“The passage of time within our current history, rather than restricting or constricting gospel vision, has revealed its capacity for expansion.”
BY JACKIE SCHMITZ
A year as a Loretto volunteer involves navigating a lot of transitions. For me this year has included a transition from college to post-grad life, a transition into a new home and community, as well as a transition into a new job in a new field of work. Transition periods are difficult because of the large amount of uncertainty they bring, but they also provide room for growth. At this point, I am halfway done with my Loretto year. I’ve already seen so much growth both in my personal and professional life. It hasn’t come without challenges, but I truly feel Loretto has helped me grow closer to the person I want to be.
LoVo Melanie Farrell traveled to the US/Mexico Border last year with a delegation led by members of the Loretto Community. While in Nogales, AZ, Melanie was introduced to several organizations providing services for and leading advocacy efforts with undocumented migrants.
BY MARY LOUISE PABELLO
So many things change in six months. And some stay relatively the same, as was the case for me returning to Nogales for the School of the Americas protest. Eight months ago I made my first trip to the border with Loretto's Latin America and Caribbean Committee–a trip that deepened my understanding of migration challenges as well as my own identity. This second trip was different, obviously, as we were there with a much larger group for a separate (though related) purpose.
“There is a wise madness in these walls.”
BY SUSAN NICHOLS
Of the many qualities I love about the Loretto community, my personal favorite is Loretto’s reckless spirit in the face of injustice. As the quote above shows, Loretto’s spirit demonstrates a daring that allows it to be wise. It lends a refreshing playfulness to encountering power that allows individuals to generate the creativity necessary to create new types of freedoms in the face of sustained oppression.
BY MARY LOUISE PABELLO
Before I sat down to write this, I re-read the application I submitted for my second year. Just to see where my mind and heart were 9 months ago. “In the same way that choosing to do a volunteer year felt right, like god put Loretto back in my life just when I needed it most, a second year with Loretto brings the same pull of rightness,” I wrote.
BY JACKIE SCHMITZ
But why was I born into a home of middle-class affluence and not in a barrio a few miles across the Mexican border?
As I reflect on my first few months as a Loretto Volunteer, there seem to be two themes that have an overflowing presence in my life: collective suffering and healing through community.
Melissa reflects on her time thus far as a Loretto Volunteer serving at a public radio show hosted by a Sister of Loretto ... in audio form!
BY JOCELYN TRAINER
When I first applied to be a Loretto Volunteer I had a certain feeling of excitement and hope of what social justice work would look like. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I would be running around D.C. in a cape saving people and enacting changes right and left.
BY MELANIE FARRELL
Prior to working at The MICA Project, I thought I knew what it meant to fight hate. Hate, I believed, was something that could simply be combatted with kindness. It was one or the other. No compromise.
BY HANNAH DORFMAN
Intentional. It’s a word we toss around a lot as Loretto Volunteers. The program requires us to live in intentional community with our housemates. We are encouraged to be intentional about our time, spending habits, and impact on others and the environment. The work of social justice requires an intentional focus on solidarity, collaboration, self-education, and showing up. During my first year as a Loretto Volunteer, I learned how to integrate intention into nearly every aspect of my life. Intentional became less of a word and more of a mindset.
In Their Own Words
We invite you to get to know Loretto Volunteers and the program here. Volunteers introduce themselves and reflect on their experiences.