From 1980-2023, 252 Jesuit Volunteers served with JVC in the city of San Antonio.
Entering the 2023-24 Program Year, JVC is pausing our presence in San Antonio, but we are hopeful to return when our JV numbers increase.
Out of gratitude for the service of our San Antonio FJVs and the wider JVC community that has supported them, we have set aside this space for reflections, photos, and tributes in celebration of Casa Guadalupe.
If you have a story or photo from your time in the San Antonio community, please email email@example.com to add it to this page!
I have found that when I try to describe my experience with JVC to people who are not familiar with the organization, I get a puzzled look.
A convent on the West Side of San Antonio
A facility for pregnant and parenting teens on the South Side of San Antonio
"You did this with...who?"
A bunch of strangers from across the country!
I would be lying if I said my time in JVC was all rainbows and butterflies. I found the experience incredibly challenging. I was surprised by my deep homesickness, the challenge of living simply on a stipend and with six roommates. Looking back though, it was also kind of wonderful.
Living on the West Side brought its own challenges. I did not speak Spanish when I arrived at Casa Guadalupe, and was only (maybe) conversational by the time I left. Regardless, I was greeted warmly by the neighbors, church staff, and most importantly-Carlos and Pearl. When I think back to Casa G, they are two of the people who stick out to me the most. They were so incredibly kind to a bunch of 20-somethings who they did not know, who were definitely going to leave them in a year. When Carlos learned that I didn't speak Spanish but wanted to learn, he took it upon himself to only address me IN Spanish. He was incredibly patient as I stumbled through my replies, apologizing for poor grammar and vocabulary.
"Esta bien, mija."
The warmth I received from Carlos and Pearl has stuck with me, even 10 years post JVC. I always find myself telling stories about them when I share about my experience in San Antonio. They taught us a lot about the history of the church, the history of the house we lived in and the JVs who came before us. The kindness and care they showed to my community, while closest to home, was not unique from other people I met there during my year of service. Our community benefited from many friends of the JV community-people who were always willing to drop off some food or give us a ride when we needed it. The JV network is truly unlike any other I have ever known.
I feel lucky to have served with JVC for a variety of reasons; I often describe it as the best, hardest thing I've ever done. JVC helped form me into a more compassionate person, and I do stand by the phrase, "ruined for life." It opened my eyes to new things, new struggles, new systemic injustices that I would not have known about if I had not had that year in San Antonio. I am sad to hear that the community is closing, that there may not ever be any more community dinners around the big kitchen table. I feel privileged to have Carlos and Pearl, my community members and my placement to look back on so fondly.
Thank you, Casa G, for all you brought to my life and all that you taught me. I will be forever grateful.
- Sheila Pettigrew (San Antonio, TX 2012-13)
We are so grateful for the individuals who have shared their memories of the San Antonio community with us. If you would like to share a photo or reflection from your time with JVC in San Antonio, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.