WASHINGTON — August was a month of transition for the Franciscan Mission Service. As the staff prepares to welcome five new lay missioners to training in September, the organization has been moving its administrative offices to a new location in the nation’s capital.
“We are blessed to be going through this transition because it is a result of our growing program,” reads a post on the organization’s blog. “The incoming mission class is one of the largest in recent history. Our domestic volunteer program has spots for four young adults, and others serving as volunteers or interns in the area join in their community. There was simply not enough room for everything under one roof, so it was time for the offices to find a new home.”
New Office Location
The offices now occupy a space in the Theological College’s McCormick Pavilion at 415 Michigan Ave., N.E. The mailing address for the offices remains the same — P.O. Box 29034, Washington, D.C. 20017. Missioners will continue to study and live at the offices’ previous location, Casa San Salvador, with the international young adult community, including domestic volunteers.
To help celebrate the organization’s expansion, FMS will host an open house at the new offices on Sept. 5 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wine, cheese and homemade treats will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to greet the new missioners during their first week of formation.
FMS’s new location puts it “at a bustling crossroads of Catholic and nonprofit organizations,” according to the blog post.
“Our work is establishing Franciscan Mission Service as a significant contributor of Catholic adult faith formation and service within the Church,” said Kim Smolik, executive director. “We know that in order to do this well, and continue to grow, we cannot exist in a silo.”
In addition to the new offices, FMS has announced the launching of two campaigns to help support this year’s missioners.
The “Equip Our Classroom” campaign will help provide needed repairs to Casa San Salvador, pay for this summer’s water main break, and purchase chairs, desks and other school supplies for the missioners. Because this year’s class is the largest in recent history, FMS does not have enough seating for them.
FMS’s second campaign, “Share Your Prayer,” invites interested persons to become a formation prayer partner for this year’s five lay missioners. As the missioners prepare to take part in their FMS program, they encounter many challenging obstacles.
“They’re examining who they are and what God is calling them to,” according to the campaign’s description. “They’re preparing to travel to a totally new place to live and serve in solidarity with the poor. They’re saying goodbye to friends and family. Your prayers can help them during their time of transition.”
Information about both campaigns can be found on FMS’s website.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.