Franciscan Formation Friends 2021 Newsletter Vol. 2
Week 4: September 17, 2021
At Tuesday's Welcome Potluck, Amanda Saunders (left), former house manager, and Emily Putzke, Communications Associate, spent time with Executive Director Liz Hughes' dog Flurry.
Welcome to the FMS e-newsletter! Each week, our newsletter will be highlighting what FMS missioners are learning through their mission preparation at Casa San Salvador, the FMS missioner house of hospitality. If you would like to submit a prayer for the missioners as they also pray for you, please click here to be a part of the Missioner Prayer Community. Enjoy these stories from Week 4!
Welcome Potluck
On Tuesday, the Casa welcomed new and old members of the FMS family including board members and alumni of the Overseas Lay Mission and DC Service Corps programs. In the spirit of Franciscan hospitality, guests brought an abundance of food to share with the new Casa community. Current international lay missioners and DCSC volunteers spent the evening getting to know the extended FMS family and enjoying an array of homemade dishes. The Welcome Potluck was a refreshing in-person celebration after a year and a half of virtual events.
Emmjolee Mendoza-Waters (left), Chair of the FMS Board of Directors, and her daughter chat with Tori Wangler (right), Development Associate. Emmjolee and her family will be Tori's host family for the year.
Victor Artaiz (left), international lay missioner in formation, and Dan Gilheney-Gallagher, spouse of returned missioner Maeve Gilheney-Gallagher, met at Tuesday's Welcome Potluck.
Simple Living and Budgeting
Franciscan spirituality is known for emphasizing a life of simplicity and intentionality. On Tuesday afternoon, Executive Director Liz Hughes and Program Director Emily Norton led a joint session with DCSC and OLM called "Simple Living and Budgeting." In it, the volunteers discussed the importance of prioritizing their relationships with Christ and one another over material things. DCSC volunteer Anna Fluharty said, "As Catholics, our simple way of living is encapsulated within Jesus' simple words: "Come, follow me." Fixating ourselves on the Lord requires simplicity in its purest sense. Just as a child is simple in this way, so too we ought to be. "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -Mt. 18:4
Channeled Whelk
Before the session, participants were asked to read "Channeled Whelk," an excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, Gift from the Sea.
DCSC volunteers and international missioners discussed Lindbergh's reflection on the challenges of living simply in a busy modern world. In the essay, Lindbergh admires the natural beauty of a whelk shell and desires for her life to imitate that simplicity. She ends the essay with a reflection on the importance of both outward and inward simplicity:
"I am looking at the outside of a shell, the outside of my life--the shell. The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living. This is only a technique, a road to grace. The final answer, I know, is always inside."
Navigating Transitions
As the international missioners anticipate leaving their familiar life behind, it is important for them to prepare for the transitions that are about to take place in their lives. This past week, the missioners attended their second session on navigating transitions, in which they learned that a transition is different from a change. Unlike changes, which are external and rapid, transitions are internal and take time to unfold. The missioners' transitions are beginning now in the formation stage, and the process will continue through their journeys to their mission sights. The transition is an exciting one, but it can also seem intimidating and painful at times, so the missioners were encouraged to recognize and honor the range of emotional responses that they might experience. Additionally, missioners were prompted to compile a list of people who make up their support system. This practice helped the missioners to feel more prepared for the transition at hand.
During a session on Intentional Community, missioners were asked to cut out pictures and words from magazines to create a visual metaphor of their transition to living in the Casa. Pictured above is Sr. Meg Earsley's collage.
Spiritual Lifelines
“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” –C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
During the Spiritual Lifeline sessions, missioners shared their faith journeys and emphasized how God has been present in their lives. Pictured above is missioner Victor Artaiz's visual representation of his spiritual lifeline.

Over the past few weeks, the missioners in formation have gotten to know each other well through living in community and attending daily formation sessions together. This week, they deepened their connections by sharing their faith journeys during a session called "Spiritual Lifelines." While the missioners shared their stories, their fellow missioners were encouraged to listen closely, ask clarifying questions, and share positive observations at the end. The missioners concluded each lifeline session with a prayer entrusting their lives to God. 
Prayer Theme of the Week
Care for Creation
Each week, the missioners will learn about different types of prayer as part of their faith formation. We encourage you to enter into this journey; hopefully it can assist in your own spiritual life as well.
DC Service Corps volunteer Tori Wangler embraces nature in the Casa's front yard on Friday.
Inspired by the papal encyclical, Laudato Si, and the Franciscan appreciation of the natural world, care for creation is this year's prayer week. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls all Catholics to "care for our common home," and show respect for the physical world that God created. One way that care for creation can be emphasized is through land acknowledgement, which is a practice that honors the indigenous tribes that cared for the land before colonization took place. By acknowledging the communities who originally nurtured the land, we can recognize the negative impacts that our modern systems have had on God's gift of creation.
Franciscan Saint of the Week
St. Joseph of Cupertino
The Franciscan tradition is brimming with Saints, Blesseds and Venerables included in the Roman Canon. Each week, we will highlight a new Franciscan who lived a notable life of holiness.

This week’s saint is St. Joseph of Cupertino, who was born in 1603 in Cupertino, Italy. Joseph was ridiculed as a child for being easily distracted, sensitive, and unable to concentrate on his studies. His mother grew frustrated with his absent-minded ways, and sent him to live with Capuchin friars at a nearby monastery, but Joseph was so clumsy and forgetful in his duties that even the friars would not let him stay. Eventually, Joseph was accepted into the Conventual Franciscans, who entrusted him with manual labor on the monastery grounds. Here, Joseph flourished, and grew close to God through his difficult chores and caring for the barn animals. He remained easily distracted, and at the mere mention of God, the Blessed Mother, or anything else holy, he would have the extreme emotional reaction of rapture. His ecstatic episodes became so intense that he could often be seen levitating above the ground in prayer, especially during Mass. Unfortunately, word spread about Joseph's tendency to levitate, and he was forced into a life of seclusion to hide from crowds of curious spectators. Joseph's life was marked with trials and ridicule, but his intense love for the simplest manifestations of God contributed to his lightness of spirit. He died surrounded by his fellow brothers on September 18th, 1663. Joseph is considered the patron saint of pilots, students, and individuals with mental handicaps.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us!
Let's stay connected!
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