Glasgow: Jesuits launch new volunteer initiatve

 The Jesuits in Scotland have launched a new volunteering initiative to support some of the most disadvantaged individuals and communities in Glasgow. 
Sixteen placements are available, offering volunteers the chance to become involved with a variety of work throughout the city.  At present, they are comprised of parents and past pupils of St Aloysius’ College, parishioners and students, both Catholics andnon-Catholics.  All need to be committed to the Ignatian principle of service for others, combined with prayer and reflection.

"To date, volunteers already recruited  have a wide range of life  experiences," said GJV Co-ordinator, Lindsay Renucci. "Some are students;  others have busy careers, whilst others are not working or retired.  All bring precious gifts and talents to share with those less fortunate."
Once a month, volunteers will come together at the Ignatian Spirituality Centre and be led in small groups in spiritual reflection by Father Tom McGuinness, the Director of the Centre.

"Reflection is an important part of understanding our faith in greater depth and how that faith may be used to benefit the wider community," explains Lindsay.

"Although Ignatian in ethos, it is important to state that GJV is an ecumenical volunteer programme, welcoming all those with an active Christian faith."
The Jesuits have been working in Glasgow since the 1850s.  Much of their ministry in that  time has been in areas of enormous poverty and deprivation.  There are still those who face daily struggles of the most basic kind - access to warmth, sustenance, employment, education and decent housing.
"In this context," says Lindsay, "the Jesuit tenet of social justice, of being men andwomen for others, employed within a volunteering context, could have an enormous impact on those most needy - and on the volunteers themselves."
For some sections of Scottish society, a seemingly new social issue is that of immigration. "The large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers within Glasgow has led to increasing tension within certain communities.  Social exclusion through ignorance and fear has a debilitating effect on society, and therefore integrating displaced peoples within communities must be a priority."
Volunteers should be aged 18+ and be able to commit two to eight hours a week to their placement.  For more information, contact Lindsay Renucci at St Aloysius’ College  on 0141 331 9254 or  email:

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