WASHINGTON — Joseph Nangle, OFM, who works closely with the Franciscan Mission Service, was on hand when the organization recently hosted a reception here to welcome home seven missioners from service in Bolivia and Tanzania.
The three-week re-entry program of the FMS provides time for missioners to reflect on their experiences and gradually reintegrate through reflection and prayer, said Kim Smolik, executive director. At the Jan. 28 wine and cheese reception, the returning missioners shared their experiences with approximately 70 family members and friends who came to support them. The reception was held at Casa San Salvador, the FMS house in Washington, D.C.
“Through a series of daily sharing sessions, presentations and liturgy, they learn to recognize and name the highs and lows of their mission experience — to let go of what needs to be let go and to prepare for the next stage of their life journeys,” said Smolik. The missioners also commit themselves to life-long mission to North America, in which they continue to live a Franciscan lifestyle and bear witness to the Gospel.
In other news, the FMS is preparing for its semi-annual board meeting March 5 to 6. Board members include former executive director Joe as well as Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and George Corrigan, OFM.
The board members will participate in a day-and-a-half of training in board development to strengthen the organization, according to Smolik, including governance and fundraising, especially for next fall’s strategic planning. One of the efforts on which the board is focusing, said Smolik, is strengthening partnerships with other Franciscan groups.
— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut-based freelance writer, contributes frequently to HNP Today.