Program Pillars

Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry is structured around 5 pillars, which volunteers reflect on throughout the year. They serve as the foundation for their year of service and hopefully for their lives after completing the program, 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:
    • BSVM carefully establishes service sites that will foster transformation by giving the volunteers the opportunity to build relationships.  When evaluating a service site, BSVM looks for sites where the volunteers have direct contact with individuals in need during at least 80% of their service time. We want the sites to provide the volunteers with meaningful work that will make an impact on the department or the organization hosting them.

  • Develop Community: 
    • Volunteers commit to live intentional community for the year, or as a past volunteer group put it: “The longest sleepover ever.” The closest comparison for this living situation is that they live together as a family would, not simply as roommates. Volunteers have dinner together several times a week, pray together every week, reflect on their service experiences, and lean on each other for support throughout the year. Living in intentional is a fun, challenging, and beautiful experience.

  •  Practice God’s Justice: 
    • Practice God’s Justice is grounded in relationship.  Volunteers reflect on how God’s Justice occurs when humanity lives in right or mutual relationship.  As part of their formation, BSVM uses scripture and the Gospels to examine Jesus’ life and teachings. We hope volunteers understand, in a deep way, that how we relate to others, to ourselves and to the environment is our collaboration with God in furthering the just and peaceful Kingdom of God.

  • Live Simply:
    • Living simply, is at its heart, relational as well.   The volunteers experience that when they live in a way in which they are aware of how much they consume and how that consumption effects other people and creation,  they can then begin to make choices that foster the equal distribution of resources.  Our goal is for the volunteers to walk away from their year of service with an appreciation for the many ways that living simply not only effects their lives but the lives of others as well.