At first, I wasn’t committed to the thought of doing a service year. Initially, I thought I was going to crush my senior year of college like a rockstar and get a stellar teaching job (I’m a English Education major). However, the pandemic, finishing college, and student teaching left me weary from education (even though I do love my profession). My guts told me that I needed to do something before I took on a “real” job. At first, I was interested in serving at a Catholic Worker House near my college. However, I counted my chickens before they hatched, and the position wasn’t available. It was now March/April, and my May graduation was fast approaching. So, I said a quick prayer and typed “Franciscan service year” into Google. My college was Franciscan, and I wanted to continue practicing the Franciscan Catholic charism I grew to love. I found FrancisCorps through the Franciscan Service Network and applied immediately after browsing the FrancisCorps website. I was struck by the first words on the page: “Real. Gospel. Service.” After that, I was hooked! The application process was thorough, but very personable. I was accepted and I’ve been rejoicing ever since!
Coming to FrancisCorps, I was most excited about living in community. At college, I was very grateful when in-person classes returned for my senior year of college. However, campus felt very different as few people gathered and buildings were often empty due to COVID-related measures. While I understand and appreciate these health precautions, I mourned the family-feel of campus; Viterbo University felt more like an institution rather than the vibrant community I had come to know in my previous years. Going into FrancisCorps, I yearned for a community. One of my favorite things about the Franciscans is their focus on meeting people where they are and building genuine relationships. FrancisCorps is no exception, and I have found community in both my service site and with my fellow volunteers. They encourage and challenge me to grow in so many ways. But most importantly, we are invested in our relationships with each other so we can strengthen our community and help each other grow closer to God. Overall, my prayer for authentic community was answered! (Thanks be to God!)
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