I have been an Ignatian Volunteer since 2000, and have seen the organization grow from a few dozen volunteers on the East Coast to more than 500 in 21 cities and counting. Clearly, the hundreds of retired people who volunteer their services to the poor and needy are meeting a need! Teachers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, business executives and homemakers, among many others, contribute their services and their wisdom and life experience to help children, the homeless, immigrants, the unemployed, the imprisoned and the newly released, abused women and children and many, many other people. "Making a difference" is an understatement.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps is an organization of retired people who commit to two days a week of volunteer work among the poor. We currently have more than 500 volunteers in 19 cities and are still growing. Volunteers serve as nurses, teachers' aides, lawyers, business advisers, social workers, office workers, tutors, in many locations including schools, food pantries, and organizations that help immigrants--this is a partial list. I have been an Ignatian Volunteer for eighteen years. The first sixteen, I taught English at an immigrant services center. Currently, I am assisting the Regional Director. Apart from helping the poor, it's a wonderful experience for retired people, using the skills of a lifetime and building community. It's really true that your most important work may begin after you retire!
Ignatian VolunteerCorps brings a diverse group of retired people together in order to provide service to a variety of non-profits while at the same time providing for the spiritual growth of the group through monthly meetings and retreats. We have formed an extremely strong bond in the New York chapter and really enjoy getting together in order to share what we are doing as well as participating in prayer and reflection. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
It is a very rewarding method of moving forward into our "next phase" in life, and I have benefited greatly from my interactions at my service sites.
I became involved in the Ignatian Volunteer Corps while trying to sort out my life following retirement. I had heard of it through Jesuit friends, and decided that I liked the idea of linking my spiritual journey with a desire to volunteer.
I quickly found both a great group of adults to share my spiritual development with, along with a volunteer opportunity at a local Jesuit elementary school, where I served in a variety of roles and with a variety of ages. Coming from a background as a school psychologist, I was asked to provide counseling services to kids in need, but also served as a lunch/recess monitor, assistant gym teacher, occasional substitute teacher, and even the regular first grade teacher for a few weeks. It was a rewarding (and exhausting!) experience. I was able to share the joys and challenges of this assignment with my IVC group on a monthly basis, as well as discussing a variety of issues related to our faith and relationship with God.
When the school closed, I was able to link up with a social service agency serving a poor population in upper Manhattan, and expanded my skill set in order to meet the different needs that they presented.
Having the IVC group as a resource and a comfort made the whole thing work, and I am very grateful to be able to participate in such an outstanding program.
I have volunteered as a reflector for IVC for more than 10 years. That means I have met with many other volunteers monthly while they share and reflect on their work with the poor. And this is what I hear: “I believe I met Christ in one of the homeless men.”
“ I learned how hard people work for their families and what that means for them.”
“ somehow, I finally can see the world doesn’t revolve around me.”
These men and women in retirement work 1 or 2 days a week with the poor through an IVC- linked nonprofit. It completely inspires me to live a more generous life.
A wonderful organization building God’s kingdom through service
As a director of a small faith-based non-profit, I see the wonderful contributions IVC volunteers make everyday. I am inspired by their spirit of serving and how they truly embody Jesus’ call to love God and love neighbor.
I've had a few opportunities to meet IVC members serving throughout Baltimore and have been amazed and impressed by their professionalism, camaraderie and commitment to social justice.
I am in my second year with Ignatian Volunteer Corps, having started with them when i retired. It has been more rewarding than I could have imagined.
The IVC placed me at a day shelter, working directly with the homeless. I could volunteer at the shelter on my own, but what makes IVC so special is that they place us in many different situations, and we meet monthly to share our experiences of working with those in need. There is also a deeply spiritual component, as we deepen our relationship with God through our work. We have spiritual reflectors provided by IVC to help us. The regional director is extremely sensitive to the demands of our work and has been committed to making it satisfying. The volunteers are a very joyful group, many of whom have been with IVC for years and even decades.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps provides retired men and women an opportunity to volunteer with a community agency applying the Jesuit principles of men and women for others. Opportunities include working with homeless shelters, soup kitchens, aid agencies and schools, two days a week from September to June.
During the year there are monthly meeting during which a selected book addressing social issues is discussed. The monthly meetings also serve each member with an opportunity to discuss his or her service work which provides support and affirmation. The opportunity to discuss our service experiences among the peer group is a very valuable element particularly for people beginning to volunteer.
I have found the service through the Ignatian Volunteer Work very rewarding, when I began this service I thought I was giving back, I have found however I receive much more than I give.
The IVC's work with Seton Catholic Schools is nothing short of remarkable. Over 30 generous volunteers are providing tutoring support for more than 125 of Milwaukee's most disadvantaged children. There's no way to adequately measure or describe the immediate and the long-term impact of service like this. We are deeply grateful.
I am a volunteer of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps(IVC) because it gives me a purpose in life long after I retired from my regular job. It enables me to use what I have learned to teach young children what they need to succeed in life. Students' scores on National Math and English Assessment tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of IVC volunteers in classrooms of low-income students with limited English backgrounds.
It also has enabled me to stay in contact with children I would normally never meet.
I would encourage anyone over the age of fifty to become a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, especially if you are seeking a personally rewarding experience in retirement.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is an amazing, transformative organization. It is blazing the trail for an active, impactful retirement for American seniors. Erik Erikson famously described our lifespan as comprised of eight stages. IVC accompanies seniors during the seventh and eighth stages.
The challenge of the final years of work and the transition into retirement is to create and nurture a legacy. Erikson names this transition 'Generatively,' choosing to make a mark on the world which outlasts one's lifespan rather than the path of self-absorption. The particular mark that IVC members make is sustained service to economically deprived communities.
This collaboration in the creation of a more just and kind world beautifully sets the stage for Erikson's ultimate challenge, the development of 'Ego Integrity.' The post-retirement, part-time nature of IVC volunteer service lends itself to the gradual contemplation of our accomplishments. A sense of integrity is nourished as volunteers look back at a life well lived, at contributions made not only in the spheres of family and work but also to fellow citizens less privileged. The IVC experience assists in the acquisition of the virtue of wisdom, a sense of completeness and gratitude.
Still another benefit of IVC service is the development of new friendships acquired through collaboration in meaningful service. This perfectly address the conundrum of the loss of work friendships.
My life has been immensely enriched by participation in this great nonprofit! I am certain that the lives of many less privileged citizens have been meaningfully impacted by the dedicated service of my IVC sisters and brothers. I urge Great Nonprofits to recognize the Ignatian Volunteer Corps as a model organization for seniors.
As a member of the Minneapolis Ignation Volunteer Corp I have grown in my appreciation for the freedoms I was born into. As a volunteer for Sarah's, An Oasis For Women, be it keeping the pantry organized or helping the residents prepare for a test or assisting in resume writing, I am always struck by the ladies commitment to gaining their independence and becoming a
viable citizen of our society, These women do not hesitate to express their gratitude for all the staff at Sarah's does to support them.
In exchange for IVC ads in the Catholic Spirit, the biweekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I copy read the pages in their final drafts. This increases the exposure of the IVC to the Catholic community. I’m very pleased to use the skills I had as a high school teacher of writing and journalism. I’m even more pleased to be volunteering with the staff at the paper. They are wonderful people who really appreciate my contribution. It’s a perfect fit for a retired person with my background. Beyond working with the staff, it has shown me the efforts the Church is making to be effective servants of the people. Today, what could be more reassuring of the Church’s mission? Bernie Troje, St. John’s University, Class of ‘65
I am a volunteer with Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Denver and it has been an extraordinary experience. I spend 16 hours a week at my volunteer site (there are options for 8 hours/week) and have learned so much. Our cohort of volunteers meets monthly for spiritual reflecting and sharing about our various placements. When I retired, I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere, but wasn't sure where. Finding IVC happened at just the right moment in my life. Our mission is to serve in agencies that minister to the materially poor and it is financial support from the greater community that allows IVC to fulfill its mission. Funding IVC ensures that each group of volunteers has a regional director who coordinates placements, monthly meetings, retreats, and opportunities for each of us to meet with a spiritual reflector on a regular basis. IVC makes a difference in the lives of the marginalized in our community, as well as in the lives of each volunteer. Making a positive difference is what makes a great non-profit!
I always said that I would do some sort of volunteer work in my retirement years. I retired in December 2016, but didn’t immediately follow through on this promise. I did not know what type of volunteer service I wanted, but I knew I wanted to be purposeful in my choice. Like many good intentions, it lay fallow for several months while I enjoyed the freedom from commitments. Then there was that Sunday Mass in late summer at Regis University where a small announcement was posted about the Ignation Volunteer Corps. It was the nudge I apparently needed, and I attended the informational meeting about the program and followed through with my application to the program.
2017-18 was the inaugural year for IVC in Denver, Colorado, thanks to the dedicated group of people from St. Ignatius Loyola Parish who made it happen. I am so proud that I was one of ten volunteers representing IVC in our city for the first time. My placement was, (and still is in year two) at the St. Francis Center, a day center for people who are experiencing homelessness. I work two 8 hour days per week, both assisting the client guests with basic service needs like accessing mail and their belongings in the storage area, and assisting the administration team with office support. I have yet to experience the feeling of “I wish I didn’t have to work today”, which tells me how nourishing this commitment has been for me spiritually and emotionally.
IVC has some unique volunteer components. One is that all volunteers meet monthly with our regional director and one or two spiritual advisors. We share our stories, reflect on book and scripture readings, and get to know each other better as an IVC community. Additionally, each volunteer is connected with a spiritual reflector with whom we meet monthly. These components bring an intentional spiritual piece to our volunteer service, and help us reflect on how our work connects us to God and our world community.
The Ignation Volunteer Corps provides an opportunity for retired laity to help fulfill the Jesuit mission of service for the greater glory of God. It is a non-profit organization that operates with little fanfare, even as it makes a large impact on the local community.
Love IVC! In my 8th year of volunteering in Boston. Managed the finances of 40 formerly homeless senior citizens for seven years and now helping develop a volunteer program at Project Hope.
Upon retirement I searched extensively for a volunteer role that would really matter in the lives of the clients I would serve. And then I found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC), an organization which links its members to meaningful volunteer opportunities as part of network of volunteers who support one another.
As an Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) volunteer, I chose an assignment as a Career Coach at the New England Culinary Arts Training (NECAT) center. NECAT provides unemployed and underemployed individuals with the technical, professional and life skills necessary to secure career-ladder jobs in the culinary industry through an intensive 16-week Culinary Arts Job Training Program.
My Career Coach role I assist students through all phases of their job search … assembling resumes and cover letters, honing their interviewing skills, selecting target employers and applying for positions both in person and on line. I also coach students in some of the soft skills essential to their success after they have been hired.
IVC and NECAT was a perfect match for me. IVC is a group of like-minded people committed to making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. And NECAT is an organization which is all about providing judgment-free second chances at life to some of the most disadvantaged individuals in the community.
I cannot imagine a better "marriage of the minds"
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) helps to bring the Volunteer closer to God and his or her fellow man.
The small and dedicated administrative team goes above and beyond in securing placements that match a volunteer's skills with an organization's needs. This helps ensure that the volunteer will continue to grow in service to others.
Beginning the volunteer year with a spiritual retreat and by administering monthly meetings for reflection, the IVC promotes the spiritual growth in each of its volunteers. The monthly meetings also serve as a time for volunteers to support and encourage one another and build new friendships.
In short, my brief but continuing association with the organization has been outstanding.
I am semi-retired and was looking for a faith based volunteer opportunity. I was familiar with IVC ,Ignatian Volunteer Corps, from friends and knew when they came to Denver it was the opportunity I was looking for. I am now spending Tuesdays in a kindergarten of 19 students and 1 teacher, knowing I am having an impact on students and of being a 2nd adult in a very active classroom.
My friend Mauree Barney has described the many activities that touch the lives of people throughout so many communities. It inspires me to donate so that I may support their efforts.
My 92 year-old mother and I attend the Awards Mass in Chicago every Spring.
Our dear friend, Maureen Barney is a member of the Ignatian volunteer corps.I am so impressed by the work that she and the other volunteers do and their commitment to service!
I have 2 gal friend with autistic sons and they have become so engaged at Old St. Pat's church in mass participation and packaging bags for the homeless.
It is a 5 star volunteer organization and these volunteers go above and beyond in service.
I have also attended Cubs and White Sox games with Maureen and her special adults and enjoy it so much.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps brings sincere, good hearted people with so much great life experience into essential roles that make a profound difference in both the life of the nonprofit organization where they serve and in the lives of the people who benefit from the mission of the organization. The impact of Ignatian Volunteers is priceless!
My experience with IVC are the stories my friend relates to me, of the experiences she has had as an IVC volunteer. It has filled her life, and given it meaning since her husband passed away. She has transferred the love she had for her wonderful husband, to the special needs adults she works with through Old St. Pat's. It is a win-win situation for all. These stories/pictures shared have convinced me to donate to IVC annually.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps is special in that it's volunteer are involved in a variety of social, personal and organizational needs. Volunteers work with children in inner-city school, immigrants seeking permanence, homeless adults in transition, families providing food and shelter, and non-profits serving the materially poor. The depth of skill, commitment and generosity is heartwarming.
The love, concrete compassion, and attention that Maureen shows to those with special needs who participate in IVC is truly inspiring.
She's an inspiration to many.
I'm particularly inspired by how diligently she - and her friends - prepare meals for the homeless. We need more programs like this in our world!
I discovered the Ignatian Volunteer Corp of Baltimore via a notice in my church bulletin the Sunday after I decided to retire. IVC offers so much to its members, pairing us with service opportunities in non-profit organizations, allowing us to use the skills we have to help others in our communities. Out of consideration for my location, I was first paired with a local organization but their need was for office support and I wanted to work directly with the clients served. I was introduced to a learning center for learning disabled adults and work with about 60 adults, taking them to Special Olympics activities, and volunteer opportunities and even part time jobs. IVC also offers the opportunity to grow spiritually, with monthly meetings, retreats and days of reflection. I highly recommend you check it out if you are semi-retired or retired and wondering how to spend your time. An idle mind...
I get to serve as a spiritual director for this wonderful group of senior volunteers. Their wisdom, passion, and commitment to the organization, our partners, and the people they serve is such an inspiration and a model for us all. IVC does a wonderful job of providing support--both practical and spiritual--and the volunteers' long tenure with IVC is a testament to that support.
I am a member of IVC's Regional Council in Baltimore, MD and also a spiritual reflector for the volunteers. IVC's volunteers do extraordinary work for our local partner organizations, providing mature, committed and skilled help to these other non-profits so much in need of support. The organization is unique in that it also provides volunteers with a community and spiritual growth which is often missing in many non-profit environments. It allows people to process their experiences in serving the poor and needy in our community and by doing so, helps to alleviate volunteer burn-out. The staff is incredibly committed to the volunteers and open to new ideas and approaches.
I am blessed to be able to, in some small way, serve those who are serving others so well.
I work with Maureen Barney, an IVC member, though Trinity Volunteer Corps at Old St Patricks Church in Chicago inner city. We work with disabled adults performing various tasks including and probably most important preparing food bags for the homeless in the area. Chicago has a severe homeless issue and this work is becoming more and more a vital supply for nutrition. Maureen quarterbacks the challenge and leads with an open heart giving us a good example of treating these disabled as equals and with encouragement to participate in conversation as well as the work.
Grateful for the many ways IVC works with various groups throughout Chicagoland -- particularly at Old St. Patrick's Church. The compassion and dignity they share with all of us is second to none. Such a beautiful ministry...
TVC is proud of its relationship with IVC and views it as a strategic partnership. We are delighted to have Maureen Barney as of IVC volunteer. She is well liked by our volunteers, families, sponsors and board.
Have witnessed first-hand the great work IVC does to change lives and improve the community. The range of services they provide and community building activities they conduct truly help the area shine.
IVC works with the Trinity Volunteer Corps and the Special Friends Mass at Old St Pat’s Catholic Church in Chicago in the person of Maureen Barney. Maureen embodies all of the virtues of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. She is kind and compassionate, a woman of Faith and a caring individual respectful of the dignity of individuals with disabilities and their families. Maureen has made our son feel welcome at all the events she is involved with at Old St. Pat’s. She goes out of her way to involve Gabe at his level, making him feel that his contribution is valued. She sends post cards and letters to Gabe involving him personally in her life as a good friend. Maureen invited Fabe and many of his friends from Trinity Volunteer Corps to the annual IVC tribute event and Gabe enjoyed a very special evening out thanks to her generosity. We are so gratefulntomMaureen and the Ignatian Volunteer Corps.
Committed volunteers living out their faith thru consistent service to others in many different areas of expertise!
The tremendous impact these volunteers have with their participants on the community is overwhelmingly heartwarming. Everyone is welcome at this table and the inclusion they show makes our community stronger.
IVC does amazing work across the country, having seen it at work in Maryland and Illinois specifically. It is the opportunity for adult volunteers to get and stay involved in their community while living the Jesuit mission of Men & Women for Others. Although not as immersive as it’s post-college counterpart JVC, it allows its members to find God in the everyday, all things, while not just being charity—the projects are truly social justice at work and allow the participants the added value of reflecting on their interactions to find the parallels in their own lives or to aid them on their faith journey (thus not a one way hand-out).
Ignition Volunteer Core connects talented, caring people with worthy organizations and does meaningful, effective work. Humanity at it's best in Chicagoland.
Maureen Kennedy Barney
Ignatian Volunteer Corps Chicago
Old St Patrick’s Church
Making Room at the Table
One of the most integral aspects of Jesus’ public ministry was that he welcomed all at the table. Sharing a meal together in Jesus’ culture held a unique weight; it reflected RESPECT, ACCEPTANCE and FULL INCLUSION. Jesus expected his disciples to promote a community that welcomes and honors all.
I serve as a member of the Jesuits' Ignatian Volunteer Corps, a group of some 65 men and women, all seniors, dedicated to improving the lives of our fellow Chicagoans through ministries that serve the needs of those often marginalized by society.
For the past three years I have been blessed to be at Old St Pat's with the members of the Trinity Volunteer Corps, people with disabilities volunteering together, providing each person with an outlet to express their unique talents and gifts. Inclusion through volunteerism guides TVC. Gathered together at our table, the mail room table on the third floor of the Jack Wall Mission Center, our tasks are many and varied.
Preparing the cut outs you'll take from the Giving Tree, assembling Valentine Cheer bags for shut ins, sharing liturgy at the Special Friends Mass, assisting at all of the Ronald Mc Donald Houses to serve a meal for those on a journey with a seriously ill child, bringing the light at the Easter Vigil, or welcoming all to Deck the Halls, we work together in a spirit of inclusion and companionship as we are JOY to each other on our journey.
Perhaps our greatest efforts consist in our preparation of weekly food bags that OSP provides for the homeless: a bottle of water, a package of crackers and cheese, raisins, canned sausages, and a protein bar...some hundred people a week find their daily nourishment in the food bags. As we walked together one Wednesday to the noon Mass, we passed a young man holding a very small child. Seated on the curb which was their table, they were sharing their lunch...the bag they had just received from Old St Pat's. We stopped and spoke with the pair.
And as we moved on to church, one of my buddies said quite simply what God wants from all of us:
TO SEE HIM IN ALL WHO CROSS OUR PATHS AND TO WELCOME HIM....TO LIVE THE BEATITUDES.
God meets us wherever we are...caring for each of us and also challenging each to prepare to welcome HIM... for it is Jesus who is in those he sends into our lives, those who cross our paths. Witnessing that with each person who is part of the Trinity Volunteer Corps allows me to understand the message of HOPE...and HOPE is the door that opens onto a future where all are welcome at the table!! As Jesus tells us:
"Here I am knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door I will enter his house and have supper with him and he with me."
NOW LET'S TAKE OUR PLACE AT THE TABLE!!
After retiring from a successful role in a Fortune 500 company, I signed up to volunteer five days a week at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep an inner city school in Chicago. It was long hours and I felt like I was able to help the students, but I also felt like I was still working. Two fellow volunteers from the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) were also on site at the school. As we became acquainted it became clear to me that I was a volunteering and they were serving. Their experience was enriching them in ways that I was not feeling. Their effort was an act of faith in service that was different from mine. In my second year I joined the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and began to share the richness of their service based volunteer work. In addition to the on-site volunteer service work, all 60 members of the Chicago IVC met monthly in community for spiritual formation in the Ignatian tradition. This helped me discover a deeper sense of interior consolation from serving others and also helped me to find God in my volunteer service work. Also very importantly, the IVC experienced help me to engage with the students less corporately and more compassionately and caringly. That has made all the difference
IVC has had a profound impact on my life. I joined 6 years ago after retiring from a 52 yr. career in nursing, most of those years in the Emergency Department. I felt a huge void after retiring,
a need to continue to do meaningful work.
I chose Fr. Bill's/Mainspring in Brockton MA., after receiving guidance from Dave Hinchen,
Director of IVC, New England. This organization was founded by Fr. Bill McCarthy 3 decades ago, after he had consistently invited the homeless to sleep in the church basement. The organization now includes safe emergency shelters in Brockton and Quincy Ma., where approximately 250 men and women are invited to sleep and enjoy hot meals. They also have 367 housing units for families and veterans. Their Mantra "Nobody Should Be Homeless".
My hours at Fr. Bill's have profoundly affected me. I have assisted in the intake and welcoming of the homeless men and women as they arrive at the shelter. I realize that simple gestures , a smile, eye contact and reassurance are sometimes the only respect and compassion shown to them that day.
I also volunteer at their Distribution Center, which supplies all the shelters and housing units .
Shelter guests, accompanied by their social worker, are also invited to chose clothing and toiletries from the Center.
These 6 years have broadened my capacity for understanding others, especially the profound effect of untreated psychiatric illness. I realize how difficult it is to carry all your belongings through the streets each day (often wet from rain) , unwelcome in many businesses, and unable to find an available restroom. I cherish the fact that I have "a space of my own", that I don't have to sleep in a room with 90 guests, as the men do in Brockton.
The men and women of IVC are all involved in similar positions. They are definitely "men and women for others"!!!! We have meetings each month in different locations, where we share our experiences, pray together and just enjoy the camaraderie. We also visit our Reflector, again each month, as he or she is a personal companion to listen and encourage.
I feel blessed to be a small part of this organization.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps has given me the opportunity to work with the homeless, those with Ailztimers, and those in the hospital. Their support ensures that their members are able to help those who need help.
I was laid off a few years ago after several years at a company with a hostile, abusive environment. I was not ready to fully retire, but found it difficult to trust enough to find new employment. IVC provided an wonderful, supportive, nurturing community and helped me to give back to the world.
IVC Ignatian Volunteer Corps is a true community...reaching out to help others and reaching inward to find our better selves.
It is a joy to serve and to pray together.
I have been in the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in the Syracuse, NY area over the past several years. I have found all my volunteer service to be rewarding and value adding. I'm always amazed at how many ways there are to be helpful and provide assistance to others. The Ignatian Volunteer Corps has given me a chance to truly give of myself and to share my skills and knowledge with others while being compassionate and caring. I hope to continue volunteering for many years to come. Linda Z - Syracuse IVC
A recent profile of me in the Creighton Prep magazine had this to say about me and the Ignatian Volunteer Corps: "Bob retired in 2014 intent on engaging in volunteer service. 'Not long after that, I interviewed with the director of the Omaha chapter of the IVC, and she agreed that I might be a suitable candidate.' Soon thereafter, he was interviewed by the staff in the Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic at the Creighton University School
of Law. Today, he is at the clinic or in court four days per week, working 'largely on family issues, landlord disputes and the seemingly innumerable legal and bureaucratic obstacles that poor people encounter in life.' " This quote from the article sums up how my experience in the Ignatian Volunteer Corps has enabled me in the winter of my years to live out the Ignatian ideal of men and women for others and seeking the faith that does justice. I would, I think, be adrift in retirement without my IVC work and the opportunity to reflect monthly with the other dedicated members of IVC on how we find God in our volunteer work.
Not quite ready for retirement, I was a seasoned, experienced professional who was laid off from an extremely stressful, abusive, and unscrupulous company. I was shell-shocked. Even after some time off, I couldn't imagine going back to work. But, I needed to keep my skills up; I needed healing; I needed to make a difference. IVC provides or inspires community, support, spirituality, humility, purpose, passion, reflection, transformation, and healing. I am so grateful to IVC and hope that what I have given has made a difference.
IF you're looking to make a a meaningful contribution, widen your spiritual formation or just be part of the solution, IVC offers all three. I joined IVC while looking for something to make my retirement years part of a new beginning and keep me involved as well as bringing a new meaning to this time of life. A historian by trade, I used my research skills to review all prospects out there and for me, IVC offers the thoroughness, structure, and opportunities that make giving my time worthwhile. They do a good job of getting to know you and matching your experience and skills with the position. The religious aspect was fine with me though everyone should feel welcome. I've found the Jesuits to be inclusive as well as scholarly in pursuit of their mission. They model how to put faith into action.
The Ignation Volunteer Corps was an ideal answer for me in retirement, as it already is for many others, and can be for untold numbers of active retired persons.
When my husband died after many months of illness, I emerged from the immediate grief of his death yearning for a meaningful activity. At my daughter's recommendation, I investigated the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and I liked what I heard. IVC would give me the opportunities both to work with persons in need and to enjoy regular company with other volunteers to pursue a heightened spiritual dimension to my life.
After ten years in the Corps, I am still excited about going to school two days a week to tutor grade-school children. What they give back to me is far more valuable in my mind than the modest assistance I offer them. Service in IVC has been a godsend for me.
After working in the Probation field for almost thirty years I retired. Almost immediately, I realized that I had too much time on my hands and began looking for an opportunity to enrich my life and the lives of others.
In our church bulletin I found a small notice regarding the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, (IVC). IVC is targeted toward retirees over the age of fifty, who are strongly committed to the betterment of themselves and the community.
IVC is a nation-wide organization with over five hundred volunteers serving people dealing with homelessness, disabilities, the imprisoned, refugee/migrant families, as well as children experiencing education disadvantages. There are numerous other volunteer opportunities fulfilling the needs of our community as well as providing countless ways for the volunteers to be of service in fields that suit their personal desires and talents.
However, that is just part of what IVC offers. We have monthly meetings in which we share our experiences at our volunteer sites. Each year the national organization selects a book emphasizing the spiritual aspect and/or nature of our commitment. We discuss these books during our meetings. There is also an annual three day retreat which allows us to refocus our desire to serve others and to build comradery and faith within the group.
Finally, one of the best features of the IVC community is the opportunity to have one-on-one time with a spiritual reflector each month. This gives each volunteer a chance to reflect on their service site and ways to enhance their own lives as well as the lives of the people they serve.
While the Ignatian Volunteer Corps focuses on the Jesuit belief that service is a form of prayer, it is open to all who believe that, by serving others, we also serve God.
IVC is an opportunity for those with life skills and experiences to serve the Church and immerse themselves in the style and spirituality of St. Ignatius.
IVC offers direct relational and meaningful volunteer experiences, through which we aspire to open your heart.
Make a difference for a small organization that can really use your gifts and talents.
Come, get in touch with the reality of our communities for people in need. Getting in touch with this reality, gets us in touch with God. You’ll be challenged, changed, and consoled.
Wisdom, experience and humility. What a joy it is to work side by side with others who've felt called to action and know that "showing up" to serve has value beyond measure. The people I have met through IVC are those who see need around them and have responded to the call. Many come with years of experience in particular professions and all of them are willing to apply those skills in ways many agencies need. IVC members are also willing to stretch and try on new roles and take on new tasks. Because we are located in many cities throughout the United States it is inspiring to know we work in solidarity on issues that exist across the nation. Our monthly meetings are rich and enjoyable as we share our impressions, joys and concerns regarding our work. It's a learning experience and broadens our perspectives-since we can't all work everywhere, we get to hear about different organizations and schools that serve the poor in our midst. It is so rewarding on so many levels.
The combination of a spiritual dimension with non-profit service brought me to IVC. I have not been disappointed. The monthly Mass, book discussion and sharing of experiences and challenges at our very different assignments offers a growth opportunity to all present. We leave refreshed spiritually knowing that God is present in all things.
Like many whose careers provided satisfying and busy lives, retirement provided a chance for me to design my own time commitments for the first time in many years. Time to schedule what to do every day prompted introspection about what I like to do and what I want to do. The answers came easily. I wanted to “pay back”, “pay forward”, to have more time for spiritual reflection AND to show active gratitude for the opportunities, scholarships, and gifts of time and talent that others had granted me. Of course, I would have more time for family, friends and leisure pursuits, but I was looking also for something more.
Very luckily, my husband felt the same way. We end each prayer together with “ God let me know how to serve you better”. We both remembered students who, after college, had joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and we lamented that there was not something for adults at another crossroad. And we searched and found that there was!
The Ignation Volunteer Corps provides so much more than service opportunities. The gathering together of people who are on a similar journey is a monthly treat. Our animator puts much effort into monthly programs that are thought-provoking and stimulating , spiritually awakening and fun. Our regional director understands her role in guiding us to serve the less fortunate, and she offers strong support in our finding a program that matches our abilities. We have found that there are many venues to help those in great need. Our animator and our director also balance our service commitments with an understanding of the joy that is the IVC sense of community. I feel humbled by the respect that I feel for the other volunteers. We read and discuss together. We retreat together. We cry and we laugh together.
The Ignation Volunteer Corps is a gift to me.
Call it Grace or Serendipity; I discovered IVC in San Diego quite by “accident” 3 years ago, while simultaneously experiencing an awakening to a new way of living my Catholic faith.
IVC provides me with the opportunity to serve many in our society who are much less fortunate than me, which in and of itself is a great blessing. And… there is much more to membership involvement with IVC!
As a community of volunteers, we grow together as a family of kindred spirits. We meet monthly in fellowship, reflecting on our individual works and in giving thanks to God for those we serve as well as for our ability to be of service to them. Our members bring hope to vast number of persons who exist only at the margins of our society. Multiple and varied types of service opportunities are available to us.
We IVC volunteers are also nourished by discussions about selected book readings and a focus on the principles of Ignatian Spirituality. Brief annual retreats, and the ability to meet monthly with select spiritual reflectors with whom we can discuss our personal growth in relation to those we serve are additional rewards of membership.
After retiring from a law career, I discovered IVC & was placed in Cathedral High School's drama department. What a joy to work with lively, talented & wonderful young women. Among recent performances was A Charlie Brown's Christmas (photo). I hope to continue this work for many years & am so thankful for IVC.
An EXCELLENT nonprofit organization based on the strong principals of JESUS CHRIST to serve the most socially vulnerable population of our society modeled by the Jesuit Orders/Pope Francis. I served the IVC by working at St. John's Church soup kitchen/food pantry located in Worcester, Mass. .*
A couple of years after I retired as a mental health counselor, I was being "tugged" to find a way to do something meaningful, some kind of volunteer work. My husband and I attended a Lenten retreat given by a favorite Jesuit Priest. The event was sponsored by IVC and we shared a table with the couple who brought IVC to Omaha. What I heard felt so "right" to me, we met with the local IVC Director to learn more.
She suggested I visit the Children and Family Center of Nebraska Children's Home Society in Omaha's inner city. I met an older African American woman who asked if I might be interested in working with her to develop a programs for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. I sure was interested! We put our heads together and things just "clicked" - we got along great, and seemed to energize each other. We designed a six-week support & educational group. That was almost four years ago and we just completed the 13th group. The grandparents let us know that they needed support beyond the six weeks, so we developed an ongoing support group that meets twice monthly.
I have felt all along that this was right where I was supposed to bed; that God had led me there, and I continue to feel incredibly blessed by the grandparents I meet and the unbelievable stories they share about their family situations. The desperately need support.
God continues to bless this awesome work. The program has won recognition from a local foundation as "the most innovative new program" and has received funding from United Way and other local funding sources. That success is calling attention to the plight of these grandparents who have taken on the incredible challenge of once again raising children and who are usually living in poverty. Personally, I have been blessed to become familiar with a world that my white, middle class life experience had never shown me. It has made me so much more sensitive and understanding; they continue to teach me so much!
Four years ago, I retired as from my position in development at a local high school where I had served for 26 years. I was seeking ways to enhance my spiritual life in retirement and attended a Day of Reflection sponsored by our local Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC). The retreat reminded me of how much and why I value my Jesuit education and I contacted the director and asked how I might get involved. She invited me to join IVC where I have now been a member for nearly three years. It is an experience I would not trade for anything. My first volunteer assignment entailed assisting the administrator of several of our Catholic schools with development. It was a challenging and rewarding task as we realized the fruits of our efforts. Currently I volunteer at a private elementary school which serves a predominantly minority population. I assist with office and administrative duties as well as lunch preparation and serving. The latter is a particular favorite because of the opportunity to interact with the students and, if I'm lucky, garner a hug or two. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the closeness of our IVC community. I look forward to our monthly meetings, discussing the readings and reflections, and sharing our spirituality with one another. I have developed a deeper understanding of Ignatian spirituality through these interactions as well as a renewed appreciation for my faith.
After 22 years in the USAF and 22 years in industry, I retired with a MSEE with minor in math. After a couple retired years, I was looking for things to keep my mind active as I was keeping my body active by bike riding long distances. I went to a retreat sponsored by my local parish where I learned about IVC. My wife and I decided to join to share our skills and help nonprofits. I was matched to a catholic highschool where I tutored students struggling with math. After a couple of years, I was asked to help teach an AP Calculus BC dual credit course. I help the teacher by looking through the days assignment making sure I understood all the math and homework problems. I assist the teacher during the class with the lesson, check the homework and answer questions. This frees the teacher to spend more time on other classes he is teaching.
I have really enjoyed sharing my skills and especially enjoy working with students. This has really helped me keep my mind sharp as a math students at this level knows when you don't know the subject. The best part of being a volunteer with IVC is they are just as interested in your satisfaction with your placement as they are with satisfying the nonprofit's needs.
My wife and I always really appreciated the Jesuit Priest who occasionally said Mass at our church. So, we decided to go to a retreat where he was featured along with another Jesuit Priest. At this retreat we met other IVC Volunteers who talked about the Ignation Way which sounded exactly like what we were looking for; a very compassionate, loving, and caring volunteer group so we joined IVC. IVC has greatly enriched our lives and our marriage. I have become passionate about my volunteer job tutoring high school students in math. And, as a bonus, the school has asked me to lead their teams competing in STEM projects sponsored by Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Student Mentoring Program (SMP) under the auspice of the Peter Kiewit Institute. IVC has greatly enriched my life by learning about the Ignation way and providing excellent volunteer opportunities. Richard Stibor
Having just returned from the retreat that opens the volunteer year for IVC members from the Baltimore, D.C., and northern Virginia regions and with the first weeks of the second year at the Asylee Women Enterprises (AWE) coming to a close, I’m again overwhelmed in gratitude at my good fortune to have found the IVC and then to have come under the care of a director who so perfectly linked me up with this non-profit that provides housing, acculturation experiences, and compassionate companionship to women (and a couple of men recently) who are seeking asylum in the U.S. Having organized, implemented and taught in a three-level ESL program, I am now returning to oversee the program and again teach. However, these activities are but the tip of the iceberg, for with each visit to AWE, I’m shocked into awareness of the human capacity to endure unimaginable violence and trauma, to confront and joust with their repercussions, and to rise up to reconstruct lives that are fueled by joyful hope and love, love above all.
As much as the women’s incredible resilience sustains us as we offer them our presence and love, so are we sustained in our service by the outreach the IVC extends to us. The monthly meetings, the yearly text we discuss among other things at these meetings, and the two always incredible retreats combine to transform our lives in ways that allow us to pass transformative assistance to those we serve.
IVC changed my life in so many ways. After retiring from a long and satisfying career in nursing, I was craving work in a helping capacity. The IVC affords me the opportunity to work with those in need as a teacher, a new professional role for me! I volunteer at a school for adult education for immigrants and low income populations. This wonderful agency, Genesis Center teaches ESOL, workforce training, citizenship preparation, high school equivalency, and financial literacy. Combined with the introduction of Ignation Spirituality to my life, IVC has been a major force in my life I am currently making the Spiritual Exercises in everyday life and truly find God in all things.
The IVC supplies many agencies with highly professional, caring individuals with volunteers ton aid them in their quest to assist those of us who are in need I cannot say enough about the good work IVC provides both to the world at large and to the individual volunteer.
I joined IVC ten years ago after retirement. My last job was very fast paced and I did a lot of traveling. I knew that helping with my grandchildren was not going to be enough for me. I came across information about IVC, after a year of discernment I joined. My live have not been the same since that day. I have grown in faith and awareness of the beauty of creation. I volunteer in the public hospital in Chicago as a Chaplain Assistant. Yes, I see suffering, but I also partake in the beauty of those who know how to be grateful. This work has transformed me.
The unique combination of volunteer service opportunities and a spiritual community based on Ignatian spiritual is what drew me to the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. After one year of volunteering at Migration and Refugee Services of Cleveland Catholic Charities, I have gained much both intellectually and spiritually serving a misunderstood and underserved community. During our monthly IVC meetings, I have had an opportunity to grow spiritually and to give and receive support from other volunteers. I recommend IVC without reservation to any retiree searching for a meaningful and rewarding volunteer experience.