The Catholic Volunteer Network website (www.catholicvolunteernetwork.org) led me Benedictine Volunteers. The discernment program of Benedictine Volunteers was an aspect that strongly influenced my decision to volunteer. I knew that I wanted a service experience that also helped me discern my vocation, and Benedictine Volunteers’ focus on discernment was very appealing
|Benedictine, Molly Trainor works hand-in-hand with Sister Aurelia Palm, OSB, master gardener of Mother of God Monastery in Watertown, South Dakota. Molly and Sister Aurelia harvest rhubarb together with the monastery companion, Abbey.
2. What does an average day look like for you?
In my average day, I wake up early because I like the time to prepare for the day before morning prayer at eight. After morning prayer, I might help Sister Aurelia in the monastery gardens or assist the director of Habitat for Humanity Greater Watertown Region. After, it’s time for Mass in the chapel, catching up with the Sisters over lunch, and then a short midday prayer. Depending on my schedule, I then head to the Benedictine Multicultural Center to help with English as a Second Language classes or to Benet Place Independent and Assisted Senior Living where I visit with residents. Afterward, I return to the monastery for my favorite part of the day: evening prayer and supper with the Sisters, followed by community recreation.
3. How has service strengthened your faith and your understanding of vocation?
By showing me the value of serving my brothers and sisters in Christ, service reinforced for me that we are all in solidarity in the Universal Church. Service allowed me to step out of myself and my own desires, drawing me closer to the Lord. It also strengthened my understanding of vocation by showing me that my call is largely where my skills, my interests, and the needs of the world intersect. Service helped me see that, while I have to be open to all the paths God may choose for me, whatever the path, it will be one to which I am uniquely suited.
|Benedictine volunteer, Molly Trainor helps Sister Charles Palm, OSB with a Native American Children’s Summer Camp in Fort Thompson, South Dakota.
4. What have you learned from living and working with the sisters?
5. What advice would you give to someone interested in full-time volunteer service?
I would recommend full-time volunteer service because it’s a wonderful opportunity to let God guide your life. It was a great experience for me, one that I wouldn’t have thought I could handle before I immersed myself in it. If someone is truly interested in full-time service, that is probably a good indication that they would navigate it successfully
and grow from the experience.
|Sister Adrienne Kaufmann, OSB (right) and Patricia Nguyen, Director of Benedictine Volunteers (left) say ‘thank you’ to Benedictine volunteer, Molly Trainor (center) for her 3-months of service at Mother of God Monastery in Watertown, South Dakota
To learn more about CVN’s From Service to Sisterhood initiative and discernment resources for volunteers, please click here.
For more information about National Catholic Sisters Week, including details about events taking place all over the U.S. please click here