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Many people want to volunteer their time and talent but don't know where to start. Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) strives to meet that need for people ages 50 and older.
The program was begun in 1995 by two Jesuit priests, Fathers Jim Conroy and Charles Costello, as a way for mature men and women to use their life experiences in service to others. The priests combined the principle of direct service to the poor with a process of faith-based reflection rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
On March 2, IVC, in partnership with Boston College High School, will host a "Friendraiser" entitled "Living Mercy In The Jubilee Year of Mercy," at BC High School from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The event is set to feature keynote speaker Father Frank Herrmann SJ, associate professor at Boston College Law School, who will speak about Pope Francis' Year of Mercy. In addition, a panel of IVC participants will share their experiences and will be available to answer questions. Refreshments will be served.
"This is an opportunity for us to tell the world what we are about," explained David Hinchon, regional director of IVC. "We are engaging men and women, aged 50 and over, and giving them the opportunity to use their skills in order to better the lives of others."
"The IVC is designed specially for those who, because of family commitments or other reasons, cannot travel to another country or another city, and yet they have that missionary spirit," he explained.
"Our volunteer year runs September through June, and we begin recruiting new members in April, so this 'Friendraiser' is a good opportunity for anyone who may be interested in volunteering," he said.
Hinchon explained that people interested in becoming an IVC member are paired with a volunteer opportunity that matches their skills in areas such as education, immigration and the arts.
"Every year we have some opportunities that go unfilled because we have more opportunities than volunteers," he said.
According to Hinchon, IVC is much more than a volunteer organization. Members are linked with a "spiritual reflector," a clergy member or lay person whose mission is to listen to their experiences and help them reflect on faith. In addition, volunteers meet monthly for short retreats in which they have the opportunity to speak, to exchange ideas and to focus on their faith.
For more information, or to register for the March 2 event, contact Michael McGonagle at firstname.lastname@example.org.