JVC creates intentional communities that help people broaden their perspectives and confront boundaries. During their service, JVC volunteers are placed in peer communities that foster spiritual growth and engagement. Volunteers share meals, reflect and pray together, and live among the people they serve. They challenge and support one another, gain new insight into the realities of poverty and injustice, and commit to a lifetime of advocacy and service. By fostering communities built on accountability, respect, and mutual support, JVC helps volunteers understand their place in the world, and how they’ll engage with it.
In the words of our Jesuit Volunteers:
Service can feel so limiting, because it challenges you to realize that you can’t be everything for a person, or absorb someone else’s pain. Essentially, it’s learning that you cannot be God, and what can be offered is companionship.
My heart bleeds with these men I work with. They suffer so much, and the reality of my job is that there’s not a lot I can do to tangibly fix anything. The best I can do is to be a constant, steady presence, and experience the hardships of life along their side.
– Audrey Longfellow, Philadelphia 14, Bethesda Project, Minneapolis 13, Dorothy Day Center. Fairfield University 13.
The way that one person makes a decision, communicates, or simply operates on a daily basis is unique to everyone else. With this, being in close-knit community brings out positive feelings when understanding is had and feelings of frustration when the mark is missed.
– Joe Lenz, Chuuk, Micronesia 15, Teacher-Xavier High School. Villanova University 15.
Community is about recognition. It’s about finding the music in conversation without something in the background to entertain you: it’s about trudging through the awkward silences to arrive at a place that feels like home. It’s about the moments when we all naturally ended up in a circle – because our inclination is to open up, to extend, and to invite. Community is about the sensation of being filled – from good conversation and even better human beings.
– Kristen Trudo, St. Louis 15. Graduate Support Assistant-De La Salle Middle School. Loyola Marymount University 15.