Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

Program Details

The Jesuit-affiliated Ignatian Volunteer Corps Minneapolis/St. Paul is 24 members strong, and continues to thrive! Since 2002 we have offered an opportunity for retired men and women to work for a more just society while growing in their faith through praying in the Ignatian tradition.

Our volunteers, all retired or semi-retired from their careers, have such broad backgrounds. A former university professor set up and manages the library system at the new Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. An IVC Volunteer who has degrees in pharmacy and business management teaches and mentors teens at an alternative high school. A former attorney manages the office of Customized Options and has led the founders of this non-profit for autistic adults through the corridors of the state capital seeking funding to expand. There are nineteen other IVC volunteers who come with their experience, wisdom and faith supporting service sites in these difficult financial times across the Cities.

Organizations that IVC Volunteers have served include AMICUS, CommonBond, Hospitality House, Customized Options, MN Internship Center High School, Union Gospel Mission, Cristo Rey Jesuit H.S. and East Side Neighborhood Services.

In the last year, we have added six more.  Learning In Style, MICAH (Metropolitan Interfaith Community for Affordable Housing), Children’s Law Center, Risen Christ Elementary School, the Dakota County Jail, Casa Guadalupna, and Sarah’s…An Oasis for Women.

At the present time, we are looking for IVC Volunteers to fill another five service spots in the Metropolitan area!

The Twin Cities IVC community gathers monthly at St. Frances Cabrini Church on the third Friday of the month to pray, reflect and share service experiences during the previous weeks—as well as discuss a book they are reading on social justice or spirituality themes. Three of the meetings are full Days of Reflection where the IVC members come together to receive Eucharist and to offer each other a pause to personally contemplate the impact of their volunteering and God’s presence with them.

IVC Volunteers participate regularly in spiritual reflection, an integral part of the IVC experience. The members meet with a spiritual reflector to talk about the meaning of their work with the poor, beyond the service experience itself, and how it contributes to growing their faith.

Ignatian Volunteers are incredibly generous with their time and talents. Yet our volunteers say over and over again that they receive back so much more than they give. 85% of our volunteers renew their commitment to the IVC program and come back to the program year after year.

We invite you to join us!

Our current list of Volunteers and the sites where they serve:

Judy Dahlberg (LSW – Affordable Housing Ad. Assistant) – MICAH

Gerry Revier (BA Business – Secures part time employment for Seniors)  – East Side Neighborhood Services

Mary Ellen Kennedy  (Teacher – ESL for Somali Immigrants) -Robbinsdale Community Center

Robert Kittel (Attorney – Bookkeeper & Office Assist.) – Customized Options

Sam Salas (Educator – Provides Support/education for Strategic Planning) – Hospitality House

Marylee Stabenow (Teacher – Reading Disability Education for after school students) – East Side Learning Center

OPEN – Registered Nurse or Doctor – East Side Neighborhood Service

OPEN – (Youth Advocate in court system) – Guardian ad Litum

Cheryl Dugan (Pharmacist/Corporate Health – Dakota County Jail)

Bernie Troje (English teacher/writing & publication skills) – The Catholic Spirit

OPEN – Minnesota Internship Center (MNIC)

Thomas Foley – (Teacher – Spanish speaker who works with Jr. High children and their parents) – Risen Christ School

Patrick O’Leary  (LSW – AMICUS)

Marilyn DeMarais (Computer and Business Degree – Ad. Assistant Secures Housing for low income) – CommonBond

Thomas Kilkelly (Math Educator – Mentors math teachers at Cristo Rey) – Cristo Rey Jesuit H.S.

Annette Hegler (Retired French Teacher) –  St. Peters Catholic School

Mary Himrod (Educator-House Mother) – Sara’s…An Oasis for Women

OPEN –  (Retired Special Education Instr.) – Learning In Style

Mary Vik – Volunteer Emeritus