FVM Welcomes Applicants

Lizzy Heurich Around the Province

The 2016-17 class of Franciscan Volunteer Ministers and their supervisors. (Photo courtesy of the FVM)

Do you know a young adult who is compassionate about serving those in need and about growing in the charism of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi? If so, let him or her know that Franciscan Volunteer Ministry is accepting applications for the 2017-18 volunteer year. “More than 90 percent of our alumni served as FVMs due to their involvement with Franciscans, so thank you for all you do,” said Katie Sullivan, executive director of FVM.

The application can be found here. Applicants must complete a preliminary application and submit an essay, medical history, and a self-reference form. Additionally, several references are required. Though applications are accepted on a rolling basis, it is best to complete the application prior to July (or sooner) in order to leave time for the interview process, according to Sullivan.

Franciscan Volunteer Ministry, a ministry of Holy Name Province founded more than 25 years ago, is a yearlong volunteer and faith formation program. FVM has three pillars: intentional community, direct ministry, and expressed prayer. Each site has a Franciscan Friar Site Supervisor who accompanies the volunteers throughout their year through prayer, meals, ministry, and retreats.

FVMs do not receive a traditional salary, but the program offers benefits such as room and board, access to a community car, a monthly house budget and stipend, health insurance, and assistance with student loans. Beyond these tangible benefits, volunteers grow in numerous intangible ways. Participants grow spiritually, professionally, and personally.

“Being in full-time ministry in FVM really brings a different perspective to who God is…in my life. I was able to see God in the struggle of others. I got to see God in the beautiful chaos that sometimes ministry can be. All of the experiences that I’ve had have just reminded me of God’s love and His continual presence and trust that I want to have,” said Marisabel Alonso, a second-year FVM.

Steven Patti, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh N.C., recently recalled his FVM experience. “I remember what it was like to be an FVM myself and then, less than 10 years later, working as a site supervisor in Wilmington, and seeing in the new FVMs something of that excitement and sense of adventure, and also of seeking, that I knew in myself. FVMs added youth, energy, and life to our local community. The whole FVM program has done such great work in highlighting Franciscan spirituality, and it was a privilege to be part of it!”

The FVM team asks that friars and partners-in-ministry share this information with anyone who might be interested in serving as an FVM for the 2017-18 year. Information about FVM can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and obtained through Lizzy Heurich, at the FVM office, via e-mail (fvmadir@gmail.com) or phone 215-427-3070.

— Lizzy Heurich is associate director of HNP’s Franciscan Volunteer Ministry.

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