This weekend, the 2010-2011 Franciscan Volunteer Ministry communities will gather in will soon become their homes. The groups of four in Camden, N.J., Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., are comprised of nine new volunteers and three — one at each site — returning for a second year of living, serving and praying with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry.
On Aug. 22, the eight women and four men will travel with their friar mentors to an orientation retreat at Loyola Retreat Center in Maryland. John J. Coughlin, OFM, Michael Duffy, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, serve as the mentors for the St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis Inn and St. Paul communities, respectively.
The retreat will cover a variety of topics, said FVM program director Katie Sullivan, including community life, ministry, saints Francis and Clare and living simply.
“This year’s FVMs represent eight states and 11 colleges and universities,” Sullivan said. “We are incredibly excited about this new group and are looking forward to a blessed year with them.” This fall marks the beginning of three years of having two full-time staff members — director and promotor — in the FVM office. Together, Sullivan and promotor Matthew Johnson have been able to find willing volunteers to serve all three communities.
Christopher said, “We look forward to welcoming 12 amazing young people who are committed to embracing the ‘lepers’ of today and living lives of prayer within the communities of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry.”
John said, “After their retreat, they will be introduced to a wide variety of ministries they can engage in. Some of these ministries include St. Anthony’s grammar school, youth group, religious education, Francis House (an outreach ministry to the HIV community) and English as a New Language.”
He continued, “The FVM program has been a great blessing to our parish.”
This year’s FVM class is the 22nd for the Province’s young adult volunteer program.
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
Editor’s note: Photos from last month’s closing retreat in Wareham, Mass., can be found on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry. The retreat included speakers Gina Scarpello of Cabrini Missions Corps and FVM alum Kelly Quist.