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Missionaries of Sacred Heart seeking volunteers

By Ann Marie Foley - 14 January, 2014

msc volunteer Picture1A chance to make a difference in the world is how the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) describe their volunteering programme.

They are inviting young people to join the MSC Volunteering Project as a new challenge in 2014.

Fr Alan Neville explained that the congregation are seeking people between the ages of 23 and 40 who might have some practical skills such as teaching, nursing, carpentry, electrics, mechanics and anything else.

“There is some fundraising involved, but not too much. We look to support the children, but also to share our skills with others. For our volunteers, it’s a learning experience that they will never forget. The Project made a deep impression on last year’s volunteers,” he said.

Last year was the inaugural year of the programme and the volunteers went to South Africa to work alongside MSC Sisters and Brothers for ten weeks.

They were based in the Holy Family Centre in the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains in the Limpopo Province.

missionaries-of-gods-love-150x150It is a home for up to seventy children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or TB. They range in age from babies and toddlers to teenagers.

“Working with the kids was absolutely outstanding. They’re so full of life and energy; they keep you on your toes and the kids are great at helping in any way they can,” one 2013 volunteer, Kevin Murphy, recalled. 

“The feeling when you see the kids laugh and smile, you can’t put a price on it,” the electrician from outside Glasgow said.

Another volunteer, Joanie, said that she felt she had learned more from the children than they had from her and her colleagues.

“A beautiful place, a great team and the most adorable children on the planet made for a summer I will cherish dearly!” Karen Sheehan, a secondary school teacher from Schull, Co Cork, said.

msc fr Alan-11It is hoped to expand the volunteering programme this year and to repeat some of the many activities that took place in 2013.

These included festivals, a walk on the Camino, World Youth Day on the Copacabana Beach, and ‘Vocations Road Trips’.

“Each of these events has created a space that allowed people to reflect on their lives and discern how God was calling them. They were about celebrating faith and reminding us that God has a plan of everyone, a plan that encourages us to be our truest selves,” Fr Alan Neville, MSC Vocations Director, said.

This year, the young people will attend festivals, including the Spirit in the City in London and Kingdom Come in Walsingham; and another walk on the Camino and participation in a ministry of welcome in Santiago Cathedral.

In August a group will go to Medjugorje for the Annual Youth Festival.

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