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.
By Caitlyn Haggarty
I have never been a fan of uncertainty. Nobody likes big changes, but I find a way to take it to the next level. This has been a theme throughout my young adulthood. From choosing to put together a 1500-piece puzzle instead of packing for my first year of college to hesitating to actively look for and apply to jobs in the semester before graduation, my preferred method of dealing with change has been to ignore that it was happening. In fact, I had a really hard time completing this reflection, as it marks the end of my time as a volunteer.
By Lizette Guevara
Goodbye with a wave
Really not enough to say
Heart’s breaking away
By Mary Louise Pabello
I have known the struggle of migrants all my life, being myself an immigrant to the US. But after the border trip with Loretto’s Latin America and Caribbean Committee, I find myself asking, “do I really?”
Like the young woman I met at Casa Nazareth, my mother crossed countries while three months pregnant, and with two young daughters in tow. Unlike the young woman, however, my mother wasn’t fleeing violence in her home country. My mother wasn’t made to cross miles of desert on foot. My mother had a husband waiting to receive her. This young woman’s husband was in an unidentified detention center. She was alone. No family other than the life she carried, her yet-unborn child who might grow up never knowing their father.
By Ari Alvarez
While scouring through Strand Bookstores in Union Square, I came across a book that caught my attention. Title: Goodbye to All That; Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Immediately, I felt a connection to the title and all the personal essays tucked into it. Living in New York is an experience that can be difficult to sum up into words- but here was a fair attempt. This book, decorated with a brownstone on the cover, introduced me to the work of Joan Didion and her 1967 essay, Goodbye to All That, dedicated to her coming and going from New York. Didion’s 1967 essay has inspired many to write and reflect on their time living in New York, including myself. Here is my personal ode to this trash filled, magical city in the form of a packing list as I prepare for my upcoming “New York farewell."
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.