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
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

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

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 ...

Viviana Garcia-Blanco

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

Carolina Talavera Romero

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

Stephanie Zavala Guzman

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

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

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

Gabrielle Smith

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

Madeleine Paulsen

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

Kateri Golbiw

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

Elizabeth Drake

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

Niki Klco

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

Zachary Moeller

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

Sean Puzzo

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

Sarah Pereira

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

Henry Moller

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

Diana Hernandez

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

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

on Facebook right now

21 hours ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

As they conclude their year of service with Dominican Volunteers USA, our outgoing 2017-18 Volunteers reflect on their year of service, acknowledge important people in their year, and share their future plans. Dominican Volunteers USA celebrates these remarkable individuals who have carried out our Dominican mission in their own special ways. Please pray for them as during their Closing Retreat on July 19-22.

Elizabeth L Drake served as a Dominican Volunteer, working in Refugee Resettlement at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in Chicago Illinois.

Thank you for your service, Elizabeth!

“While working with refugees in this uncertain political climate presents a unique set of challenges, these challenges make the successes that much sweeter. A favorite memory that stands out to me this year is from my ministry work at Catholic Charities Chicago-Refugee Resettlement. During this year, I worked very closely with two Rohingya women from Malaysia. They arrived in October speaking very minimal English. I could tell from the beginning that they were very diligent and hard working. At the time of their arrival, the job market was slowing down for winter, so they had to begin working at the airport cleaning airplanes, as that was one of the only places that was still hiring. After 2 months of working at the airport both of the sisters’ English was improving tremendously. They improved by approximately 2 English levels in 2 months. I assisted both of them in enrolling in hospitality class so that they could get jobs in the hospitality industry, which pay more and are generally nicer places to work. Now both sisters work at hotels in the Chicago Loop. Success stories like these give me hope for the future, at a time that refugees and immigrants are often made to feel unwelcome in the United States.

I will never forget my ministry experience this year, and I would like to my coworkers at Catholic Charities for the role they played in my professional growth this year. Case Managers are superheroes and I could not have managed this year without them. You are only as strong as the people you have holding you up, and thankfully I had a lot of support this year. Thank you to my coworkers, Kayla and Alissa, for always being there to lend a hand and provide valuable input. Finally, to my supervisor Erin, thank you for being the voice of reason in so many situations, and trying to teach me to have a better work-life balance. I am grateful for my community experience at House of Connections, I learned a lot and I am particularly grateful for the relationships I developed with Sister Marilyn and Sister Bernadine. Thank you Bernadine for always encouraging me never to give up on the seemingly unsolvable cases. Thank you Marilyn for showing me the power of positivity, and helping me to remember the importance of following your own path. Lastly, thank you to my fellow DVs, especially those who were there to lend a listening ear or a helping hand, thank you for the laughs, tears, and serious conversations. “

If you feel called to make a donation to support volunteers like Elizabeth, please do so below.

dvusa.org/donate-now/

Thank you for your generosity!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 days ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

As they conclude their year of service with Dominican Volunteers USA, our outgoing 2017-18 volunteers reflect on their year of service, acknowledge important people in their year, and share their future plans. Dominican Volunteers USA celebrates these remarkable individuals who have carried out our Dominican mission in their own special ways. Please pray for them as during their Closing Retreat July 18-20. We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.
Sean Puzzo has served as a 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer at the Dominican youth movement in New York and will continue to share his gifts as a 2018-Dominican Volunteer in 2018-19 in Redwood City California. Thank you for your service Sean.

“I had an amazing year out here on Long Island! Working with the Dominican Young Adults (DYA) USA and Sister Gina Fleming solidified my thoughts that the Dominicans have so much to offer youth and young adults today.

Thank you to the Sisters of St. Hugh’s who provided so much love, guidance, care, and laughs.

Thank you to S. Gina my administrator who has become a great friend and mentor. Under her direction, DYMUSA will continue to flourish. She knows how to light the fire and get the students to catch it!

Thank you most of all to Sydney Boyer my fellow volunteer. You are the glue that kept this year together as we journeyed together. The laughs, the tears, the road trips, the adventures, the flat tires. They all made this year one for the books. I know this world is sure in luck as Sydney pursues a Masters in social work and grows more in her passion for social justice work.
I’m excited for the next part of my journey that will take me across the coast to California where I would take part in a second service year at the St. Francis Center of Redwood City.
If you had asked me a couple years ago if this was my plan I may have laughed but I’m so glad it has worked out this way.”

If you feel called to make a donation to support volunteers like Sean, please do so below.

dvusa.org/donate-now/

Thank you for your generosity!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 days ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

As they conclude their year of service with Dominican Volunteers USA, our outgoing 2017-18 volunteers reflect on their year of service, acknowledge important people in their year, and share their future plans. Dominican Volunteers USA celebrates these remarkable individuals who have carried out our Dominican mission in their own special ways. Please pray for them as during their Closing Retreat July 18-20. We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

Stephanie Zavala has served as a 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer at the Siena House, a homeless shelter for young mothers in the Bronx New York. Thank you for your service, Stephanie Zee!

“My favorite memory:

This Spring I became certified as a Full Spectrum Doula. I had a client under contract with the organization that trained me, but since I just happened to work with pregnant women at Siena House, one of the newer women coincidentally had the same estimated due date as my client. So, the volunteer nurse at Siena suggested I introduce myself as a doula to the woman at Siena, and tell her that if she needed my help during labor, I would be available. I was hesitant because I had never assisted at a birth before and I was still trying to prep myself for my actual client. But, I introduce myself anyway and left it at that.

One Sunday, I am sitting in my community room, watching YouTube videos on how to massage a laboring person's back so that I can help with pain management. So I'm watching over and over, saving videos to my "Watch Later" tabs, and reading my Birth Partner manual, thinking I won't be needing any of the info for another few weeks.

I show up to work the next Monday morning and what do you know....the woman I introduced myself to is in labor! Long story short, I panic because I have no idea what to do even though I just finished my 7-week course; I run through everything I learned the night before in my head and I give it my best try. I massage this woman's back for a few hours, help her breathe through contractions, and help her relax at the shelter until she can longer take it, and we have to call a taxi to the hospital. At the hospital, I am running with this woman's backpack and car seat after her while they wheelchair her to her room, where I am still massaging her back. The day passes and she is still in labor. I sleep on the pull out sofa at the hospital and almost 24 hours later, she pushes out a healthy 8 lb baby in 15 minutes. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I have never done anything as challenging as this, but it was one of the most life changing events I have ever been a part of.

Future plans:

I will be working at Sarah's Inn as their Legal Advocate. I will be spending a lot of my time in the courts advocating for victims of domestic violence. I also plan to continue volunteering as a Doula on the side.

Thanks:

Special thanks to Sr. Gertrude, Sr. Amy, and Sr. Gracie for being some of the best housemates a volunteer could ask for. They were open to learning from me and my customs and were incredibly flexible, allowing me to take time off from community to go to class. I could not have been able to do it without their support, encouragement, wisdom, and flexibility. Thank you to the Dominican Sisters of Hope, who lived nearby, and showed genuine interest in our endeavors and were great company. A BIG thanks to the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York who funded my doula class with a scholarship - this really would not have been possible without them. Thank you to Heather - I could not have survived NYC without you. And special thanks to Megan, Allison, and David - y'all ROCK! DVUSA will thrive because of you.”

If you feel called to make a donation to support volunteers like Stephanie, please do so at the following link.

dvusa.org/donate-now/

Thank you for your generosity!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

As they conclude their year of service with Dominican Volunteers USA, our outgoing 2017-18 volunteers reflect on their year of service, acknowledge important people in their year, and share their future plans. Dominican Volunteers USA celebrates these remarkable individuals who have carried out our Dominican mission in their own special ways. Please pray for them as during their Closing Retreat July 18-20. We wish them the very best in their future endeavors. Niki Klco has served as a volunteer from 2016-2018, first at the St. Francis Center of Redwood City in Redwood City California, and then at Siena House in the Bronx New York. Thank you for your service, Niki.

"Looking back on times, a simple thought comes to my head of a workshop that (fellow volunteer) Stephanie and I put on at Siena House in the very beginning. It was entitled something to the effect of 'How to Love on Yourself'. We brought out nail polish and invited a community where all the womxn present, including Stephanie and I, were free to share our stories while giving ourselves manicures. The preparation was simple, but the concept was that many womxn have to learn how to care for themselves before they are ready and able to care and love others. I can remember this being a somewhat new concept as most of our womxn have had to take care of someone else since they were children themselves. This small workshop made a big impression over the year. We kept the box of manicure supplies in our office and whenever someone needed a break or to love on themselves it was pulled down and conversation and calmness soon began. I believe the message Stephanie and I sent out at Siena House was a powerful one and I hope that our womxn always know how valued they are as individuals and are able to make themselves a priority as well as their children.”

If you feel called to make a donation to support volunteers like Niki, please do so at the following link.
dvusa.org/donate-now/. Thank you for your generosity!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

From our Blog

  • Faith, Justice, and Graphic Design
    by David on July 9, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Sean Puzzo. Sean serves with the Dominican Youth Movement  in Amityville New York and helps coordinate The Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference,  the National College Preaching in Action Conference, and Dominican Young Adults USA.Sean reflects on how these conferences have gradually shaped his Dominican journey . Sean […]

  • Reflecting on a Year of Service
    by David on July 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    As our 2017-18 service year draws to a close, we share this post from  Dominican Volunteer Erica Stewart. Erica served as a teacher at Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco California in 2011-12. After 6 years, Erica's words remain relevant to anyone transitioning out of a year of service.Perhaps our 2017- 18 Dominican Volunteers can relate to Erica's words.Erica and Immaculate […]

  • Black and Brown Women Deserve Doula Access Too
    by David on June 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    2017-18 Dominican Volunteer, Stephanie Zavala: “In New York City, a black woman is 12 times more likely to die during pregnancy, during labor, or from complications after labor.”And from an NPR report, “A 2016 analysis of five years of data found that black, college-educated mothers who gave birth in local hospitals were more likely to suffer severe complications of pregnancy or […]

  • A Year In Review – A Dominican Volunteer’s experience at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School in the Penn Community
    by David on May 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    DV Henry MollerOur latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Henry Moller.Henry serves as a teacher at Immaculate Conception Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Atlanta Georgia and reflects on his year with DVUSA with gratitude.Thank you for your service Henry and for sharing your many gifts with your students, colleagues community members,and fellow volunteers.Dominican blessings in all your […]

  • Names and faces
    by David on May 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    DV Sydney BoyerOur latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Sydney Boyer.Sydney serves at the Opening Word, a literacy and job readiness center for immigrant women in Amityville New York and shares how her personal experiences with her students have reshaped her understanding of immigration. When I talk about my year of service, friends and family are normally fascinated by my living with […]