Franciscan Formation Friends 2021 Newsletter Vol. 9
Week 11: November 12, 2021
The missioners enjoyed the beautiful fall weather at Rock Creek Park on Tuesday afternoon.
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 11!
Formation in the Fall
The History of Agua Prieta and Douglas
Two years ago, Franciscan Mission Service began a partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Santa Barbara Province at the US/Mexico border. On Monday, the missioners in formation attended a session led by Mark Adams on the history of Agua Prieta, Mexico, and Douglas, Arizona, both of which are locations along the US/Mexico border that where FMS International Missioners live. The image above was taken in Agua Prieta at C.A.M.E (Centro de Atencion al Migrante "Exodus"). The mural, painted on the C.A.M.E. building, shows the many trials that migrants have to face on their journey crossing the border between the United States and Mexico. At sights like C.A.M.E. in Douglas and Agua Prieta, some missioners in formation will soon have the opportunity to help alleviate the difficulties that migrants face in their journey.
Being Children of God
The weather has been uncommonly pleasant in Washington DC in the past week, and the abundant sunshine and peak foliage was too beautiful to miss. On Tuesday afternoon, the missioners in formation and DC Service Corps members took a field trip to Rock Creek Park and spent their afternoon in wonder, play, and appreciation of God's creation. As the missioners' formation draws to a close, afternoons like these are treasured as restorative time spent with their housemates in nature.

Pictured (left): Julia Pinto, a missioner in formation, and Victoria Wangler, DC Service Corps volunteer, play an informal game of volleyball.
Mind and Body Awareness
This week, the missioners in formation partook in exercises that strengthened their awareness of the connection between their physical and spiritual selves. On Tuesday, Program Director Emily Norton led the missioners in formation in a session called "Mind-Body Healing on Mission," which continued lifelong missioner Beth Riehle's session on body prayer. Two days later, the missioners practiced "Being vs. Doing," an exercise in which they were encouraged to go about their day without a plan or expectations. This activity led the missioners all over DC and helped them to practice awareness of their neighbors and surroundings.

Get to Know the Missioners in Formation
During their time in formation at the Casa San Salvador, the missioners in formation wrote introductory posts for the Franciscan Mission Service blog. Their blogs answered the question, "What matters to me?"
You can read all of the blog posts here.
Mari Snyder
Mari reflects that she is "restless and ready" for the new path that God has placed ahead of her.

Sr. Meg Earsley, FSPA
"God has placed that hope of new horizons in our hearts. Witnessing the great migrations of birds and butterflies is a testament that not all are meant to stand still."

Julia Pinto
In her blog, Julia admits that while she tends to show love through acts of service and leading others, she realized, "I am enough in just simply being."

Victor Artaiz
God has always tugged on my sleeve and at my heart, especially during those times when I was only focused on myself!

Commissioning Mass 2021
The 2021 Commissioning Mass for the 37th Class of lay missioners will take place on November 20th at 2:30pm in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land. A reception will follow at the Casa San Salvador, and a Facebook live link will be provided for those who are not able to attend in person. RSVP here.
Prayer Theme of the Week
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.
The Rosary
This week, the missioners' prayer theme was the rosary. This prayer originated among European Catholics centuries ago as an alternative to reading all 150 psalms in the daily office. While the Daily Office was required in consecrated religious communities, most lay people were not literate at that time, so the practice of saying 150 "Hail Marys" arose among these Catholics. St. Dominic popularized the prayer, and many other saints emphasized the importance of the prayer.

Today, the common form of the rosary is prayed on a five-decade rosary string, and there are established mysteries in the lives of Christ and Mary to be meditated on while praying each decade. You can learn how to pray the rosary here.

In addition to the well-known five-decade rosary, there exists a seven-decade rosary called The Franciscan Crown. The mysteries in the Franciscan Crown focus on the joys in Mary's life, which are as follows: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Jesus, The Adoration of the Magi, The Finding of Jesus in the Temple, The Appearance of Christ to Mary after the Resurrection, and The Assumption and Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven. You can learn more about the Franciscan Crown Rosary here.

Franciscan Saint of the Week
James of the Franciscan Crown
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.
In the fifteenth century, a boy named James frequented his local church to give the statue of Mary a crown of flowers. He carefully weaved each one himself and took great joy in placing the crown on her head. It was his favorite form of prayer to his Blessed Mother and he took great pride in his flower crown creations.

A few years later, James entered a monastery of Franciscan Friars and was dismayed to find that he no longer had the freedom to make his flower crowns for Mary. He was so distressed at this prospect that he considered leaving the Friars, but before he had the chance to do so, Mary appeared to him in a dream. She assured him that it was still possible to crown her, but she urged him to replace the short-lived and fragile flowers with prayers. This way, James could present her a "crown" of prayers at any moment, and they would be treasured by his heavenly mother.

These prayers became known as the Franciscan Crown, or the seven-decade rosary. The seven decades focus on the Seven Joys of Mary, which are outlined in the Prayer Theme of the Week. You can read more about the Franciscan Crown rosary here.
James of the Franciscan Crown, pray for us!
Let's stay connected!
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