Program Pillars

Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry is structured around five pillars, which volunteers reflect on throughout their year. They serve as the foundation for the year of service and impact life beyond the year as well.

  • Grow Spiritually:
    • As BSVM volunteers experience life and relationships in Baltimore and Richmond, in their service sites and in their own intentional community, staff guides them in interfacing these experiences with Catholic Social Teaching and prayer. The hope is that the volunteers deepen their own spirituality, develop a sense of openness towards the diversity of others’ spiritual lives and  come to recognize Christ within all those they serve so they may grow closer to God as they serve.

  • Learn through Service with Others:
    • Ministry volunteers do meaningful daily work that makes a concrete impact in the department or organization hosting them. BSVM specifically and carefully establishes ministry placement sites that foster transformation by giving the volunteers the opportunity to build relationships.  This means wherever volunteers are serving, they spend at least 80% of their time in direct contact with neighbors who have faced oppression, racism, and systemic injustice, and volunteer accompany neighbors in overcoming these challenges.

  • Develop Community: 
    • Volunteers commit to live in intentional community for the year, and the closest comparison for this living situation is living together not simply as roommates, but as a family would. Living in community is in many ways the most important commitment you make, as your commitment is intertwined with your fellow volunteers. You will have dinner together several times a week, pray together regularly, reflect on your service experiences formally and informally, and lean on each other for support throughout the year. Living in intentional community is an enriching, challenging, and beautiful experience.

  •  Practice God’s Justice: 
    • This pillar is grounded in forming relationships.  Volunteers experience and reflect on how God’s Justice occurs when humanity lives in right or mutual relationship with one another.  As part of formation, ministry volunteers use scripture and the Gospels to examine Jesus’ life and teachings, witness what right relationship looks like, and apply it to their work and community life. Ministry volunteers are supported and guided towards understanding, in a deep way, that how we relate to ourselves, to the environment, and to others, is our collaboration with God in furthering God’s just and peaceful Kingdom.

  • Live Simply:
    • Living simply, is at its heart, relational as well. Ministry volunteers are asked to live in a way in which they are aware of how much they consume and how that consumption affects other people and creation. This moves volunteers towards making choices that foster equality and a fairer distribution of resources, and instills long term appreciation for the many ways, materially and beyond, that our lives are integrated with our neighbors.