Change A Heart Franciscan Volunteer Program

Goal of Program

Change A Heart is an 11 month service experience that calls young adults to live and serve in the spirit of St. Francis, working with Pittsburgh nonprofits to help the most vulnerable. To inspire a sense of reverence, justice, and compassion by assisting those in need, and to instill a lifelong awareness of living. We do this by providing tools, resources and support so members can be intentional about living out their Christian call of modeling justice, peacemaking, hospitality, caring for the earth and all creation. Members' experiences impact not only themselves, but the local community of western Pennsylvania, and most importantly those who are marginalized by walking with clients and providing direct essential services. Rooted in the spirit of St. Francis, Change A Heart was founded in 1999 by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Since its inception, 112 members have served the needs of more than 100,000 vulnerable individuals through collaboration with 43 human service organizations.

Type of Placement

Education, Health Care, Social Services. Unique to our program, members serve in the ministry of their choice where members grow personally, professionally and spiritually to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Service sites are with nonprofit organizations in full-time positions that directly serve vulnerable populations. Applicants are encouraged to be open to the needs and availability of nonprofits and in conversation with Change A Heart staff regarding their interests and discernment.

Service Area

Pittsburgh, PA (urban)

Service Length

11 months, renewable.

Program Size

Our program is very sensitive to the needs of our members, and actually, that is what makes us so unique. We are small in size with no more than 6-8 members each year. Staff support is local.


This experience is challenging, but also rewarding and fulfilling. While there is no typical member background, all candidates must meet basic eligibility requirements: single men and women, ages 21 to 30, demonstrated openness, flexible, communicative, sense of humor, willingness to serve and be served, live and serve with others who may be different than you, share in a mutually supportive environment in which you can grow, favorably satisfy background check, high school diploma or GED, bachelors degree or work related equivalency. Appreciation for Franciscan spirituality a plus. Individuals of all work experiences, educational backgrounds, ethnicities and residential locations encouraged to apply.

Financial Arrangements

Room and board, personal stipend, food, transportation and loan deferment.

Living Arrangements

Members live in community with other members in urban neighborhood.


One-week orientation, five retreats, closing retreat. Retreats centered on Christian reflection, rest, prayer. All other training is provided by the service site and varies depending on the site.

Application Deadline

Our program is small, so space is limited. Early admission is given to applicants who apply prior to June 1; late admission deadline is July 1. Program year begins with orientation late-August; ends the following July. Applications accepted on rolling basis.

Start Date

August 20, 2023 (Changes per application year)


Patricia Moran


1575 McFarland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Phone: 412 334-4746


[email protected]


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Patricia Moran
830 Western Avenue
Phone: 412 334-4746
[email protected]

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Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities

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