Do you know any college students looking for opportunities to strengthen their faith as they work with children, teens, and other young adults? Across the diocese, state, and region, colleges, youth camps, and other organizations are looking to fill a variety of positions from full-time summer work to part-time jobs. Some will accept applications next spring, but many want to line up their staffs before the end of 2023.
The mission statement of Totus Tuus (Latin for “totally yours,” the motto of Pope St. John Paul II) is, “To inspire in young people a true longing for holiness, a deep desire for daily conversion, and openness to their vocation by the constant challenge to give themselves entirely to Christ through Mary and by continually strengthening their prayer lives in imitation of her.” The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is seeking teams of two men and two women each, with the goal of providing summer programming in multiple parishes for middle and high school youths (in the evenings) and younger students (such as a vacation Bible school with robust, Eucharist-focused content). Missionaries dedicate time each day to their own life of prayer, which provides a foundation for their summer field work. They are housed with parish families. Applications are being accepted from now until March 31, 2024. For more information, visit diocesefwsb.org/totus-tuus.
Catholic Family Land
This family camp is run by the Apostolate for Family Consecration, a private association based in Bloomingdale, Ohio. Catholic Family Land is seeking college and young adults to serve as Alumni Corps members whose main responsibility is “supporting families to grow in faith and holiness,” according to the organization’s website (afc.org).
University of Saint Francis
The University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne is looking to hire college students to serve as counselors at several summer camps. These include the Beauty Will Save the World Summer Camp, the Wilderness Skills and Nature Camp, World Building Camp, and Business Leadership Camp. The purpose of these programs is to introduce local families to the Saint Francis community, especially for low-income students. As they serve as mentors, camp counselors have an opportunity to grow in their own faith as they learn and live the Franciscan values of service, respect, prayer, and fostering peace and justice.
Experienced senior camp counselors also help present lessons as well as working one-on-one with faculty members to create lesson plans. Hiring for summer 2024 begins in early December. Students who work in all the camps can expect five or six 25-hour work weeks throughout the course of the summer. For more information, email [email protected].
Those chosen for College Ministerial Internships at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in southern Indiana spend six weeks being formed in Benedictine spirituality for the sake of Church ministry. They live in an intentional Christian community at St. Meinrad Monastery, participate in daily liturgical prayer and study, and they minister as catechists and other staff members at the community’s summer conferences, balancing theoretical learning and practical service. Applications are due early in November. Email [email protected] to learn more.
Catholic Youth Summer Camp
The well-known Catholic Youth Summer Camp of Damascus, with its main campus located in Centerburg, Ohio, staffs its retreat and conference center with full-time
missionaries. In a typical summer, 7,500 middle and high school students attend camps where they are awakened,
empowered, and equipped to live the adventure of the Catholic faith. Missionaries are trained to evangelize through music, worship, drama, and skit ministry. Some missionaries utilize their talents in media or production. All are expected to fundraise, but they are paid a summer stipend. Applications are open until Wednesday, November 15, and can be found at damascus.net/mission.
South Bend Area Colleges
For those currently enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College, or St. Mary’s College, there are several opportunities.
Notre Dame Vision Mentors-in-Faith work with high school students who come for five-day summer sessions to explore God’s calling to use their talents to serve the Church and the world. The program includes nationally known speakers, but participants often express appreciation for college mentors who lead small faith-sharing groups with high-schoolers from across the country. The Notre Dame Vision program is seeking gifted servant-leaders from the three colleges willing to share their own faith stories and serve others. Besides those who work with high school students in dorms and small groups, there are also music mentors and master mentors returning for a second summer. All Mentors-in-Faith take a course for college credit and receive extensive training in pastoral skills, as well as participate in retreats and reflection groups.
Father Brian Florin, Parochial Vicar at St. John the Evangelist Church in Goshen, is a Vision alum. He said his work in the summers of 2014 and 2015 “was instrumental in being able to hear God’s call and respond generously with my life.” He said the intellectual, human, spiritual, and pastoral formation he received through Vision were the precursor of the same four dimensions in his seminary studies. He further stated that his goal as a small-group mentor was to “facilitate an encounter with Jesus through discussion, prayer, and the sacraments.” He added, “I found that as I served these young people, my heart was on fire with the love of a father” – his first experience with the spiritual fatherhood he now lives out as a priest. He said that the “genius of Vision is truly in the investment and formation of the college mentors-in-faith. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve as a mentor for Notre Dame Vision!” To learn more about the program, visit mcgrath.nd.edu/vision.
Many of the same college students also serve as mentors for Holy Cross College’s Saints and Scholars program, which invites participants to “pray with the saints, learn with the scholars, and heal the world,” as well as to explore what kind of saint God might be calling young adults to become. Tracks include public health, media, ecology, education, and visual arts. Email [email protected].
The Notre Dame Alumni Association is looking for nine student leaders to work for three weeks in July (roughly July 5-26) in the Family Volunteer Camp program. The program is designed for families of alumni who have children between the ages of 9 and 18, and 125 individuals per week participate. Family groups spend a week living, praying, and reflecting at Notre Dame, as well as volunteering at more than 20 local service agencies. These volunteers go to different sites each day and do everything from building houses to visiting the elderly to escorting children to parks and beaches. The student program leaders lead these families in prayer and service, trouble-shoot at the work sites, and mentor children of alumni who may be experiencing the joy of service for the first time. They have about a 40-hour work week, with housing provided if needed. Many are current Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, or Holy Cross students; others may be the children of Notre Dame staff or faculty on summer break from other colleges. Applications are accepted in early spring. Learn more at my.nd.edu/page/family-volunteer-camp or by emailing [email protected].
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