For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!
These words of Dag Hammarskjöld seem appropriate as we celebrate and express gratitude for Dominican Volunteers USA.
For the past 20 years, Dominican Volunteers USA has partnered with congregations of Dominican Sisters and provinces of Dominican Friars, organizing volunteers to respond to the injustices of our day. Through this unique program, volunteers have ministered alongside Sisters and Friars throughout the United States. While sponsoring organizations have provided monetary support, ministry sites, and living accommodations, volunteers have given at least 10 months of their lives in ministry, especially with those who are poor and marginalized.
DVUSA has continued to read the signs of the times and it has become apparent that the purpose of DVUSA has been accomplished. The model of volunteers living within diverse, intergenerational communities of vowed women and men while living out the Dominican mission of preaching the Gospel through the four pillars of Dominican life will come to fulfillment in July 2022. This unique program has become more and more difficult to sustain and the pandemic has challenged in-person ministry as well as community living possibilities. Directors Megan Rupp and Stephanie Zavela, both former Dominican volunteers, as well as this year’s volunteers and their communities, have navigated these past months with patience, determination, creativity and humor.
While the mission of DVUSA may be fulfilled, we know the Dominican Charism continues to live on through the lives of almost 300 volunteers. Throughout the past two decades, the generous women and men who have been a part of DVUSA have come away with changed lives.
While our congregation, which has been a sponsor of DVUSA, is saddened at the closing of DVUSA, we are grateful for all the volunteers as well as the ministries and communities in which they served. Sister Kathleen Donnelly serves on the Board of Trustees and Sister Eileen Gannon serves on the Board of Directors.
By Sister Eileen Gannon, OP
Sister Eileen serves on the leadership team
for the Sparkill Dominicans