Message from the Executive Director
After tribal violence and unspeakable persecution took the life of her small child and unyielding brutal poverty and despair became the norm of her life, a young mother musters all courage and comes to a foreign land where a looming statue beckons “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …..”. She finds her way up to the New England area where our early settlers centuries ago also arrived to escape persecution and start a new life. Only now, instead of facing hunger and disease as our first settlers did, four hundred years later, this refugee finds Casserly House and IVC volunteer Jim McCarthy.
Jim came to visit me this past summer and shared the story of this young mother from West Africa who has been a central part of his life in service as an IVC volunteer. Tutoring her, mentoring her and being a source of friendship, hope and compassion, he has walked with her for nearly three years as she has acclimated to a new life, learned a new language, sought employment and started an education.
As I listened to Jim share the story of the plight of this young woman and his work with her, I found myself captivated and mesmerized. As I explored what actually captivated me, it was not only the remarkable story of the courage of this young mother and her dream to escape the utterly horrific circumstances of her life’s situation, nor the pride I felt in our country and our church for having an ability to welcome and provide opportunity for renewal to such a refugee, but of the intense compassion and purity of love in service that lives in and is expressed through Jim.
As I listened to his selfless actions, in service through IVC, I knew I was in the presence of a force so sacred, so holy that it must come from God. Never underestimate the power of a simple smile, gestures of love, kindness and compassion to transform and heal. Little did Jim know when he answered an invitation to serve through IVC that God would use him and his abilities to provide hope and healing from destructive forces a half world away.
I invite you to read more of Jim’s journey. It’s a joy to read.
As we begin Lent at the end of this month, may God’s powerful love reach you in a remarkable way and may that transformation be a source of healing to the world through your own selfless actions in whatever way God leads you.
Thank you for being a part of the good work of IVC. Let’s do more!
Mary C. McGinnity
IVC Launches New Website!
IVC is thrilled to unveil our new website, which is “live” TODAY! Check out our fresh look and share within your networks! www.ivcusa.org
IVC thanks John Schultz, Web Director at Hopeworks 'N Camden who provided us the technical support in the design and implementation of the site. Hopeworks is a Jesuit mission that works with low income youth and provides job training, education, etc. They offer web design services and use the contracts to train students. It’s also been an IVC service site in the past. To learn more about Hopeworks, visit www.hopeworks.org
Check out the first entry in our new Ignatian Spirituality blog and come back frequently to follow us!
Simple truths from IVC's founder
Posted February 1st by Jim Conroy, SJ
"…Just imagine that the gifts, skills and experiences acquired in your life time are the platform for a reordering of your life. So that at this time in your life you intentionally take time to care for the needs of others and see the face of God in the man to whom you give a cup of water, or the prisoner you visit, or the homeless woman for whom you provide a bed... read more
Greetings from Tom Ulrich,
Director of Program Operations and Regional Development
On January 3rd of this year, I began a new ministry adventure. That day was my first as an official member of the Jesuit family. More specifically, I took on responsibilities as IVC’s Director of Program Operations and Regional Development. For the past month, I have been immersed in learning the ebbs and flows of this lively, faith-driven and joy-filled community. What I believe I can modestly contribute to the effort is a community organizer’s perspective with many years’ experience working in the Catholic social ministry world at the parish, diocesan and national levels.
In this fun, first month, I have begun to form some impressions. With your indulgence, please allow me to, humbly, share them with you. They are captured in three words: PROFOUND, POTENTIAL and DEDICATED. First, I am impressed with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps’ PROFOUND and simple mission of service with and for the poor. It is a mission that magnetically attracts people of good will. Second, I am impressed with IVC’s POTENTIAL to build its capacity, especially through developing volunteers and establishing partnerships with other like-missioned organizations. And, third, I am very impressed with all the DEDICATED people throughout the IVC family and at all its levels. If the mission is its heart, they… actually, you… are the soul of the ministry.
It seems to me that as we continue to put the pieces of the IVC puzzle into place, we can smile deeply in the peace of knowing that we are truly contributing to “Thy Kingdom Come, On Earth As It Is In Heaven!” I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all who have provided me with the opportunity to join this IVC adventure and who have so warmly welcomed me into the IVC family!
Congratulations to Fr. Charles Currie, SJ
IVC contratulates National Board Member Charles Currie, SJ, for his recent recognition as a White House Champion for Change for his leadership in Catholic education! Watch a video of the awards presentation and learn more here.
IVC Omaha invites you to “Lent Is for Listening”
A Morning of Reflection
with Jesuit Fathers Larry Gillick and Greg Carlson
Saturday, February 25th
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Center
Preregistration required, space limited
Click here to register or call Becky Ehrman: 402-681-6311
IVC Cleveland’s first Madonna Della Strada Award Reception
Saturday, March 10, 2012
St. Mary’s Chapel at St. Ignatius High School
Mass followed by a dessert reception in the chapel lobby
IVC Cleveland honors Art and Mary Lou Walters. Art is a Graduate of St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University and was one of the original Cleveland IVC volunteers. He serves the poor and homeless at The West Side Catholic Center. He also served as Treasurer of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 20 years through his parish. Mary Lou generously supports her husband Art, her family, friends and neighbors.
Contact Regional Director Cathy Duer for more information or to register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In This Edition:
Message from IVC Executive Director
New Website & Blog
Greeting from Tom Ulrich
Congratulations to Charlie Currie, SJ
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