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Franciscan Mission Service Commemorates Active Laity at World Care Benefit

WASHINGTON — On April 5, Franciscan Mission Service hosted its annual World Care Benefit and Celebration, highlighting the mission of serving in solidarity with economically poor communities and honoring individuals who work for peace, justice, and hope.

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., addresses the assembly. (Photo courtesy of FMS)

FMS honored Jeff and Teresa Redder, OSF, with the Anselm Moons Award. This award recognizes individuals who exemplify FMS’ mission and values. FMS also honored Megan Bohatch with the San Damiano Servant Leadership Award, which honors a service-oriented Catholic university student who answers God’s call to “rebuild the Church.” The FMS family was inspired by the keynote address of Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky.

Honoring Service
Jeff and Theresa Redder, OSF and Megan Bohatch are extraordinary models of those who live according to Pope Francis’ invitation to step outside their comfort zones and serve “side by side in the Lord’s vineyard,” the theme of the night. Bohatch, a senior at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., is following Pope Francis’s call through her leadership in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and participation in short-term mission trips.

The Redders are professed Secular Franciscans who have been members of the Holy Assumption Fraternity in the St. Katharine Drexel Region for 27 years. The married couple of 43 years have shared the Franciscan spirit through being confirmation class instructors, prison ministers, fraternity leaders, facilitators for RCIA formation teams, and participants of medical missions in Kingston, Jamaica. Jeff and Theresa Redder are an integral part of the FMS community as they share their Franciscan joy and presence at FMS events, pray for the organization, invite others to become a part of the FMS family, contribute to missioner support-raising on missioners’ birthdays, and sponsor annual event tables for young adults.

Honoree Megan Bohatch and FMS staff member Meghan Meros at the 2019 celebration. (Photo courtesy of FMS)

The World Care Benefit was held at St. Francis Hall on the campus of the Francsican Monastery of the Holy Land. Last year, a member of Holy Name Province, Ignatius Harding, OFM, was honored by Franciscan Mission Service.

Paths to Live Out Mission

Nearly 30 years ago, Fr. Anselm Moons, OFM, founded FMS, where lay Catholic women and men could be formed in the Franciscan tradition and serve in solidarity alongside the economically poor and socially marginalized. Today, Franciscan Mission Service coordinates two programs: Overseas Lay Mission (a two-year overseas program for Catholics 21 and older) and DC Service Corps (a year-long service leadership program).

The Franciscan Mission Service is grateful for the support of the entire Franciscan family and looks forward to its 30th-anniversary celebration in 2020. Information about FMS – including how to support the organization – can be found on the Franciscan Mission Service website.

– Kevin Ruano is one of two DC Service Corps office associates working at the FMS headquarters in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Columbia University.

Related Links
FMS Recommissions Three Returned Missioners” — Feb. 27, 2019, HNP Today

Franciscan Mission Service Celebrates 25 Years of Lay Ministry” – May 13, 2015, HNP Today

Ignatius Harding Helps FMS Volunteers Find Placements” – April 14, 2010, HNP Today