The Ignatian Lay Volunteer program provides an opportunity for men and women — who have completed Annotation 19 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius — to serve some of Winnipeg’s most impoverished and marginalized citizens by volunteering in hands-on, street-level ministries. Rooted in gospel values, volunteers work toward social change through justice, help create a more fair-minded society and are a voice for the voiceless.
Ignatian Lay Volunteers (ILVs) are supported in their experience and encouraged to grow deeper in Christian faith through: prayer, community service experience, reflection, evaluation and the spiritual dynamics of Ignatian spirituality.
To those in need, ILVs bring their abundance of experience and talent, as well as the teachings received through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Preserving the dignity of all individuals — regardless of race, colour, creed or social standing — is central to the mission of ILVs, as is the search for the presence of God to be found in all things.
The ILV program helps provide a community of individuals who openly share their values and deepest desires. All volunteers must complete the Annotation 19 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius prior to participating in the Ignatian Lay Volunteer program. This is completed at the St. Ignatius Adult Education Centre over the course of 30 weeks. The knowledge and education obtained from these exercises helps volunteers to respond with generosity to St. Ignatius' words in the Contemplation to Gain Love: that "love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words" (#230) and "hear the call to respond to the need to build up... the community of love that offers life to all".
Past volunteer placements include:
- House of Hesed — a home for people living with AIDS
- Immaculate Conception Soup Kitchen — a kitchen which provides approximately 350 hot lunches each Sunday in one of our most impoverished neighbourhoods
- Alpha House — a safe house for abused women and children
- Artbeat Studio — a place that provides consumers of mental health services the opportunity to engage in creative expression for the purpose of promoting recovery and empowerment
- Working with refugees and within a couple of nursing homes
Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two hours per week in a hands-on, street-level ministry in the City of Winnipeg. Volunteers are required to attend three retreat days during the year and a monthly group meeting to share how you found God in your experience. Various books on Ignatian spirituality will be required reading and discussed at the meetings.
For more information, contact Carmela.