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 Treasure the Experience
Our 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 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 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!
Tau Volunteers Prepare for Service
Our newest Tau Volunteers are well on their way to being a vital part of their service sites. Sarah Johnson and Jessie Brown took part in orientation the week of August 1, with some sessions shared by the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps (Cap Corps) volunteers.
Sarah and Jessie participated in sessions on basic volunteering etiquette, Catholic social teaching, radical listening, conflict resolution, and leadership skills. Our own School Sister orientation covered the community’s history and charism, as well as sessions on self-care and reviewing the program’s core values of service, community, and spirituality. Thank you to all the sisters and staff who helped with orientation!
Sarah is serving at the Cathedral of St. John in Milwaukee. Her duties include serving at the Open Door Café and reaching out to the guests to connect them to resources. Jessie is teaching fifth grade religion at Nativity Middle School as well as providing support to the school’s teachers and staff. Both women are very excited to “get going” at their service sites. Sarah and Jessie have also been able to attend several community activities such as the Associates and Sisters picnic this past weekend and the Feast of St. Clare celebration.
We will formally welcome our new volunteers into our School Sister of St. Francis community at the 10:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, September 11, which is the Associate Acceptance and Renewal Liturgy. This is an excellent opportunity for our volunteers to meet some of our associates and experience another element of vitality in our community.
As we begin our time with Jessie and Sarah, we will soon be saying good-bye to Martina Frankova, who will end her year of Tau Volunteer service with us on October 5. She made specific adjustments to her travel schedule so she would be able to stay for the Feast of St. Francis on October 4! Martina is a great example of what “being a Tau” looks like. We will miss her very much!
For more information, please contact:
Irene Perez, Tau Volunteer Program Coordinator
Phone: 414-385-5255 Fax: 414-385-5238