About the Program

“Live good lives and you will change the times by living good lives.” ~St. Augustine

Mission
Affiliation
Requirements
Areas of Service
Type of Placement
Length of Service
Financial Arrangements
Living Arrangements
Size of Program
Training
Application Deadline

Mission

Augustinian Volunteers are Catholic men and women who wish to serve God’s people in partnership with the Augustinian Order and others. The service of the volunteers is with established educational, social, and health programs and varies according to the needs of the sponsoring site and the individual volunteer.

The experience of the Augustinian Volunteers is designed to facilitate a person’s desire to serve others. It is also focused on the volunteer’s personal and spiritual development in the Augustinian tradition. By building and living in community with other volunteers and forming relationships with local Augustinian communities, the volunteers' lives are enriched, even as they enrich the lives of others.

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Affiliation

The Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, Roman Catholic. In the late 1700's, the first Augustinians came to the United States as missionaries. They established parishes and schools for the growing Catholic immigrant population. In keeping with the spirit of our ancestors, the Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova continue this tradition of service to God's people at Villanova University, Merrimack College, multiple parishes and high schools, and missions in Japan and Peru. The expanding commitment of the Augustinians is to serve those directly impacted by poverty. Young lay men and women are invited to share this vision and serve through the various placements listed below.

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Requirements

All volunteers must be between the ages of 21 and 29 years of age. We are looking for men and women with a college degree who are flexible in regards to placement and ministry/job. Volunteers should also be committed to a Christian lifestyle, have the ability to live with others in a community-like setting and possess a desire to serve the poor and needy. We expect our volunteers to be open-minded and possess a sense of humor. For those serious about this commitment, the application process and acceptance are followed by placement and program orientation.

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Areas of Service

At this time, our domestic placement sites are Chicago, Illinois; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; and Ventura, California. We also have one international site located in Chulucanas, Peru. Service opportunities vary in each location. This program establishes a direct link between the service of the Augustinians and the service of those who serve in partnership with them.

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Type of Placement

The kinds of service placements vary. Some of the placements offered include serving in schools (as instructors, teacher’s aids, campus ministers, mentors, coaches, assistants in after school programs, etc.), social service agencies (such as serving in homeless shelters, serving with pregnant women, serving in an orphanage, etc.), and a variety of other possible placements. We work with each volunteer to find and offer a placement that can utilize the gifts and talents of each volunteer, while recognizing the pre-existing needs of the local communities in which they live and serve. While we are dedicated to the goodness of the service that a volunteer may provide, we are equally interested in finding a service situation where the volunteer will experience a sense of personal and spiritual growth.

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Length of Service

Augustinian Volunteers have both international and domestic placements. The domestic placements are a 10-month commitment, beginning in late August with a week-long orientation and ending in late June/early July at the end-of-year retreat. The volunteers begin serving on site in early September and end in the last week of June. The volunteers receive about two weeks off at Christmas, during which time a mid-year retreat is held.

The international placements are an 11-month commitment, beginning in early January and ending with a re-entry retreat in mid-December. The international volunteers are also required to attend orientation with the domestic volunteers in late August. After the August orientation, they have limited responsibilities to the program until they arrive in January to depart to their service sites.

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Financial Arrangements

Augustinian Volunteers will provide the volunteers with room and board, health insurance, transportation to and from the site and all necessary living costs consistent with our philosophy of simple living. Each domestic volunteer will receive a monthly personal stipend over and above room and board. Loan deferment may be available.

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Living Arrangements

Augustinian Volunteers live in either houses or apartments, typically with both men and women. The sizes of the communities can range from 3 to 6 people. The volunteers agree to live in an intentional community that is meant to foster growth on an individual as well as communal level.

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Size of Program

This year our program has 19 volunteers serving in four different sites across the country, as well as in Peru. As the program continues to grow, we expect to see the number of sites and the number of volunteers increase.

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Training

An orientation program for all domestic and international volunteers will take place in late August. Departure to the site of service for domestic volunteers will follow the orientation. There will also be two retreat experiences during the year and at the end of the year, to provide the volunteers with opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Other training will be done on site to help prepare each volunteer for both the living and serving situations.

All international volunteers are required to attend orientation in August. In addition, international volunteers will gather for another short orientation experience a few days prior to leaving for their sites in early January. There will also be a re-entry retreat to help the volunteers process their experiences when they return to the United States in December. Other training will be completed as necessary.

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Application Deadline

Acceptance into the Augustinian Volunteers is done on a rolling basis. As a result, priority is given to those who apply by March 15, but applications will continue to be accepted until all positions are filled. We are still accepting applications for the 2015 Peru volunteer community!

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