Become a Tau Volunteer

The Tau Volunteer Program offers a transformative experience for post-graduate women, at least 21 years old, who are looking to share service, community and spirituality with the School Sisters of St. Francis.


Tau Volunteers participating in a walk for the hungry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

 

Tau Volunteers Sarah Johnson and Cassie Shultz joined sisters, associates and staff as they participated in the Capuchins’ Run-Walk for the Hungry at Polish Fest on June 16 at the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With 65 walkers, the School Sisters of St. Francis had the second-largest team at this year’s event, and the money raised will benefit St. Ben's Community Meal and House of Peace.

 

 

 


 


Border Reflection

By Jessie Brown, Tau Volunteer

Tau Volunteers on the U.S./Mexico BorderWhen I came back to Nativity Jesuit Academy after the El Paso trip, all of my co-workers asked me about my journey. To each of them I gave the same response: “Intense, but informative.” Being on the border for the week was one of the most challenging times, but it helped me to grow in ways I am still processing. It is one thing to read about life on the border, but another to be face to face with it. (Jessie [left] with fellow Tau Volunteers Cassie and Sarah, with the El Paso-Juárez skyline in the background.)

Nothing could prepare me for the times I spent in Juárez: having to listen to lawyers explaining to people how they could protect themselves from a government that abuses its power to take advantage of those most in need, or to the kindness and generosity of those who had little to give, yet shared their food and safe space with us.

Throughout our time there, we met with health care providers, lawyers, housekeepers, and even a border patrol agent who told us of their experiences on la frontera. From their stories, I've come to realize a very important thing. In a world filled with a consumer mentality, it's easy to forget the immigrant who picked your coffee beans for breakfast, or picked the tomato you put on your sandwich for lunch. It is very easy for us to forget that behind everything we have, there is a person who has helped us to achieve it.

In la frontera, you do not just meet with a wall. You come face to face with those people, and realize what the wall truly is. That wall is really a cage we have put ourselves in to keep out the reality of human suffering. It is a self-made prison created to put a false sense of security around us all, and with each new immigrant who comes to this country and tells his or her story, we begin to realize the reality of where we put ourselves.

So let me end with an offering of thanks: Thank you, God, for those who cross that border, for those who wake us up to the reality of human life, in joys and suffering, in kindness and cruelty, in all things which make us human. I pray that those saviors of humanity may persevere and forgive us for the hardships we have made them endure. And I pray that one day, we may be brave enough to step out of our cages, and find the face of love and freedom we see in You in all of Your people. And so, Amen.


Tau Volunteers Treasure the Experience

Jessie BrownOur wonderful Tau Volunteers have been with us for 6 months already! Where does the time go? I’ll let the volunteers themselves tell you…

Jessie Brown is serving at Nativity Jesuit Academy working with almost all the grades as a teacher’s assistant, and working very specifically as a religion teacher for the older grades. Jessie’s first six months have been filled with classroom and subject plans, grading papers and bonding with her students. One fifth-grade student told her that she was a great teacher – and that was so endearing for Jessie. Jessie lives with the sisters at Blessed Sacrament and is also experiencing the kindness of “her sisters,” and their availability to talk things over, pray together, share meals and just plain enjoy life together.

Sarah JohnsonSarah Johnson serves the Cathedral of St. John in a variety of ways. She helps with the daily lunch meal and handing out of bag lunches at the Open Door Café, as well as being available to the homeless guests in search of other community resources. Her experience in working with the guests at the Open Door Café has been an extraordinary journey, one that has confirmed her decision to be a social worker. Sarah has a degree in social work, but there’s nothing like hands-on reality! Sarah also lives with the Blessed Sacrament sisters and this has proven to be one of the greatest blessings of her service year. Sarah has decided to “do” another year as a Tau Volunteer as she discerns her next steps: grad school, where and what to concentrate on.

Cassie ShultzCassie Shultz serves as a teacher’s and staff assistant at Notre Dame Primary School. She is a “jane of all trades” at the school and it’s a very good thing that she is a flexible as she is. Cassie has been able to identify a number of needs at the school that even the staff hadn’t been aware of! She is totally enchanted by the students, and it’s been a huge blessing for her to watch them grow and learn. Cassie lives with the sisters at Maryhill and enjoys it so much, especially the evening prayer with the sisters, which is one of the best things for her.

All of our Tau Volunteers have been able to participate in many events and offerings of the community. They have had the opportunity to participate in everything from fun outings to more serious discussions about peace and justice issues. All of them feel strongly that learning more about peace and justice has been one the strongest aspects of the Tau program…and the fun events haven’t been too shabby either!


For more information, please contact:
Irene Perez, Tau Volunteer Program Coordinator
Phone: 414-385-5255 Fax: 414-385-5238
e-mail: iperez@sssf.org