Growing In Compassion And Love

JillianBy Jillian Foster, FC 20

In the last few years, I have learned a lot about discernment and prayer. It started my sophomore year of college and there has always been one big decision or situation that I needed to pray and discern about. I have also started to feel a calling. That calling is very similar to what I am doing in FrancisCorps and my purpose for being in FrancisCorps. During my freshman year, I suddenly got an urge to travel and talked all about wanting to see the world despite my limited to nil international experience. Sophomore year, I chatted with a recruiter from the Peace Corps and studied abroad in Ireland the summer after. During junior year, I was accepted into a program that sent me to Malawi, Africa for two months the following summer and started being active in the Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassador program. During my senior year, I wanted to participate in a service experience abroad but decided to try domestic first, applied and was invited into a few different service organizations. Ultimately, I chose FrancisCorps.

This year has been a challenge and a test. A challenge that forced me out of my comfort zone and a test that addresses whether service is something that I enjoy and am cut out for it. These past few years, I have gotten attached to the idea of service. I believe everyone is called to serve and be a servant. There are many different ways of doing that, whether it is serving your family, friends, consumers of a business, or community, everyone is able to serve in some way or another. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not felt called to the traditional lifestyle that most parents hope for their children: getting married, having kids, settling down or at least not yet. FrancisCorps is, for me, not just giving a year of my life to service, but the start of my career in service.

Much like my experience in FrancisCorps, I wish to seek new challenges and expand my comfort zone. I feel called to meet and live among people who are different than me. I desire to learn about different cultures and tongues. Through these experiences, I hope to be of service to others and be present to them on their journeys in life. I hope to cultivate a greater understanding and love for all of God’s children, my brothers and sisters around the world I have yet to meet. When FrancisCorps comes to a close, I have been blessed to join the Maryknoll Lay Missioners for a term of service in Haiti. God-willing, I hope to continue to be a servant to those I meet and grow in compassion and love.