Franciscan Formation Friends 2021 Newsletter Vol. 6
Week 8: October 14, 2021
On Friday, the international missioners in formation enjoyed a facilitated retreat at The Peace Oasis, which is run by Little Friends for Peace in Accokeek, Maryland. The above picture was taken by Victor Artaiz, a current international missioner in formation.
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 8!
Power and Privilege Dynamics on Mission
This week, the missioners in formation continued their studies of power and privilege dynamics on mission with Annemarie Barrett, an FMS lifelong missioner who lives in Bolivia. Annemarie leads three sessions on the subject each year, complete with documentaries, readings, and discussions. This past session, the missioners learned about internalized racial superiority and the harmful values of white supremacy culture. These mindsets and cultures have caused people from the United States (and other countries) to act in ways that directly harm indigenous peoples and treat indigenous cultures as inferior. In preparation for one of Annemarie's sessions, the missioners in formation watched a documentary called "Choleando: Racism in Peru," which explores Peru's long history of colorism and racial discrimination against indigenous peoples, a history that has many similarities to the countries in which the missioners will be serving. The documentary and discussion time helped the missioners in formation to understand the realities of prejudice and called them to take a humble approach in their own inner work to unpack their own implicit biases. Julia Pinto, a missioner in formation, said that Annemarie's sessions helped her to "Move from ignorance and guilt to awareness and accountability." Annemarie Barrett also emphasized the importance of the Franciscan minority and encouraged the missioners in formation to employ this intentional humility in their approach to mission. You can read Annemarie Barrett's blog on Franciscan minority and racism here.
Community Living
On Friday, the Casa community celebrated the birthday of Grace Kueber, a DC Service Corps volunteer, with dozen donuts.
Intercultural Living
On Tuesday, Dr. Crystal Taylor-Dietz returned to the Casa community virtually to present a session on intercultural living. Both the international missioners in formation and the DC Service Corps volunteers were encouraged to honestly discuss the different cultural backgrounds within the Casa community and to confront any problems or discomforts that the community might be facing. Dr. Crystal explained that even within a small community like the Casa San Salvador, there can be numerous cultural perspectives that shape personalities and practices. It is important to not have one dominant culture that others feel like they have to "fit" into, but rather space for all cultures to be celebrated and integrated into community life.

"Dr. Crystal's recent Zoom session has taught me to reflect on my personal bias and to become more vulnerable while leaning into more healthy intercultural relationships and community."
-Victor Artaiz, international missioner in formation
Myers Briggs
On Thursday night, the Casa community gathered to discuss the Myers Briggs personality test, and they were joined over Zoom by Franciscan volunteers from Cap Corps and Change A Heart programs. The session was led by Mariam Kaldas, former FMS Associate Director who is a leadership and personal development coach specializing in elucidating the Myers Briggs personality test to groups and individuals. The participants were encouraged to take a free version of the test (available here) before the session. The eight letters included in the test represent different personality traits; specifically: Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I), Intuition (N) vs. Sensing (S), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J). Depending on what combination of letters the participants received in their test results, they were placed into breakout groups to discuss their personality traits with other participants. Mariam also led the group in several exercises that encouraged dialogue among participants with differing personality traits. These exercises helped the participants to understand the range of dispositions that exist within their community, and the session fostered enthusiastic discussion among the Casa housemates.
2021 World Care Benefit
As the annual World Care Benefit and Celebration will be taking place next Thursday, October 21, there will be no newsletter next Friday. We encourage you to check out our social media for event highlights.
We invite you to our long-awaited “Franciscan Fall Festival” 2021 World Care Annual Benefit & Celebration, featuring Keynote Speaker Cardinal Wilton Gregory.

Our Annual Event will take place on October 21, 2021 at St. Francis Hall at 7:00 p.m. As we celebrate our home in Washington DC, we will honor those whose ministries in the city reflect Franciscan values.
Prayer Theme of the Week
Creative Prayer
Each week, the missioners 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.
Franciscan spirituality emphasizes that every aspect of creation speaks of God's love for us. In the past few weeks, the missioners in formation have explored this concept through prayer themes like care of creation and visio divina, and this week was no exception. Creative prayer highlights the act of creation as a way of drawing closer to God the Creator. Visual art, writing, music, dance, and other forms of creativity are all expressions of our own creativity as human beings created in the Creator's image. This week, the missioners in formation practiced these acts of creation guided by prayer and meditation.
Above is an example of a coloring page the missioners in formation were given to fill in as they meditated on a particular song. They also wrote their own Psalms to God as part of this week's prayer theme.
Franciscan Saint of the Week
Servant of God Brother Juniper
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.

Brother Juniper was one of St. Francis's original followers, and while not much is known about his life before joining the Franciscans, it is clear that he was beloved among his brothers at San Damiano. Brother Juniper lived an extraordinarily simple life and took the Lord's command to "give everything you have to the poor" quite literally. Once, Juniper's brothers complained to St. Francis that they could not leave any of their clothes or food out for fear that Brother Juniper would steal them and give them to the poor, to which St. Francis replied, "would that I had a forest of Junipers."
Another story says that Juniper, learning that a hungry man craved pigs foot, cut off the foot of a wealthy neighbor's pig and made soup with it. When his brothers found out, they were very upset with Juniper and reprimanded him for going to such lengths. He was so sincerely apologetic to his brothers and the wealthy neighbor that the neighbor decided to gift him the rest of the pig.
While these stories may seem far-fetched and eccentric, they illustrate how Brother Juniper was willing to live a life of radical compassion and generosity in the spirit of the Franciscan rule. His feast day is January 29th.
Brother Juniper, pray for us!
Let's stay connected!
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