I’m here, I’m here! Finally. I can let out that mid-western accent that’s been threatening to elongate all those “o’s” in my vocabulary.

So to update my readers, I’m currently an active member of the Franciscan Community Volunteer Program, of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. There are Franciscan Sisters all over the world who derive much strength and motivation from the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, known for his “radical” inclusivity, love of people, nature, and animals. He hung out with the poor, went dumpster diving and sold all he had (not necessarily in that order). I first found out about St. Francis reading about him in Shane Claiborne’s works; he gushes over this man almost as much as Jesus, which is really saying something. I was immediately intrigued to find that the revolutionaries of today were also present hundreds of years ago, people shouting against stale religion, people yearning for love to replace judgment and injustice in communities. And when I found out that a possible volunteer position was available with some gems that called themselves “Franciscan Sisters”, I giddily rushed them my application. A few months, phone calls, interviews, physicals and monetary losses later, and I’m finally here in St. Cloud. After months of dreaming of the next year of my life, I’m finally sitting here at a weathered, wooden desk with a donated plastic lamp, across the hall from Sister Clara – the cutest nun you ever did see. I’ve been imagining it for ages it seems and merely being here for a few hours, the experience has exceeded whatever small expectations I had. The nuns I’m living with are exceptionally bright, sassy, compassionate, kind and full of depth. The other volunteers are fun, friendly and sincerely interested in deepening their faith and sharing some good stuff (Jesus) in the community. There’s a genuineness here that I noticed the minute I hugged Sr. Clara.

I’m incredibly excited and any qualms I had about it aren’t there any more. Here’s to a year of growth and goodness.

Check out my Flickr reel for pictures of my time with the ladies.