Tau Volunteer Martina Frankova

“Thank you for all the love and joy I experienced during my year. I found that God can be manifested in entirely unexpected ways.”

Martina Frankova, 2015 – 2016

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.

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Who Are Tau Volunteers?

Tau Volunteers unite with the School Sisters of St. Francis in serving our brothers and sisters who live in unjust situations, at the margins of our society. Tau Volunteers share the sisters’ mission to build a more just and peaceful world. Inspired by the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, Tau Volunteers share their gifts by fostering peace, serving those in need, and encouraging respect for all of God’s creation,thereby becoming the Franciscan face of the Gospel in our intercultural world.

Why Franciscan-Based Service?

The opportunity for a service experience based on the model and message of St. Francis and St. Clare brings to you this great privilege -- to follow your life’s quest. These saints are great examples of persons whose lives were rooted in God’s love, giving their life real purpose and meaning. Not only will your time of service provide an opportunity for self-discovery and purpose, it will be an opportunity to build loving relationships in community, in the service you do, and with God. The time you spend intentionally modeling the peacemaking, simplicity, love and service of St. Francis and St. Clare will impact the rest of your life.

What Tau Volunteers Do

There are no “typical” days for our Tau Volunteers. Each day may bring the opportunity for a Tau Volunteer to serve in a broad spectrum of ways, touching the lives of those who need assistance with:

  • Adult literacy
  • Education support and mentoring for adults and children
  • English as a Second Language classes
  • Health care
  • Social services
  • Senior care
  • Homeless shelter and outreach
  • Food programs and meal sites
  • Immigrant services
  • Art or music therapy
Where Tau Volunteers Serve

Notre Dame Schools

Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee are Catholic primary and middle schools serving children on the south side of Milwaukee in the heart of our Hispanic community. They provide a unique learning environment empowering at-risk children to break through socio-economic obstacles. The schools are dedicated to advancing the educational, spiritual, and overall well-being of students through small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and strong leadership.

Tau Volunteers have been instrumental in providing support to teachers, administration, and parents – working one on one with students, preparing class projects, and assisting with activities.

Nativity Jesuit Academy

Nativity Jesuit Academy is a Catholic, Jesuit urban school serving young men and women. The school prepares students, in partnership with their families, for Christian leadership and service in high school, college, and life. Our mission is to educate youth for a life of Christian leadership and service. The school’s values are: love, kindness, intellectual excellence, justice and growth.

Tau Volunteers have played an important role in helping students to live out the school’s mission and values. Tau Volunteers have served as teacher and administrative aides, religion teachers, and models of solid Christian values.

Capuchin Community Services (CCS)

Inspired by the gospel of Jesus and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, Capuchin Community Services—together with partners in ministry—builds sisterhood and brotherhood in the world. The many ministries of CCS attend simply and directly to the daily spiritual and material needs of the disenfranchised in our community, promoting justice for all.

Tau Volunteers may serve in several of CCS ministries, such as at a daily meal site, clothing bank, advocacy, legal and health clinics, and spiritual nourishment.

Open Door Café and Outreach Services

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is a welcoming community committed to growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ. We serve as a beacon of faith and an advocate for people who are poor and marginalized. Our Open Door Café serves lunch to our neighbors who are struggling with homelessness and related challenges. We believe in a God of goodness without limits, who pours out love and who opens doors of care and opportunity all the time. Tau Volunteers assist with the operations of the café and reach out to guests by offering a listening and friendly heart. Guests are provided with information on community resources, and Tau Volunteers help guests connect with those resources.

Voces de la Frontera – Sanctuary Movement

Voces de la Frontera is the leading organization for the rights of immigrants in Wisconsin. The work supports low-income immigrant workers through legal clinics, workshops, English as a Second Language and citizenship classes. Voces de la Frontera is committed to assist and organize community resources for the benefit of the humane treatment of immigrants in the United States. The Sanctuary Movement is the faith-based component of Voces de la Frontera dedicated to educate and engage allies in faith community of Milwaukee to reach out to families dealing with immigration and deportation issues.

Tau Volunteers assist with intake of new clients, registration for know your rights classes, educating and planning informational sessions at faith communities. Volunteers must speak Spanish.

School Sisters of St. Francis – St. Joseph and Sacred Heart Convents

Our convents for retired sisters offer a full spectrum of care and activities based on our sisters’ interests and abilities. There are many opportunities to deepen and enrich sisters’ lives, spirituality, and on-going interest in the world at large.

Tau Volunteers have the opportunity to assist with planning activities, help staff with daily needs, and provide companionship. Tau Volunteers with appropriate education and/or training may be allowed to assist with pastoral or personal care.

Why be a Tau Volunteer?

Tau Volunteers come from all walks of life and from all over the United States. We invite Tau Volunteers to join us in meeting and serving those most in need, our brothers and sisters on the margins. Tau Volunteers have the unique opportunity to be “Good News” bearers and being the Franciscan face of the Gospel in our intercultural world.

Being a Tau Volunteer has intangible benefits…

  • Personal growth: opportunities for learning, not just new tasks and skills, but learning about yourself, your relationship with God and how you live that out.
  • Service to others: giving creative expression to your gifts and feeling that your life and your gifts contribute to the well-being of others.
  • A wider worldview: a better understanding of global issues that affect many people who struggle to survive and thrive in today’s world.
  • A Franciscan based social network: personal relationships with sisters, associates, and other Tau Volunteer program volunteers who will be friends along the way!

...and tangible benefits:

  • Full room and board
  • Transportation to and from your service site
  • Orientation at the historic School Sisters of St. Francis Motherhouse in Milwaukee
  • Open invitation to participate in social, educational, and spiritual programs with the School Sisters of St. Francis
  • Opportunities for spiritual growth and spiritual direction
How to become a Tau Volunteer

After learning about our Tau Volunteer Program through these web pages, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I:

  • a single woman with no dependents?
  • 21 years of age or older, post-graduate, in my senior year of college or comparable life experience?
  • of sound body, mind, and spirit?
  • a woman of prayer and reflection?
  • a woman who has some volunteer experience?
  • flexible, with my time and energy?
  • passionate about using my gifts and talents to serve those in need in our society?
  • open to new experiences and interactions with those in different age, race, and class groups than my own?

Can I:

  • commit to living in intentional community with the School Sisters of St. Francis?
  • commit to serving those in need in our society?
  • commit to exploring and developing my own spirituality in the Franciscan tradition of the Catholic Church?

If you answered YES to these questions, then the Tau Volunteer Program could be a great fit for you!

Great! How do I apply?
For your benefit, it’s a good idea to contact us at least eight (8) weeks before you would like to serve. Candidates for our Tau Volunteer program will be asked to fill out a comprehensive application, provide a resume and references, fill out disclosure forms, and take part in a phone or Skype interview. The best way to start, however, is to send us an initial email. We will be delighted to hear from you!

Jesse Brown"I was encouraged to be creative and explore being a teacher, to learn about social justice, and find joy in living in community. This year was awesome! "

Jessie Brown, 2016-2017


Updates/News Items:

Tau Volunteers participate in the Capuchins Run/Walk for the Hungary in Milwaukee


Caption: 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.

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Irene Perez

For more information, please contact:
Irene Perez, Tau Volunteer Program Coordinator
Phone: 414-385-5255 Fax: 414-385-5238