WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, members of the Franciscan Mission Service and their supporters gathered in the nation’s capital for the annual World Care benefit and celebration, an event that left attendees inspired.
Sr. Pat Farrell, OSF, past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, received the 8th annual Anselm Moons, OFM, award. Sr. Pat is known for her participation last year when the LCWR, the group that represents most of the more than 50,000 nuns in the United States, received criticism from the Vatican. Joseph Nangle, OFM, past executive director and board member of FMS, introduced Sr. Pat and helped present her with the award.
“This is a very treasured award for me, and I am so honored to be here because this really feels like coming home,” Sr. Pat told attendees at the April 5 event. “This organization represents some of the greatest aspirations of my own life: to be really Franciscans, mission and service.”
A Sister of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa, Sr. Pat currently serves as vice president on the congregation’s leadership. She spent more than 25 years as a missionary in Latin America, serving in Chile and El Salvador.
“It is because of this unwavering commitment of service to the poor, advocacy for the marginalized, and faithful living of the Gospel that we honor Sr. Pat,” read the evening’s program.
This year’s keynote speaker, Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneberger, spoke of the challenges to her faith that she experiences as a member of the media in her talk, “Keeping the Door of Faith Open: Remaining in the Catholic Church Today.”
“It was a very, very inspiring evening,” Joe said. “There was a lot of content in the talks, which gave us some things we can think in the context of our own lives. This was one of the best evenings FMS has ever had.”
During the evening, the organization highlighted the programs used to familiarize North Americans with the poor and vulnerable in order to inspire growth and change for both parties. One such program is the Short-Term Mission and Global Awareness Trip, launched earlier this year. In February, Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, the program’s director, led a group of five laypeople to South Africa, two of who spoke at the gala.
Other Holy Name Province friars involved with FMS include George Corrigan, OFM, of Tampa, Fla., who is board president, and Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, a board member.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.