As a staff member, I have see on a daily basis how FMS is striving to uphold the values Catholic and Franciscan values. From respecting the dignity of each person to valuing relationships more than profits or numbers, FMS adds to the good in the world, and I feel that as a an employee.
Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) is committed to building strong and long-lasting partnerships with Catholic men and women who have an innate desire to live and serve in solidarity with the marginalized and vulnerable communities in Washington, D.C. and internationally.
As a member of the FMS team, I am inspired by the organization's commitment to the transformational experience of service and mission, and its dedication to forming Catholic leader who will become advocates for peace, justice, reconciliation and care of creation.
One notion of FMS that I am continually struck by is the organization's emphasis on a "ministry of presence, accompaniment and advocacy." Through this posture, volunteers and missioners not only "serve" (which often can imply power dynamics), but they accompany individuals, families and communities. Through this accompaniment, true relationship is built, and from this relationship comes authentic understanding and trust.
Forming volunteers and missioners in this way is critical to building a world that promotes respect, love and safeguard human dignity.
The Franciscan Mission Service, with its domestic and overseas missions, embodies the spirit of volunteerism at its best. Attending the gala as a return missioner, I felt integrated into FMS's ongoing mission to serve the poor both at home and abroad. It was also important for me to connect with the many Franciscan brothers and sisters at the gala and to feel myself a part of the Franciscan family as a whole. Hats off to Fr. Iggie Harding, who supported the FMS missioners to Bolivia, winner of this year's Anselm Moons award!
Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) is an organization that goes above and beyond to live out the values of Saint Francis of Assisi. I was blessed to serve as a part of the first class of the DC Service Corps. During my year, working with those without stable housing, FMS allowed me to actively engage and reflect with those members of our society that are often forgotten about or looked over. FMS has certainly helped me to deepen my faith, and have a greater understanding as to what it means to be a Franciscan, and carry on the Gospel message, especially to the marginalized.
What strikes me about Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) is the deep commitment by every person affiliated with the organization to living the mission as vibrantly as possible. Currently, 7 missioners serve in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Jamaica. They work as teachers, in orphanages, in prisons, in homes for the elderly, and with girls who have survived sexual abuse. They are changing lives and simultaneously engaging in a transformational experience themselves by entering into relationship with those in their host communities and learning from their wisdom. In addition, 5 volunteers serve as members of DC Service Corps, working at local nonprofits in Washington, DC. They too are engaging in vital service while growing as servant leaders. As a staff member, I am inspired daily by our remarkable missioners and volunteers. I am equally impressed by our Board of Directors which generously supports this mission from a wide array of backgrounds and expertise. The FMS family is vibrant, connected, and growing. We welcome more members into it!
I am personally struck by the experiences our lay missioners have while on mission. Reading their blogs provides a rich window into how they are living out the mission of FMS. I'm continually impressed by how FMS supports missioners on their journey and how all those who support FMS are on a mission. FMS works every day to find that right balance of allowing the missioners the freedom to experience the mission away from the distractions of North American life while reassuring them they are supported and never alone. This is all done as Franciscan followers of Christ.
Review from Guidestar
Besides serving on the board of directors, I have the opportunity to see this organization up close. My Secular Franciscan Order fraternity meets at the FMS mission house once a month. I get to see first hand the women and men, some young, some not so young, who are preparing to serve the poor and marginalized overseas. The FMS 13-week training program each fall prepares the missioners for their two years of service, and equally important, the three-week re-entry program is a model for how to help returning missioners reintegrate and continue their service back home. This is a program that changes lives, both for those who are served around the world, as well as those who are serving, for the rest of their lives.
Review from Guidestar