December, 2023

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Christine Eblerle to Lead IVC New England Day of Reflection

Retreat Leader and Author Christine Eblerle will lead IVC New England in its annual Day of Reflection at St. Ignatius parish in Chestnut Hill on January 5. Christine is a long-time friend and member of the IVC community, assisting IVC nationally, virtually, and in her home region of Philadelphia.

Christine is the author of two books, Finding God in Ordinary Time and Finding God Abiding. Her first book was used for reflection by all IVC regions several years ago. Finding God Abiding will be the IVC New England source material for reflection in early 2024. Christine walked the Camino Ignaciano last year and has a third book ready for publication on that experience.

15 Years and Still Going Strong: IVC New England Celebrates

Mary McGinnity Thanks Our Core Community

Claudio Burgaleta, SJ leads us in liturgy

Ten Years of IVC Service: Thank You, Kevin Ryan!

Nearly sixty IVC New England "Core Community" members, former volunteers, spouses and family, gathered at Saint Peter Faber Jesuit Community in Brighton on December 3, to celebrate Advent and fifteen years of Ignatian Volunteer Corps presence in New England. "Core Community" has come to refer to the volunteers, spiritual reflectors, and regional council members who make up the IVC community.

Claudio Burgaleta, SJ, newly installed rector of the Jesuit Community at Boston College, led us in the liturgy of the First Sunday of Advent, drawing three essential themes from these Advent readings: God, the potter, molding us, the clay; the spiritual gifts that are ours; and the call to be awake and ready for the coming of God in our lives.

As has become a tradition in New England, following Mass. IVC New England Director Dave Hinchen, presented several Core Community members gift baskets of Fair Trade and IVC products for their service. Those receiving tribute for five years of service were IVC volunteers Helen Kay (My Brother's Keeper), Joe McCarthy (Highlander Charter School), and Jane Leonard (Rian Immigrant Center).

Ten-year honorees were: Joan Martin for her volunteer service at Cristo Rey Boston High School; Shannon Carroll (President/CEO of the Genesis Center in Providence) for her work on the IVC New England Regional Council; and Kevin Ryan (Ignatian Spirituality Project) for his dual commitment as an Ignatian Volunteer and an IVC New England Regional Council member.

After the presentation of awards in the chapel, IVC President/CEO Mary McGinnity thanked those present for their service and for being part of a very vibrant and strong IVC community, Then, all joyfully adjourned for refreshments, camaraderie, and conversation. A good time was had by all!

IVC thanks the Peter Faber Jesuit community, for their hospitality and help in welcoming us as we come together to celebrate our shared mission and community each Advent season.

An Advent/Christmas Story

IVC New England Service Corps Member Karen Brennan (Genesis Center, Providence) shares this Advent Story from a year ago:

Many students at Genesis face financial challenges and lead very busy lives with ESOL and citizenship classes, childcare, jobs, and maintaining their households. This past winter was especially hard with sky high inflation.

As the first semester was winding down and Christmas approached, I told my students that on the last day before break I would bring in a snack consisting of coffee and muffins and we would read an abridged version of The Gift of the Magi together. I thought it would be a simple and nice way to end the semester.

So I arrived on that final Friday with coffee and muffins and set them up on a small table. I was surprised when students began happily and excitedly trickling in to class weighted down by large trays and overflowing pans filled with all kinds of meats, beans, vegetables, fruit, and pastries representative of their countries of origin. The snack had evolved into a banquet and before long I think we had enough home cooked food to feed the entire city of Providence.

There was much laughter, singing, and even dancing as we sampled treats prepared with love and shared with unbridled generosity. We eventually got to reading the Gift of the Magi and I don't think the short story's theme was lost on these students. They had just generously given not only their time, talent, and treasure, but also themselves, much like Della and Jim in O. Henry's classic Christmas story.

Advent Resources for Reflection and Action

Sign up to receive daily meditations from Ignatian writers on annual traditions they look to in order to prepare for Christmas. Click here to sign up for Finding God in the Christmas Prep. This is organized by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. (Loyola University Press) offers Advent Resources, which includes Arts & Faith, Advent Weekly Video Reflections, and links to podcasts and articles. 

The Office of Ignatian Spirituality of the Jesuits East USA province is offering Advent Audio Reflections.  

Our Work Continues/Our Partners are Many

Casserly House

Catholic Charities

IVC New England service corps members are now assisting 35 nonprofit agencies based in nine Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities. Each of these schools, churches, and community agencies offers a spark of light in the darkness to those in need, and hope in the days leading up to Christmas.

IVC New England volunteers are engaged in confronting needs in education, immigration, homelessness, food scarcity, and much more. Consider joining us in our work in whatever way you can.

For a list of all IVC New England Volunteers and Placements click here. For a listing of current openings in IVC New England, click here.

Best wishes for a joyful Advent, a blessed Christmas, and a New Year filled with peace, opportunity, and hope!

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