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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The Gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed in the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guest, ordinarily on the first and third Tuesday of each month, for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Jan 18, 2022

Join Franciscan Associate Alison Swoboda as she shares her journey of discovery into freedom and right placement in her life of service as a woman of faith and a medical provider.


From Alison’s interview:

“I was with a musician friend of mine… we were at a jazz club and I heard mistakes. I couldn't believe that I heard professional musicians. You don't make mistakes. I thought like, no, no, no, no—once you're a pro you never make mistakes anymore. Or like, when I was little once, once I'm an adult, I'll never make mistakes again. And then I realized, no, that's not what it's about. We can inspire one another, even without being perfect and with music too we all have some beauty to add. Beauty doesn't have to mean perfect.”


“[Serving in Central Mexico as a volunteer] was a great time of learning who I am when I don't have to be anybody, or I'm not expected to be anybody or nobody knows my family or my background, or have these expectations of how I'm supposed to act. There was kind of freedom in that, and in learning myself and what I do value for myself and how I see myself as well…This is who I am, who I’m designed to be—this is how I was made.”


“I still question all the time. I feel like I'm in continual discernment of wait, is this where I should be now? Or, it time to do something else? It's that continual curiosity about what's just around the corner.”


“See the blessings, the contentment and the hope that comes when we're not living in conflict, but living in congruence.”


“I feel so blessed by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. It's really my spiritual home. … I resonate the most and feel so inspired by the Franciscan Sisters. Their way of being makes so much sense to me, really being in discernment, the continual conversion, the missionary spirit, really living in right relation, and helping wherever you can for as long as you can. Also, that every person is valuable and cherished and important. …I aspire to live with the same values …the Associate relationship formalizes what already is.”


“[As a Franciscan Community Volunteer] I can reflect back on this intentional living together and having intentional conversations about how we see the world and how our experiences of the many worlds of St. Cloud as well, since we were all in these different locations. And how expansive even central Minnesota is. It was quite a change when I graduated undergrad, I said, I am afraid that I'm going to stay in central Minnesota for my whole life and not know the world. And so to then come back and move back to central Minnesota in some ways just felt like I was walking the same road twice, but I learned that was not the case, and it totally broke open that assumption or that fear, and showed me that it doesn't matter where you are, there can be depth and wisdom and encounter. Anywhere.”


For a full transcript, please include episode number and email:



Franciscan Community Volunteers (FCV): While this ministry has closed, a new intentional intergenerational community has evolved in its place; more on that later. Here’s a bit on FCV:


Pro-Life and value of all life: See also Catholic Social Teachings:


Haecceitas: a Franciscan term coined by John Duns Scotus re: the unique value, dignity, ‘thisness’, of every person and everything; two references: , and  


Ronald Rolheiser, “God with skin on”:; you may also want to look up his classic book “The Holy Longing” for a great exploration of what Christian life and spirituality are about. Here is a blog post exploring “a God with skin”: