Franciscan Mission Service (FMS)

Goal of Program

Participants live out Franciscan values by striving to be in solidarity with people who are economically poor or marginalized in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Alumni use their life-changing experiences to continue living out the Gospel values and addressing social injustices in their home communities. OVERSEAS LAY MISSION PROGRAM: Missioners serve with local ministries that strive for peace, justice, and hope – and focus on presence, accompaniment and relationship. FMS believes in the wisdom of economically poor communities and in the fundamental dignity of every individual. The DC SERVICE CORPS participants will address issues of poverty and injustice through a year of service with local nonprofits in Washington, DC. Volunteers develop servant leadership skills and live out their faith through justice-focused ministries. SHORT-TERM MISSION AND GLOBAL AWARENESS TRIPS to Washington, DC, and Guatemala expose participants to the economic and social realities faced by local communities.

Type of Placement

OVERSEAS LAY MISSION PROGRAM: A sampling of ministries: pastoral care, educational and emotional support for youth with disabilities, prison ministry, tutoring students, parish ministries, migrant ministry, sustainable agriculture, etc. The ministry placements are based on the needs of the local community and the skills of the missioner. When possible, Franciscans serve as missioners’ local points of contact. As part of a sustainable approach, our missioners are intentionally in supportive roles (not leadership ones) at locally-run ministries, lifting up community leadership.// DC SERVICE CORPS: Members serve directly with marginalized communities through ministries such as: youth outreach, education, or support for people experiencing homelessness. Volunteers can also serve at FMS headquarters providing support in communications, lay mission formation, recruitment, event planning and development. // SHORT-TERM TRIPS: Trips deepen participants’ awareness of social injustices and cross-cultural understanding.

Service Area

OVERSEAS LAY MISSION PROGRAM: Current placements are in Bolivia, Jamaica and the US-Mexico Border.// DC SERVICE: Washington, DC.//SHORT-TERM TRIPS: Washington, DC, or Guatemala.

Service Length

OVERSEAS LAY MISSION PROGRAM: At least two years; renewable up to six years.// DC SERVICE CORPS: 12 months// SHORT-TERM MISSION AND GLOBAL AWARENESS TRIPS: 7-14 days.

Program Size



OVERSEAS: Catholic, single or married, 22-65+, U.S./Canadian residents. Application, references, interviews, and medical clearance. // DC: Catholic, single, ages 21 – 35. Application and interview.

Financial Arrangements

OVERSEAS: Benefits: housing; travel to/from site; medical insurance; stipends: monthly, vacation, retreat, re-entry.// DC CORPS: Monthly stipend, insurance, housing, vacation and bus stipend.

Living Arrangements

OVERSEAS LAY MISSION PROGRAM: Vary with each placement. Live simply in intentional community with fellow Franciscan missioners.// DC SERVICE CORPS: Volunteers live in intentional community sharing meals, prayer, and household responsibilities at the FMS hospitality house in Washington, DC. Each volunteer has a private bedroom.// SHORT-TERM MISSION AND GLOBAL AWARENESS TRIPS: Shared rooms.


OLM: 3-month training: Catholic Social Thought, Franciscan charism, cross-cultural skills, etc. Lang. school abroad. 2-wk Re-Entry Retreat. // DCSC: orientation, weekly leadership training & retreats.

Application Deadline

OLM and DCSC: Priority: March 1; accepted on rolling basis until spots are filled (usually by June)

Start Date



Liz Hughes


415 Michigan Avenue NE, Suite 104
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202 832-1762


[email protected]


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Additional Contacts

PO Box 29034
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202 832-1762
[email protected]

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Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) is a Roman Catholic independent lay mission organization that partners with congregations of Franciscan friars and sisters as well as with Secular Franciscans.

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