An opportunity for Loyola alumni to continue the Jesuit tradition of service and reflection
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) offers Loyola University Maryland alumni a special opportunity to continue the Jesuit tradition of service and reflection. IVC provides men and women, most age 50 or older, opportunities to serve others and to transform lives by matching the talents of experienced volunteers with the greatest social needs of our time. IVC matches volunteers with nonprofit agencies serving the materially poor in their local communities. Volunteers bring their lifetime of experiences and knowledge to these nonprofits, helping to improve their communities and create a more just society. In turn, volunteers are strengthened in their Christian faith through IVC’s unique spiritual reflection program, which is rooted in the Jesuit tradition of Ignatian spirituality.
Ignatian volunteers commit to work two days a week, September through June, in service to the poor. Each month, volunteers also meet with a spiritual reflector to share and reflect on their service experiences, and come together with other volunteers to discuss readings on social justice, Ignatian spirituality, or contemporary theology. Two overnight retreats and a day of reflection are typically offered to assist volunteers in uncovering the deeper meaning of their service and to strengthen their relationship with God.
Tom Cosgrove, ’63, MA ‘83, has been an IVC volunteer with the Arc of Baltimore—an organization that supports people with developmental disabilities—for 10 years. He sees his mission as working directly with clients in the Arc’s day services center. He initiated both an exercise program and a book club. When he retired Cosgrove wanted to emulate the Jesuits that so influenced him at both Loyola Blakefield and later in college by incorporating more prayer, spiritual reading, volunteering, journaling, and examen into his own life. "When you retire you want to give back, but IVC is more than just a volunteer assignment—it’s a tremendous benefit to my life,” said Cosgrove. “As an IVC volunteer you have an opportunity to practice finding God in all things."
Carol Rice, M.S. ‘88, teaches low-income families how to reduce energy use and save money as part of the Fuel Fund of Maryland's "Watt Watchers" program. She recalls the Ignatian retreat she attended while at a student at Loyola and appreciates being able to continue that spiritual growth through reflection and retreats with IVC colleagues. "IVC gives you an opportunity to reflect on your volunteerism with a community of volunteers with similar values and experiences ,” she said. “That's the key to spiritual growth."
There are 16 IVC offices throughout the country, and a wide variety of service opportunities are available. Some of the current volunteer position openings in the Baltimore region include:
• Coordinating the work of other volunteers working with juvenile offenders and others
• Mentoring women who are preparing to re-establish independent living
• Tutoring children with special needs or mentoring children in need
• Advocating for men and women living in poverty or those who are developmentally challenged
• Helping families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing and other temporary housing take steps to stable employment and permanent housing
• Assisting nonprofit agencies with various management needs, including grant writing, information systems, and other tasks
• Coaching people who were formerly homeless on résumé writing, job search skills, and interview techniques
• Tutoring adults in basic literacy and GED preparation
• Providing health and nutrition education to adults and children
If you are a mature person and have a desire to share your talents, experiences, and gifts in service to the materially poor, are open to the experience of building community with those who share in Ignatian values, and are able to commit two days a week for 10 months per year, please visit the IVC website at www.ivcusa.org and click on the region in which you live. In the Baltimore area, you can contact Regional Director Marilyn Dunphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 410-752-4686.