“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr
If your son or daughter is looking at giving a year of full-time service to Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry, you are probably feeling many different emotions. Fortunately, you are not the first person to go through this. Here are some reflections from the parents of our past volunteers to provide a little insight and comfort as you discern with your son or daughter about this program.
Janine McDonald says when she learned that her daughter Kate was thinking about joining Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry she was “very proud of Kate for her willingness to take this opportunity for spiritual growth”. Although Janine was initially concerned for Kate’s safety, she felt better after visiting her daughter for her birthday and learning “about the classes Bon Secours gave them about safety”. Here’s more of what Janine shared about her experience.
Q: What positive changes have you seen in your daughter either while serving in the program or after finishing her time of service?
A: Kate is much more aware of social issues and now has very strong opinions. She is interested in global issues and her world has expanded greatly.
A: Because she worked in the ER, she developed skills in conversing with complete strangers. She also developed the ability to comfort people in stressful times, which will serve her well as a physician.
Q: Do you have any advice or insight that you would like to share with other parents of prospective Bon Secours volunteers?
A: It’s a wonderful program! I would encourage you to encourage your child to “throw themselves” totally into the program. It’s hard, but try to allow them live as the program is designed — with minimal help (monetary, packages, etc.) from home. It’s amazing how little they really need and it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to experience that.
Here’s what other parents have said about their child’s experience in the program:
“Bon Secours infused in my daughter an indelible sense of duty to the poor and needy… She learned about the cycle of poverty through the faces and lives of those who are born into it. She is now planning to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health in order to obtain the tools to structurally and radically change the cycle of poverty at its origins. Your child will exit the program in a year, richly endowed with new information about the world and herself that will persist for a lifetime.” -Dave Ceponis
“I think she learned life skills which she will transfer to every aspect of how she lives her life professionally and personally. Professionally, she learned how to be part of a team at Bon Secours… By living simply, she matured and learned empathy for those who live without every day. My advice [to parents whose children are considering joining BSVM] is to encourage it 100% and support this endeavor. It will undoubtedly be a meaningful and rewarding experience.” -Peggy Ceponis