April, 2024

Deadline Extended for Madonna Della Strada Registration

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps New England 12th annual Madonna Della Strada Ceremony will take place at Boston College High School on Sunday afternoon, April 21, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. Invitations and registration for this celebration are virtual. For more information and to register, sign up here. For hard copy invitations, contact IVC New England. Our registration deadline has been extended to Friday, April 12.

IVC honors three incredibly generous people this year: Jonathan Slavinskas, Christine Kavanagh, and Michael McGonagle. Our honorees:

Fr. Jonathan Slavinskas

Christine Kavanagh, RSM

Michael McGonagle

Father Jonathan Slavinskas  

Father Jonathan’s vocation was nurtured by his parents who instilled generosity, openness, and hospitality in him and by the parishioners and priests at Saint John’s Parish in Worcester. Attending public school in Worcester gave him an appreciation for the diversity of the people of his community.

Father Jonathan manifests his love of the community serving as Chaplain to the Fire and Police departments, celebrating Mass at nursing homes, supporting first responders, opening the gym to provide a safe space for young people, shepherding his parish flock and working to be the welcoming heart of Christ to all he encounters. 


Sister Christine Kavanagh, RSM

The number seven has played an important role in Sister Chris’ life.  She is the 7th child in her family; a volunteer experience in 7th grade gave her the focus for her ministry; and a seven-month retreat confirmed what she had been discerning: becoming a Sister of Mercy


Sister Chris founded and directs ReFocus, a multi-service program for adults with disabilities. She guides staff and the people they serve to grow together and enhance one another's lives. Her greatest joys are her work, the ocean, and her family of many nieces and nephews. 

Michael McGonagle

As a student athlete at Boston College High and Holy Cross College, Mike was influenced by the Jesuits. Returning to BC High to teach English, Mike developed and ran Ignatian retreats for students as Vice President for Ignatian Mission and Ministry. A past Jesuit Provincial confided that Jesuits have considered Mike one of their best apostolic partners in secondary education.  

In honor of his immigrant parents, Mike created a scholarship at BC High for children of immigrants. The former football team captain now leads the IVC as Regional Council Chair. He enjoys teaching at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham. Mike and his wife, Kay, have three daughters and an adorable granddaughter. 

Why Do We Celebrate the Madonna Della Strada?
The Madonna Della Strada award is named after Sancta Maria Della Strada, the first church that St. Ignatius and the early Jesuits obtained to serve the urban poor in the center of Rome.

The award honors lives that reflect the Ignatian values of direct service to the poor, and of working and educating for a more just society.

Click to learn more about the Madonna Della Strada.

RIP Joseph Appleyard, SJ, Jesuit Leader and IVC Friend

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps joins the many thousand people saddened by the death of Father Joseph Appleyard, SJ, at the Campion Center in Weston (MA) late last month.

Joe Appleyard was a long-time friend of IVC New England, counseling us in our beginning stages, guiding us through the intricacies of networking through Jesuit institutions and communities, then serving as a spiritual reflector until his final hours.

One of Joe's "reflectees" commented that "Joe was a lovely and brilliant man with a profound sense of Ignatian gratitude. He found happiness on Earth by using his talents to help and enrich others with his wisdom, humor and loving care and those gifts will spiral forward as love never dies."

Joe was known as a leader in Jesuit higher education around the country. He was a legend at Boston College where he served as professor of English, Honors Program director, English Department chair, and Jesuit Community rector. He was Boston College's first Vice President of University Mission and Ministry.

His wake and funeral will take place at Campion Center in Weston in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on Monday, April 8. The wake will begin at 8:45 am. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am. His burial will take place at Campion Center.

For more on the life of Joseph Appleyard, SJ, click here.

To Prospective Nonprofit Partners: Now is the Time to Apply

IVC New England currently works assists 35 community agencies including these:

St. John's Food for the Poor - Worcester

Cristo Rey Boston High School

Capuchin Mobile Ministries - Boston

IVC New England continues to seek new nonprofit partnerships for the 2024-2025 year. IVC New England works with agencies whose mission is to help those most in need in the Boston/Worcester/Providence area. April is the best time to contact us. Our incoming members begin interviews in May.

Ignatian Volunteers are women and men, 50 years of age or better, with lifetimes of experience. Our service corps members commit to ten months of service, working one or two full days per week from September through June. Nonprofit partners commit to a modest partnership fee, an engaging job description, and a healthy, respectful welcome of our volunteers as members of your team.

For a flyer that more fully explains how an Ignatian Volunteer can expand and deepen your mission, click here. For a listing of current volunteers and their assignments, click here. Check out our website to learn more about us, or send us an email: [email protected].

Star Wars and Spirituality - New Book by Eric Clayton

Eric Clayton, Deputy Director of Communications for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, has written a new book: My Life with the Jedi: The Spirituality of Star Wars. Eric directed last year's IVC New England January Day of Reflection and his first book, Cannonball Moments, is being used by IVC communities across the country for monthly spiritual reflection this year.

Eric comments on why his latest book might spark interest among followers of Ignatian Spirituality: “Star Wars isn’t all laser swords and space wizards; at the heart of this global franchise is a call to discern between forces of light and dark. For those of us in the Ignatian tradition, this might sound familiar. After all, Ignatius of Loyola has a whole spiritual system dedicated to ferreting out the dark side in favor of the light."

For more about the dialogue between Star Wars and Ignatian Spirituality or to purchase Eric's book, click here.

Ignatian Spirituality Project Celebrates 25 Years of Hope and Recovery

This year, the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP), a long time partner of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, is celebrating 25 years of spiritual care and community with women and men recovering from homelessness and addiction in more than twenty USA cities.

ISP welcomes all to join a night of inspiration and storytelling, 2024 Company of Grace: The Power of Sacred Stories, with special guest David Brooks, New York times bestselling author, who will speak about the transformative power of authentic relationships in our world today. Join ISP for this virtual program by registering here. This livestream program begins at 8 pm on Thursday, April 25. Virtual tickets are free.

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