Mission, Values, & Roots
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) provides mature men and women the opportunity to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition.
- Service done with and for the materially poor.
- Reflection on the work/service experience with the poor.
- The life experience, wisdom, and skills of senior men and women.
- The leadership role of the laity to transform the world through justice, rooted in gospel values.
- The dignity and equality of all women and men regardless of race, age, education, economic deprivation, or social status.
- The search for the presence of God to be found in all things and the call to holiness extended to all women and men throughout life.
- Jesuit support, including opportunities for spiritual development in the Ignatian tradition.
Incorporated into IVC is the spiritual dynamic of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Jesuits have a special charism as a community of religious priests and brothers. IVC shares the same spiritual roots of Ignatius, but expresses them as lay persons.
Like that of Ignatius, our way of proceeding is both a pilgrimage and a labor in Christ: in his compassion, in his ceaseless desire to bring men and women to the Father’s reconciliation and the Spirit’s love, and in his committed care for the poor, the marginalized, and the abandoned (General Congregation 34).
The Jesuit way of proceeding is rooted in the journey of St. Ignatius as he sought a deeper experience of God’s presence and will. This search united him to Christ and led him to choose poverty in solidarity with Christ’s poor. Ignatius writes in The Spiritual Exercises, “Consider the address which Christ our Lord makes to all his servants and friends whom He sends on this enterprise, recommending to them to seek to help all, first by attracting them to the highest spiritual poverty, and should it please the Divine Majesty, and should he deign to choose them for it, even to actual poverty.” The Ignatian way of proceeding, then, is a link between “spirit” and “way of doing things.”
The following headlines highlight the Ignatian spiritual energy found in IVC:
Deep Personal Love of Jesus Christ: The foundational grace of deep, personal love of Jesus is what binds the followers of Ignatius in gratitude and generosity that counters self-centeredness.
Contemplative in Action: Prayerful discernment, an outcome of the interplay between reflection and action, fosters contemplation in the midst of action.
Solidarity with Those in Need: Ignatius worked among the powerful and the powerless. Today, he calls us to solidarity with the poor and marginalized, to give them a voice, and to learn Gospel values from them.
Partnership with Others: Cooperation with laity, clergy, and all people of good will is essential to the Ignatian way of proceeding; to support their gifts and ministries is a requirement.
Sent on Mission and Always Available: The glory of human existence is to be available always to meet the needs of others.
Ever Searching for the Magis: Magis, or greater service, permeates all the characteristics of the way of proceeding. Magis was that which Ignatius sought on his pilgrimage. Jesuits, never content with the status quo, reach out in “holy boldness,” beyond boundaries and frontiers, searching for new challenges and opportunities toward fuller service to God and others.