Vincentian Volunteers are Christian young people aged 18-35, from all over the world, who commit a year of their lives to the service of vulnerable people. During their year, they live in a community of three or four people and volunteer serving people who are impoverished, homeless, disabled, refugees or suffering with addictions.
Sr. Cecilia fcJ was asked to lead this year’s group of Vincentian Volunteers in Eccles for a pre-Christmas retreat day in December. These four young people have joined the Vincentian Volunteers Programme from Spain, Uganda and Indonesia. They apply to come for a year and live in a small group in Eccles, Manchester. Interviewed before they travel, these young people who have not met each other before, are ready to live and work in the city with disadvantaged people. They show great courage and generosity in coming out of their countries and all whom they know to share living accommodation in a small house for a year. Sr. Susan Molloy, Daughter of Charity, helps them to settle in and organise their schedules. She is the Coordinator of this enterprise, and has called on Cecilia fcJ each year to work with them on prayer.
They volunteers are given ‘pocket money’ each week, and learn how to travel to their places of work. Their placements are often working with people who are homeless, disabled or alcoholic in various parts of Manchester. The volunteers are responsible for their own cooking and share meals together at the end of each day.
These young people are inspiring to work with and show courage when faced with so many unknown challenges.