Monday, May 11, 2015

FrancisCorps Volunteer Experience

Do you know a young Catholic eager to be of service, but not quite sure what to do with his or her life? FrancisCorps is a volunteer organization designed to "share the dream, the passion, and the vision of St. Francis of Assisi with the next generation of Catholics."

According to their website,

FrancisCorps is a 50/50 experience. It’s 50% about the wonderful service you will do to serve the poor. But it’s also 50% about the experience of community that you will share with the other volunteers in your house.
Saint Francis and Saint Clare both believed that it is necessary to have a solid experience of community where you share your day, your prayer, your life with one another. It’s here that you will grow and stretch.  It’s this natural human “give-and-take” where you meet Christ. It’s this experience that gives you what it takes to serve others.
In order to do this FrancisCorps volunteers commit themselves to:
  1. Eat at least one meal together, daily,
  2. Pray together some form of prayer, daily,
  3. Love one another by sharing their day’s journey, daily,
  4. Celebrate community night with a co-minister, weekly,
  5. Share in a community meeting, weekly.
FrancisCorps provides our volunteers with both men and women Franciscans (there’s that 50/50 again!) who we call the “Co-Ministers”. These religious and lay Franciscans are volunteers who come for dinner once a week and offer their support to the volunteers. FrancisCorps are also available for one-on-one meetings with the volunteers in Syracuse and through Skype for the volunteers in Costa Rica or in person during the retreats.
FrancisCorps volunteers participate in 6 retreat experiences:
  1. August: Orientation – Introduction to FrancisCorps and the persons of Francis and Clare of Assisi
  2. October: Fall Retreat – theme: community dynamics
  3. January: Re-Orientation – Review of Goals and Objectives, further learning about St. Francis
  4. March/April: Lent Retreat – Personal Growth and Spirituality
  5. June: Summer Retreat – Franciscan Values for life
  6. July: Transition Retreat – Reviewing the year and saying Good-bye
The FrancisCorps experience is offered by Friars, Sisters and Lay Franciscans working together.  But the really exceptional difference is the prayerful support of the Poor Clare Nuns of Chesterfield, NJ. These contemplative women whose Order was founded by Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi  begin the journey with our volunteers from the time they are discerning to join, after being accepted and by meeting them during their orientation in August. The sisters hold our volunteers in prayer throughout the year of FrancisCorps.

To find out more, please visit: http://www.franciscorps.org

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