From June 26-July 1, three charismatic women joined Sisters Connie Bach and Marybeth Martin for an immersion experience of PHJC ministries in the Donaldson, northwest Indiana and Chicago areas. Not just volunteering, these women were imbibed with and witnessed the PHJC core values, mercy and social justice. They learned first-hand what it means to “walk in Catherine’s shoes.”
Sisters Katie Bobber, Mary Kevin Ryan and Michelle Dermody housed the group at St. Henry Convent in Chicago. Each day the group began with morning prayer and traveled to various ministries, including, Bethany Retreat House and Nazareth Home in East Chicago, Earthworks, MoonTree Studios and Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Casa Catalina in Chicago, Salvation Army through HealthVisions Midwest in Hammond, and Sojourner Truth House in Gary.
Volunteers had opportunities to work directly with individuals seeking simple basic necessities, including, food, clothing, shelter, preventative healthcare, child care and presence with the elderly. Volunteers also worked with their hands organizing, moving furniture, packing food bags, mulching trees, pulling weeds and working with Earth. Volunteer Katie D. expressed, “It was wonderful to experience the different ministries in a hands-on way.”
Meals were shared with the Sisters in each area, and evening prayers and reflections on the day’s events were shared.
PHJC long-term volunteer, Libby Riggs, shared: “What a great week of building community with other volunteers, the people we served and those who serve in these ministries every day. I'll be processing this week in my mind for weeks. What a great opportunity. Thanks to Srs. Connie Bach and Marybeth Martin for planning the details and for the support of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ for sponsoring it.”
If you know of any single, Catholic woman seeking short- or long-term volunteer opportunities, please pass on the good word about the PHJC Volunteer Program and have them contact either Sister Connie Bach or Sister Marybeth Martin through www.phjcvolprogram.org.