towards action in living intentionally and wholeheartedly. …

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Providential Curveballs

Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer, Amy Brandt reflects on the unexpected ways a year of service with FMS has provided growth. “Jesus, just provide.” A frequent prayer of mine that is often laced with expectations. I often question the providence of our creator. As if God hasn’t carried me to safety and joy countless…

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What’s Next?

Editor’s Note: Nayeli Garcia describes her discernment process as her time with DC Service Corps comes to a close and new opportunities arise a the Father McKenna Center. As my time at FMS is coming to an end, I can’t help but wonder what is next? What will the next chapter of my life look…

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Into The Fog

Editor’s Note: Executive Director, Liz Hughes reflects on the trust required when facing the unknowns and uncertainties of daily life. Last January, I was driving to St. Raphaela Retreat Center in Pennsylvania when I encountered a fog so thick I could barely see.  I was scared, claustrophobic, and wondering if I should pull over. As…

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Being Afraid to Love Deeply Again

Editor’s Note: Current missioner, Erin McHugh, reflects on the hesitations of her heart as she moves forward with new challenges and endeavors on mission in Guatemala. For the past 2 years I had the honor of working with the same group of high school girls, which had been so fruitful and life giving for me.…

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Seeing Clearly: Finding Clarity in the Dark

Editor’s note: As part of FMS’ Lenten blog series, Kathleen Strycula, guest blogger, graphic designer, and DC Service Corps Alum considers the true meaning of clarity.  Is it really about being able to see, or is it about something else?  Kathleen’s original poem complements her prose, inviting us to prayerfully consider how seeing clearly might…

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The Incarnate Christ in All I Meet

Editor’s note: Missioner SarahJane Cauzillo shares “an experience of letting go of my controlling nature, and learning to depend on others. Christ presented Himself to me in those who helped me along the way in my travels [to Cochabamba, Bolivia].” Lord, I am a stranger traveling in a brutal, yet wondrous land — far from the…

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Be Not Afraid: “Fear not, I am with you!”

Editor’s Note: Sr. Cathy Cahill, OSF, shares how receiving her letter of assignment in the summer of 1966 forced her to offer up her fear and move forward in obedience.  In the summer of 1966 I was attending summer school at St Bonaventure University and staying at our Motherhouse nearby. One day after lunch I…

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Good Things, God Things

Editor’s Note: Missioner Maeve Gallagher shares how an incident with a friend caused her to reaffirm her decision to be a vessel of love and acceptance on mission. “True enough, the Reverend Billing, when they caught up with him, turned out to be a thief, an adulterer, a libertine, and a zoophilist, but that didn’t…

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Relaxation Is Not Always What the Doctor Ordered

Editor’s Note: Missioner Brandon Newland shares how a particularly bad month in June gave him a deeper appreciation for his blessings as well as a greater awareness of the lasting effects of many people’s struggles in Jamaica. Relaxation is not always what the doctor ordered. Before June started, I felt pretty good about the upcoming…

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Roots

Editor’s Note: Missioner Janice Smullen shares how she’s found comfort learning more about herself as she adjusts to a new life in Jamaica. Putting down new roots is so difficult.  Being new to Jamaica, I feel as if I am continually struggling to find a good foothold, stand secure among swirling cultural forces, and just…

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Letting Go of What Doesn’t Belong to You

Editor’s Note: Vocations director Sr. Sheila Lehmkuhle, FMM reflects on the idea of letting go of our burdens and offering them up to God.  Sometimes, in work and life I feel inadequate and anxious. I don’t know what to do. When I was in the novitiate, I remember my novice directress telling me to take…

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Letting Go: Let Your Old Life Fade

Editor’s Note: Missioner Erin McHugh reflects on the truth that sometimes, you have to let go of your old life in order to fully enter the life that God has intended for you. Although this realization is never easy, this act of letting go ultimately allows us to be our authentic selves. “Let Go and…

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Letting Go of Expectations

Editor’s Note: Missioner Patrick Montine shares a story from mission that stresses the fact that no matter how much we plan and prepare ahead of time, life often does not follow these plans. In these moments, it is important to realize that we can’t do it all by ourselves. A couple of months ago we…

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The Little Things: Moments of Certainty in an Uncertain World

Editor’s Note: Communications associate Maria Beben continues her mini-series “The Little Things.” In the world, we are constantly faced with decisions and have no guarantee of how our choices will pan out. This uncertainty can be paralyzing, but it is in moments of trust that we are led to the beautiful freedom of certainty. Check back next Wednesday for the next installment in the…

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Comfort and Joy: St. Francis’ Story of Perfect Joy

Editor’s Note: As part of our “Comfort and Joy” Advent/Christmas blog series, Development Associate Sarah Sokora shares the story of St. Francis and “true and perfect joy.”  Our dear Saint Francis is known for his wild deeds, but his story of “true and perfect joy” proves that his antics are not thoughtless, but are in keeping with his…

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Walking in the Footsteps of St. Francis

At my Discernment Days retreat with Franciscan Mission Service back in March, Fr. Tom Washburn, OFM, told me that I may not know about St. Francis or Franciscan spirituality explicitly, but I definitely knew it implicitly. I didn’t really know what he meant by that until now. As I have learned more about St. Francis…

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“It Looks Difficult…”

Editor’s note: Missioner-in-formation Janice Smullen draws parallels between life and an activity the formation class and other FMS participants did during a recent team building day. “So, here are the rules of this exercise. One person is blindfolded and will navigate a set of actions. One person will be able to verbally tell the blindfolded…

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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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Millennial Lenten Reflections: Stay the course

Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent.  We’re well into Lent. Perhaps what we gave up (or promised ourselves to…

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Millennial Lenten Reflections: Confronting Fear

Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent.  Fear is an emotion I know well. I feel afraid daily living as…

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Cutting Down Barriers and Stereotypes

Lay missioner Valerie Ellis talks about an experience she had connecting with a woman in a Bolivian prison.  When I heard that women in jail in Cochabamba earn credits by cutting hair in their peluqueria (hair salon), I knew I had to go. Not only do they have the opportunity to get out of jail…

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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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Shopping for Trust

Missioner-in-training Dae Doseff’s first reflection from formation touches on what life is like in the community house where the missioners-in-training live with our volunteers and other residents. Trust is one of the most difficult things for me to do in life. Trusting myself to make good decisions, trusting that God’s plan is going to be…

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