In my service as a Good Shepherd Volunteer, I found myself hiding behind paperwork and feeling frustrated that my actions were fruitless. But a resident's recent crisis offered the opportunity for a new kind of sacred interaction.
Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field are reports from young people volunteering in ministries of Catholic sisters, a project in partnership with Catholic Volunteer Network since the summer of 2015.
This latest round in the series features one volunteer at the United Nations in New York City and another in Haiti.
Notes from the Field - For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed volunteering. When I went to college at Tulane University, I did not waste any time and promptly became the service chair for my freshman residence hall. It was not until my sophomore year, however, that it dawned upon me to consider international service work.
Notes from the Field - I am in my second month of post-graduate service with Good Shepherd Volunteers and work full-time in New York City at Marian Hall, a group residence for teenage girls who cannot live at home for various reasons, including abuse or neglect.
Notes from the Field - This date is ingrained in the fabric of Haitian culture. May 18 is a national holiday, and those who feel they belong to the nation of Haiti, whether or not they live within the borders of the country, will celebrate their national roots in the world's first black republic.
Notes from the Field - There are nuances and complexities within orders that at times seemed daunting to understand. But from an outsider's perspective and through my experiences talking with men and women religious of a variety of orders, there are changes I wish to see in parishes and religious communities.
Notes from the Field: Veterinary technician Songé Sengela gives interactive formation sessions for families who receive goats as part of the Caritas goat program in Haiti's Gros Morne parish. Participants who follow her advice raise healthier animals that will sell for a better price at the Friday animal market in Gros Morne.
Notes from the Field - The visitors from Mexico did more than just change the way I view Mexico, they awoke in me this spiritual longing for a culture I have never known but has been inside me all along.
Notes from the Field - The communal section of Pendus is rural and reaching it can mean multiple modes of transportation and an entire day of travel. But when I talk to people there, I find they are amazingly mobile, connected to the larger cities in Haiti and to countries across the ocean.
At a recent dinner for persons of color, we shared the experience of overcoming racial dynamics that exist within predominantly white religious institutions. All of us had experienced times when white people would rather see our faces than hear our voices.
Notes from the Field - Some of my most memorable journeys in Haiti have been accompanying visiting medical mission teams as a translator into the rural countryside of Gros Morne county.
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