Get Involved as a Volunteer or Participant
If you want to get involved, one good place to start is to ask your parish priest or parish school administrators if they know of any local opportunities for service. The following ministries offer a wide range of opportunities for men and women of different ages, interests, and talents.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps for recent college graduates
The Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) welcomes young men and women to volunteer for a year of service in a variety of ministries. While performing social service, volunteers live in communities called casas, or houses, sharing a commitment to simplicity and an active spiritual life. For an overview of what JVC members do, read "Just Faith in Action" in Mission,Winter 2006, and visit jesuitvolunteers.org for information about current openings and how to apply.
Ignatian Volunteers Corps for 50-plus adults
Retired or semiretired men and women who can volunteer two days a week in either Los Angeles or the San Diego areas are eligible to join the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC). Members combine service work with spiritual reflection based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, monthly meetings with other volunteers, and overnight retreats or days of reflection during the year. For more information, visit the national office website at ivcusa.org; or contact one of the regional coordinators listed below:
Los Angeles: Anne Hansen, Regional Director: phone (805) 987-9807; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego: Margie Carroll, Regional Director: phone (619) 881-9509; e-mail email@example.com
Pat Doyle, Regional Coordinator: phone (858) 715-0900; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PICO National Network for community development
PICO National Network unites 1,000 community organizations representing 50 different religious denominations and faith traditions all working together to create innovative solutions to urban, suburban, and rural problems. PICO provides an opportunity for people and congregations to translate their faith into action through efforts such as rebuilding Lousiana, increasing access to health care, providing affordable housing, and making neighborhoods safer. For an overview of PICO and how to get involved in California, Louisiana, or elsewhere, visit PICOnetwork.org
Jesuit Alumni in Arizona
Jesuit Alumni in Arizona (JAZZ) has 2,000 members residing in Arizona who have attended Jesuit schools in the United States and abroad. Building on its members’ identification with Jesuit traditions, JAAZ sponsors monthly lectures (often by visiting Jesuits) and an annual prayer retreat. Lectures are often followed by wine-and-cheese parties which foster the group’s secondary goal of making friends with like minds and willing hearts for each other and for the Jesuits. There are no membership dues, but JAAZ welcomes tax-deductible donations. For more information, go to http://jaazsw.org/
West Coast Compañeros
The West Coast Compañeros is an organization of former members of the Society of Jesus as well as those who share their interests, including current Jesuits. Formed more than 20 years ago by former members of the California and Oregon provinces, the group now includes individuals from other provinces who are living on the West Coast. The Compañeros meet annually on a February weekend to make to renew friendships; to discuss the impact of their tenure in the Society on their lives and current activities; and to be briefed on the activities of California Province Jesuits and their lay colleagues. The Compañeros have been involved in supporting a number of Jesuit-affiliated ministries, including the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. For more information, visit westcoastcompanions.org