FVM Concludes 20th Year

Rebecca Doel Features

PHILADELPHIA — The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry, based here, recently concluded its 20th year of incorporated service, thanking those who have helped the program in the past and looking toward the future.

The spring 2009 issue of FVMemo began with a letter, in which Program Director Katie Sullivan said two volunteers had already been accepted for the 2009-2010 year, and the ministry was receiving a record number of applicants.

“This is truly exciting,” Sullivan wrote. “God willing, we will again be in all three of our sites: Camden, N.J., Philadelphia, and Wilmingon, Del.” Philadelphia was the only site with 2008-2009 interns.

The newsletter also featured several collages of photos from the 2008-2009 year and reflections from spring and fall retreats, as well as information about the recent additions of FVM on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

In FVMemo, Renée Keator writes about the experience she and her family had over Columbus Day weekend when they took a vacation to the Kensington section of Philadelphia and served at St. Francis Inn. Because of the experience the Keators had, they returned to the Inn for a Christmas party.

The cover of the June & July issue of The Pilgrim, a newsletter for St. Francis Inn and three other local ministries, featured reflections from Philadelphia FVMs Katelyn Bogtaz, Amanda Lengauer and Noe Granados on the issue’s theme: Celebrate Life.

Katelyn wrote, “Life isn’t about merely existing, but it’s about loving all that God has created for us — the sights, the sounds, the tastes, and if we don’t experience those things God has put before us, it’s like a big huge cosmic slap in the face to our wonderful Creator.”

Noe, reflecting on his time as an FVM, wrote, “We have realized that faith in action is love and love in action is service, and only through practice we can realize that as a great truth. … At St. Francis Inn, we have realized the true meaning of service without waiting for something in return.”

Pictured above is an Inn guest’s depiction of what it means to celebrate life, as shown in The Pilgrim.

Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.