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Ignatian Lay Volunteers

The Ignatian Lay Volunteer program provides an opportunity for men and women who have completed Annotation 19 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to serve some of Winnipeg’s poorest and most marginalized citizens by volunteering in hands-on street level ministries, by working toward social change through justice rooted in gospel values, to help create a more just society and by being a voice for the voiceless. Volunteers are supported in their experience and encouraged to grow deeper in Christian faith through prayer, action through service experience with the poor, reflection, evaluation and the spiritual dynamics of Ignatian spirituality.

Ignatian Lay Volunteers bring their graced history, an abundance of experience, formation received through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and their gifts and talents to the service of the poor in their communities. Preserving the dignity of all individuals regardless of race, colour, creed or social standing is central to the mission of ILVs as is the search for the presence of God to be found in all things.

One of the strengths of the Ignatian Volunteer program is the Ignatian formation each volunteer receives through Annotation [19] of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius given here at the St. Ignatius Adult Education Centre over the course of 30 weeks prior to participation in the Ignatian Lay Volunteer program. This formation helps people to respond with generosity to St. Ignatius' words in the Contemplation to Gain Love that "love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words" (#230) and hear the call to respond to the need to build up "...the community of love that offers life to all". Participation in the ILV program helps provide a community of individuals who openly share their values and deepest desires and are supported and encouraged in their volunteer efforts.

Volunteers are asked to volunteer a minimum of two hours per week in a hands on street level ministry in the City of Winnipeg. Volunteer placements have included House of Hesed which is a home for people living with AIDS, Immaculate Conception Soup Kitchen which provides approximately 350 hot lunches each Sunday in one of our poorest neighborhoods, Alpha House which is a safe house for abused women and children, Artbeat Studio which enables consumers of mental health services the opportunity to engage in creative expression for the purpose of promoting recovery and empowerment through art activity and working with refugees and a couple of nursing homes in the city.

Volunteers are asked to attend three retreat days during the year, a monthly group meeting with a focus on sharing how each individual volunteer found God in their experience and to read and be prepared to discuss at the meetings various books on Ignatian spirituality.

For more information contact please contact Valerie: educationcenter@stignatiusparish.ca

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