Hope Volunteer Community

“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change… Young people demand change…. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.”  Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 13

HOPE Volunteers

With a vision for a better, more sustainable future, HOPE Volunteers strive to embody the mission and legacy of the Dominican Sisters of Hope through their commitment to service, spirituality, advocacy for the earth, and commitment to justice.

Living and serving at the Center at Mariandale, a retreat center 30 miles north of New York City on sixty-four acres along the Hudson River, in Ossining, NY, these post-college volunteers engage the Dominican charism through a year-long program founded on these key practices: living in community; pursuing studies at an area university; valuing the spiritual life, ecological practices and contemplation; gardening and caring for the earth; promoting ecological sustainability, engaging young people on retreat opportunities, and serving the poor. HOPE Volunteers serve 15-20 hours a week, allowing time to pursue graduate degrees while participating in the program; room and partial board are covered.

The Center at Mariandale

The Center at Mariandale in Ossining, NY is a place of hospitality for all who seek spiritual, personal, and communal growth. With multiple meeting spaces and 44 single rooms, the Center is open for day-long and overnight retreats and conferences. The property includes nature trails, an organic garden, a swimming pool, a labyrinth, and many benches that allow time for quiet and solitude. Care of Earth, reflection through the arts, wellness practices, contemplation, and concern for social and ecological justice are pillars of the Center. Mariandale welcomes diverse faith traditions, and is inclusive and nurturing of body, mind, and spirit.

Volunteer Responsibilities:

  • Live in community on a designated wing of the main retreat house
  • Demonstrate openness to the spiritual life, one that integrates ecological and social justice priorities
  • Serve the Center 15 hours a week through helping facilitate retreats, gardening, offering hospitality to guests, serving the poor and vulnerable at local community-based agencies
  • Pursue graduate degrees on their own
  • Share community meals several times a week
  • Attend opening retreat and training and two other retreats in the course of the year
  • Participate in community prayer and spirituality discussions.

Qualifications of HOPE Volunteers

  • Open to men and women, who are older than 21 years of age
  • Hold an undergraduate degree (or pursuing one) from a four-year college
  • Value service and enjoy meeting new people
  • Openness to diversity and commitment to inclusion
  • Personal interest in spiritual growth
  • Seek to companion others on the spiritual journey
  • Interest in gardening, ecological practices and working with hands
  • Desire to live in community
  • Strive for simplicity and possess a concern for the poor and marginalized
  • Inquisitive mind especially on matters of spirituality, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Benefits for HOPE Volunteers

  • Room and board covered for 11 months
  • Development of skills in public speaking, reflection, gardening, and organizing/facilitating events for youth and young adults
  • Supportive community that shares values and ethical commitments
  • Flexible schedule that allows balance of graduate studies and Center commitments
  • Personal growth and insight on the spiritual journey.

How to Apply

Applications can be found on the Center for Mariandale website at: https://mariandale.org/hope-volunteer-community/hopevolunteerapp/ 

The Application deadline is April 1, prior to Fall academic year.

For more information, contact Dr. Carl Procario-Foley at hopevolunteers@mariandale.org

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