be of service wherever you are.

be of service wherever you are.

be of service wherever you are.

-St Catherine of Siena

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place
and every time is the right time.

- St Catherine of Siena

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

-St Catherine of Siena
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Dominican Volunteers USA

Dominican Volunteers USA searches for new frontiers for the faith by inviting men and women to walk with us in mission as volunteers. Through our program, lay men and women to volunteer for a 10-12 month in mission while living in intentional Dominican community. Together, we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are poor and marginalized. We live out the Dominican mission of proclaiming the gospel through our ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, intergenerational community.

The Four Pillars of our Life

  • ministry-14

    ministry

    The challenge of loving God and neighbor embraced as a way of life.

  • studyfront

    study

    Study enables us to search out the truth in our times, especially the issues that affect those we serve.

  • prayerfront

    prayer

    Our lives are nourished by God’s Word as spoken in sacred scripture, celebrated in the Eucharist, and encountered in everyday life.

  • communityopener

    community

    We live together and pray together and share a common vision in the ministry of Preaching the Gospel.

Current Volunteers 2017-2018

Sydney Boyer

Long Island, NY. Ministry: OPening Word, Teaches ESL and Computer Literacy to adult English Second Language Learners

Jennifer Doering

San Francisco, CA. Ministry: St. James Elementary School. Teaching Assistant, Runs Free-Lunch Program, Supervises Extended Care

Sean Puzzo

Long Island, NY.
Ministry: Dominican Youth Movement USA.
Assistant to director, Website and Graphic Designer.

Viviana Garcia-Blanco

Bronx, NY. Ministry: United Nations. Represents the Dominican Sisters at the United Nations

Zachary Moeller

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Catholic Charities Chicago.
Serves children K-12 and their families in the Refugee Resettlement Program.

Niki Klco

Bronx, NY.
Ministry: Siena House.
Assists homeless mothers and their small children

Elizabeth Drake

Chicago, IL. Ministry: Catholic Charities Chicago. Serves on the Employment Team in the Refugee Resettlement Program

Henry Moller

Atlanta, GA.
Ministry: Cristo Rey Atlanta.
Teaches and coaches students grades 9-12.

Julia Butts

Red Wood City, CA. Ministry: St. Francis Center. Teaches Religious Education classes to 4th grade, Tutors the mothers of her students in ESL, Coordinates Advocacy at Siena Youth Center

Stephanie Zavala Guzman

Bronx, NY. Ministry: Siena House.
Assists homeless mothers and their small children.

Gabrielle Smith

San Francisco, CA.
Ministry: Immaculate Conception Academy.
Guidance Counseling, Mentor.

Madeleine Paulsen

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Sarah’s Inn.
Crisis Intervention Advocate.

Sarah Pereira

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Visitation Catholic School.
Teaching Assistant, Tutor, Aftercare.

Kateri Golbiw

San Francisco: CA. Ministry: Immaculate Conception Academy, Campus Minister and Mentor

Life as a Dominican Volunteer

In our most recent blog post, volunteer Kayla Grodzicki gives us a glimpse of her daily life as a DV. Kayla serves as a domestic violence counselor at Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence shelter in Chicago. This blog post is from her personal blog which ...

Carolina Talavera Romero

Redwood City, CA. Ministry: St. Francis Center. Teaches, Coaches, Tutors, Coordinates Art & Self-Expression.

Diana Hernandez

Red Wood City, CA.
Ministry: St. Francis Center.
Teaching Assistant, Coaches, Tutors, Coordinates Art & Self-Expression

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on Facebook right now

1 day ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

Caritas and Veritas: Continuing the Journey is today!
You can still join the celebration! dvusa.org/event/dvusa-annual-event/

Current volunteers are not the only ones impacted by Dominican Volunteers USA.

Today, as we celebrate DVUSA’s mission and impact on the world, we hear from sisters and alumni, and the role DVUSA has played in their lives.

I think that being a Dominican Volunteer helped me to further dismantle and recreate my own version of what working for justice looks like”- Katherine Marina 2016-17 Dominican Volunteer

“Leaving DVUSA was so hard because I felt like I was not done, but that is the thing about service – it never ends. Working for justice and loving our neighbors in a real and tangible way will always be crucial, as it is the message of the gospel.” Alandra Scott, 2015-16 Dominican Volunteer

“Community with religious sisters is what sets the Dominican Volunteer program apart from others. There is no experience that can match that which comes from marinating (to borrow from Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ) in the cumulative wisdom and love of so many remarkable women.” Julia Funk Hobday, 1995-96 Dominican Volunteer

“The great gift of DVUSA is that it widens the circle of Dominican Preachers and increases the influence of Dominic’s passion for justice and the healing of the world beyond the walls of our convents and priories. Beth Murphy OP, Dominican Sister of Springfield Illinois

“It’s obvious to most that this program puts marginalized communities face
to face with our volunteers, leaving a life long imprint on the hearts of our
volunteers. It’s less obvious that the program also provides an opportunity for folks to find their own liberation tied up in the liberation of all people and the
opportunity to confront our own demons as we discern what sort of peacemaker, justice seeker, and truth teller we hope to be through the rest of our lives”. Megan Rupp, 2012 13 Dominican Volunteer, Dominican Volunteers USA Codirector

Your donation to DVUSA is most appreciated. dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/caritasveritas/index.html
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2 days ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

Don’t throw away your shot to win Hamilton tickets at our Dominican Volunteers USA benefit tomorrow!

Other silent auction prices include tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, tickets to see improv comedy in Chicago, the world-famous mound bread from Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, and many other goodies.

Can’t attend our event tomorrow? Make a donation of $10 or more than $10 and be entered to be a part of our raffle with the chance to win $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Certificate or an Espresso Machine! Need not be present to win, but so much more fun if you are!

dvusa.org/event/dvusa-annual-event/

DVUSA invites you to join us tomorrow at Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey! We hope to see you. If you cannot celebrate with us, please consider making a donation at the link below in support of one of our volunteers!
Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey, DVUSA’s annual event is Saturday, April 21 6 to 9 pm at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. River Forest Illinois. You can buy tickets or donate here. dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/caritasveritas/index.html

Thanks for supporting Dominican Volunteers USA! Hope to see you tomorrow!
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These are our 2017- 18 Dominican Volunteers!

On this National Volunteer Week, we hear our from some of current Dominican Volunteers, who reflect being a volunteer in their own words.

“Having that time to simply sit and read or stare out the window or meditate has really been a blessing in disguise. It has forced me to slow down and not feel like I need to be doing something all the time. Gabrielle Smith, 2017- 18 Dominican Volunteer San Francisco California, reflecting on the role of The Dominican Pillar of Study during her daily commute to her ministry.

“I’ve found that if I come to work with the intention of being present to each and every resident daily that it not only creates a relationship, but from there I can share in the one human journey. At this point it doesn’t change the whole system, but I’m hoping that I do some good each day.” Niki Klco, 2016- 18 Dominican Volunteer Bronx, New York, on her work with families who are homeless.

“The difference between sisters and the rest of us is that they choose to dedicate their lives to living in community. They dedicate their lives to living with a large group of other women, with all the problems that that entails, and still live in communion and loving relationship with each and every one.” Jennifer Doering, 2017- 18 Dominican Volunteer, San Francisco, California on living in community with Dominican Sisters

“I shared my story with my students, I shared with them where I came from, where my parents came from, and what it meant for me to grow up as Mexican-American in this country. I quickly bonded with my students over similar cultural interests in food, music, art, and traditions. Speaking Spanish helped me communicate with their parents directly and has given me the opportunity to actively listen to their stories.”

Diana Hernandez, 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, on connecting with her fourth grade religion students in Redwood City California.

“I’m trying to live a life of Joyful Gratitude, because otherwise there will always be another force pulling me with it, like the moon pulls the ocean.” Kateri Sullivan Golbiw , 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, San Francisco California

“Fellow Dominican Volunteer) Niki Klco and I work very intentionally to form respectful and genuine relationships. We are honest about our limitations to help, we practice active listening, and we honor the women’s struggles understanding how survival tactics manifest themselves in a world that marginalizes poor, Black and Brown women.” Steph Zavala-Guzman, 2017- 18 on her work with young homeless mothers in the Bronx New York

“It’s the little things like watching "NA" use a sewing machine, or hearing words of encouragement from T that truly make this job so great and remind me that no matter where you are, you can feel at home.” Elizabeth L Drake,2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, on her ministry as a refugee employment specialist in Chicago Illinois

“This year has really taught me though that change is alright. It’s ok to change your dreams, because something bigger may be waiting for you at the end. No matter what, there will always be someone to encourage you in this transition and to tell you that it will all be ok in the end. Thankfully I have found that person in my fellow volunteer, Sean, in my family, and still in my Xavier friends. I am confident in my new decision to become a social worker and the future that lies ahead." Sydney Boyer 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, Huntington Station, New York

“I continue to keep my heart and mind open as I know that working for justice is about working for someone you love. “ Zachary Kenneth Moeller, 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer Chicago Illinois

“I have to be honest and candid and share that I got quite the gamut of reactions when I explained what I was doing. “Are you crazy,” “Are you sure,” “Does this mean you want to be a priest,” “Does that mean you have to give up having fun?” Well to answer those questions: yes, yes, no, and no!” Sean Puzzo, 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer , Huntington Station, New York

“I thought living in intentional community with sisters would be difficult when I first started out my volunteer year. There was an obvious age gap. We come from different generations, and we come from different cultures. Now, I see that living in this kind of environment is crucial to my spiritual and emotional growth.” Viviana Garcia-Blanco, 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, on living with Dominican Sisters
“I’m hopeful. For every child I meet in my work who struggles to dream, I meet many dozens more whose dreams are vivid and beautiful despite their struggles. For every child I meet who struggles to dream, I have a coworker working dutifully to help that child generate the optimism necessary for dreams. Without a doubt, I have hope for a world in which dreaming comes naturally for every child. What a wonderful world it would be. :)” Julia Lorraine Butts, 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer on her work as a teacher in Redwood City California.

DVUSA invites you to join us in honoring these remarg volunteers this coming Saturday at Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey! We hope to see you. If you cannot celebrate with us, please consider making a donation at the link below in support of one of our volunteers
Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey, DVUSA’s annual event is Saturday, April 21 6 to 9 pm at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. River Forest Illinois. You can buy tickets or donate here. dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/caritasveritas/index.html
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This chart below shows how your generous donation directly supports our volunteers by funding their monthly stipend, transportation costs, food, and other essential components to a successful year of service.
Could you give $3100 to fund a year of health insurance for one Dominican Volunteer? Or $150 for 1 DVs monthly stipend? How about $50 for a full day of retreat for one DV?

Last year’s Dominican Volunteers completed over 30,000 hours of service. Our DV’s served in five states for 12 different organizations and helped over 2,000 individuals in a wide variety of settings. Their service contributions were valued at over $660,000. This year’s volunteers are on pace to accomplish the same.

100% of your donation funds the committed volunteers of DVUSA. Your gift gives us hope that our mission of service will remain strong and continue to grow. We cannot thank you enough for your belief in this mission and your support!

If you feel called a Torchbearer, a regular monthly contributor to Dominican Volunteers USA please sign up here. dvusa.org/become-a-torchbearer/

DVUSA invites you to join us in supporting our volunteers this coming Saturday at Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey! We hope to see you! If you cannot celebrate with us, please consider making a donation at the link below in support of one of our volunteers
Caritas & Veritas: Continuing the Journey, DVUSA’s annual event is Saturday, April 21 6 to 9 pm at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. River Forest Illinois. You can buy tickets or donate here. dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/car…/index.html
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As part of our annual event on April 21, DVUSA is honoring the work of Sarah's Inn, one of our long standing ministry partners. Sarah’s Inn mission is to support survivors, perpetrators, and family members affected by domestic violence and to break the cycle of domestic violence in our society. 2013-14 Dominican Volunteer Erin Hallagan, reflects on her experience with Sarah’s Inn.
"I am so incredibly grateful for my experience with Sarah's Inn. I started at Sarah's Inn as a Dominican Volunteer fresh out of college. Sarah's Inn provided me with the skills and training that I needed to educate survivors on the cycle of violence and their rights. Liz Figueroa-Serrano and my other colleagues taught me by example how to facilitate Spanish-speaking support groups and gave me the confidence to do so. Through my work as a Dominican Volunteer, I met so many incredibly strong survivors, who each day to create a better, safer life for themselves and their children.

As I neared the end of my Dominican Volunteer year, I was lucky enough to be hired on to work for Sarah's Inn full time as a Legal Advocate at Chicago's Domestic Violence courthouse. There, I received invaluable training from Tere Lozano, who taught me how to support survivors who are so often frustrated and confused by the legal and cultural barriers involved in obtaining an Order of Protection during what is often the scariest time of their lives.

Sarah's Inn has shaped and influenced my life journey in countless ways both personally and professionally. I could not imagine a better place to start my career with colleagues and supervisors that were supportive and patient, and with clients that are so deserving. My experience as a Legal Advocate led me to applying to UCLA for law school, where I have continued working with survivors of violence to obtain immigration relief through U-visas, VAWA petitions, and asylum applications. I hope to continue this work with survivors in the immigration field throughout my legal career. And I never could fully leave Sarah's Inn behind; fortunately, they've allowed me to keep volunteering for their 24 hour crisis line, even from all the way in California.”

We hope you can join DVUSA on April 21 in honoring Sarah's Inn. Partnerships like this one, are invaluable to the mission of DVUSA. If you can’t join us, we invite you to make a donation. Register and donate here.
dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/caritasveritas/index.html
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From our Blog

  • “It is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine”
    by David on April 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer Niki Klco.DV Niki KlcoNiki serves at the Siena House, a homeless shelter for young mothers and their children in the Bronx New York. She reflects on this systemic obstacles that homeless people face and the necessity of recognizing the humanity of each and every person.In this day in age being homeless is not just for the poor. With rent […]

  • “I’ve been given a rare gift: about an hour everyday where all I can do is sit"
    by David on April 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Gabrielle Smith, who serves as a counselor at Immaculate Conception Academy Cristo Rey High School in San Francisco California.Gabrielle shares how the daily tedious task commuting has given her a new understanding in appreciation for the Dominican Pillar of Study.Dominican Volunteer Gabrielle SmithThe Bay Area Rapid Transit of San Francisco.One […]

  • Circle of Relationship
    by David on March 22, 2018 at 3:48 pm

     Jennifer Doering serves as a Dominican Volunteer at St. James Elementary School in San Francisco California. In our latest blog post, Jennifer reflects on living with Sisters in a religious community and her own personal growth from that experience.Jennifer and her San Francisco communityFor Lent this year, I gave up both Netflix and Hulu. It has been a struggle, but I’ve been reading […]

  • A Life of Joyful Gratitude
    by David on February 28, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Kateri Golbiw. Kateri serves as Assistant Campus Minister at Immaculate Conception Academy Cristo Rey High School in San Francisco, California. She reflects on her journey to San Francisco and how her two friends and coworkers, “Joyful” and “Gratitude” have shaped her along the way.     For years, my […]

  • I’d Be Surprised and Comforted By How Much I’ve Grown and Changed
    by David on February 22, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Dominican Volunteer Sydney Boyer serves as a teacher at the Opening Word, a support center for immigrant women in Amityville New York. In this post, she shares a letter to her senior-year self. Dear Me,      Recently I was asked to give advice to the graduating seniors of Xavier University through a 30 second video. It was hard for me to limit myself to a mere 30 seconds when […]