Following God’s Plan

Jenny RoseBy Jenny Rose Anacan, FC 20

During my undergraduate studies back at home in Hawaii at Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH), I spent an immense amount of time serving the marginalized. I always looked forward to the days that I had to serve those in need. For me, serving those in need is serving God’s people and creating relationships with those in my community. During my time at CUH, I started to develop a

passion for the homeless and low income community, specifically the children. Another passion of mine is the importance of an education. As I put two and two together, I created a dream for me that one day in the future (many years from now), I will open a not for profit organization serving children. That being said, lots of time was spent during both my junior year and the summer before senior year looking at my post-undergraduate options. I had three: go straight into graduate school, find a job then go to graduate school, or do a year of service then go graduate school. After time seeking advice from those who knew me, I came to the decision that I wanted to do a year of service before graduate school. I love serving God’s people and if I could do it every day, why not? Plus, during my year I could possibly learn what it takes to run a not for profit.

I came to the decision that I wanted to do a year of service. During the first half of my senior year, I had my heart set on applying to a service program that was pretty well known among my peers especially in Campus Ministry. I had applied to this program having so much confidence in myself that I would get accepted, turned out I did not get accepted and I asked to be placed on their wait list (Note: weeks later I was given an update that there was an opportunity for me in that program). Lost and confused (can I say heartbroken? just cause I really wanted to get accepted into that program) about what I would do post undergraduate. I expressed to a professor of mine about what I was going through and she had asked me “is this what you want to do, a year in service?” I replied with a strong “yes.” I knew God was calling me to spend a year in service. She did some research and came across FrancisCorps, which was very similar to the program I first applied to. I talked to those I wanted to be my references (they were happy that I wasn’t just sitting around hoping a miracle would happen with the program I first applied to), they submitted the form and I applied to FC. The day after or maybe hours after I submitted my application, I was asked to set up an interview, and so I did! During the process of FC I also had the first program in mind as I was also going through more of their application process. Now with two program options for post-graduate service, I had to choose what was best for me, FrancisCorps.

Though prayer and community are crucial components of FrancisCorps, if I had to choose the one thing that excites me the most about the FrancisCorps experience, it will have to be serving at my service site, Vincent House. The first time I stepped into Vincent House, I looked at the place in awe and told myself “this is God’s plan for you Jenny, this is why you choose FrancisCorps, this is why God sent you here, when one opportunity closes another one opens, this is His plan for you in the next year.” I have been enjoying every second of my time so far, though there are some tough times, those outweighs the good times. I am excited to be part of an after school program that will serve children of the West side of Syracuse and I look forward to creating a relationship with these children and be part of their lives even for the short amount of time I have at Vincent House.

 

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Deepening Faith Through Service

JillianBy Jillian Foster, FC 20

Since sophomore year at the University of Dayton, I soon discerned that I wanted to do a year of service. That was the time I became a Human Rights major. Over the next couple years I traveled abroad to Ireland and then to Malawi, Africa. The culture and people interested me. Being very blessed throughout my life, I was particularly taken with my time in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world and whose people lived very different lives than me. I loved learning a bit of the local language, talking with the farmers and teachers, and working with two Malawian university students. What someone might guess from this is that I wanted to do a year of service and they would be right. My intention was to go abroad for several years as a volunteer.

I found out about FrancisCorps at a post-grad year of service fair at my school. While initially interested in their Costa Rica program, I unfortunately cannot speak Spanish and was therefore ineligible to go. Nonetheless, FrancisCorps had been planted. After some research, through which I knew I wanted to serve through a Catholic organization, I realized that going abroad with the organization I wanted to be with was not possible right off the bat. I started looking domestically and while it was a long discernment process, FrancisCorps stuck out because of that commitment to community, which I came to value through the Marianist education I received, and prayer. It was small, but nurturing, and could be a lot more hands-on in the sense that the volunteers would have a lot of support. And indeed we have! The community has been so welcoming which helped ease us into our new environment.

When I was first accepted into FrancisCorps, I was most excited about the faith and prayer aspect with my community. God is very important to me and I really wanted to build a firm foundation of faith through service. If you asked me now what I am most excited about, I have to say it is the surprise pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy!