Is God calling you to volunteer in the missions?

Many young people, in service to the poor, volunteer in missions every year, finding a life-giving environment to discern their vocations and share the love of Jesus Christ. Many of our volunteers have experienced a call to a deeper discipleship throughout their time and have felt themselves called to live this out through generous self-gift in marriage, family life, priesthood, consecrated life, or through friendships in their current state of life according to God’s will.

A lot of words can describe being a part of the volunteer staff at St. Ann’s. Awesome people gathered for an awesome purpose! Carrying Christ to His young ones! Serving with motivated, driven, and enthusiastic young adults united in giving their summer to share their Lord with others was the best gift of self I could have offered. God will change you!

Charles Wenck

As a sophomore in college, I was looking for a short-term Catholic volunteer opportunity and heard about St. Ann’s summer camp in far-off North Dakota. Truly, it was one of the most transformational experiences I have ever had, and it changed the trajectory of my life (spoiler: I joined SOLT). Even though I had done some mission work before and had good Catholic friends, there was just something so real and deep about how we lived community life and the way we gave ourselves as volunteers, serving together with the sisters and priests of SOLT. Christ opened my heart in a new way through that simple yes to serving at summer camp!

Sr. Mary Joy, SOLT

I am from a community where service comes naturally, but the faith is not something shared outside of the church walls. Coming to Belize stretched me in ways I did not expect. I was challenged to serve in ways I never had before to people whose lives were so different from my own. I learned that on my own I could not serve well, and that eventually I would be worn down or driven off course. But Belize showed me God and His Providence are real, and if I share this journey with others, I would finish the race well.

Jacob Oster

Volunteering with SOLT has strengthened my prayer life, reinforced my call to the teaching profession, and formed practical prayer habits. Living in a Catholic community and teaching at a Catholic school has provided me with the opportunity to live a life that is centered around the sacraments as well as countless opportunities to be formed in my faith. Also, having graduated with an education degree, working in the teaching apostolate has reinforced my desire to teach while being able to give a year of service. Finally, I’ve been able to develop prayer habits that complement a working schedule that I can carry with me throughout my professional life.

Kimberly Schulte

...through my work with the kids and experiencing true authentic relationships with other counselors and SOLT priests, sisters and brothers, my heart started to soften. I can’t sum up all my experiences with St. Ann’s and SOLT in this small space but ultimately I served 6 years at St. Ann’s, all my best friends were made there, and I gained an “adopted” family...

Amanda Estabrook


Who Is a SOLT Missionary Volunteer?

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Albers, SOLT

I’ll never forget the experience of flying from Kansas City to Belize on my way to serve as a missionary volunteer.  I had just graduated from university and decided pretty late in the game that I wanted to respond to the quiet but persistent invitation to give a year of my life to serve the Lord in a completely wholehearted way.  Having left my family and friends and everything that was consistent and known in my life, I was searching for some kind of consolation or direction.  About an hour into the flight, I opened my bible, and my eyes fell on these words from Sirach 34:10-12: “One who is never put to the proof knows little, whereas with travel one adds to his resourcefulness. I have seen much in my travels, and learned more than I could ever say.” In those words, written thousands of years before, I recognized the Lord speaking to me, and to every person who “leaves everything” to follow Him.  I wrote that scripture on the first page of my new journal, and two years later on my return flight from Belize at the end of my time as a missionary volunteer, I summed everything up on the last page with these words:  “I feel like my whole life started in Belize.”

What is it like to serve as a missionary volunteer?  

The simplest way to put it is that it is a transformative experience.  Leaving one’s own home for a time, discovering a unique and different culture, living in community with others who are also seeking to make a radical gift of their lives, and the stretching and challenges of a simpler life. These elements open horizons for encountering Christ through an authentic living of the Gospel. A certain growth, exclusive to missionary life, witnesses to the truth that “man can only find himself in the sincere gift of self.” (n. 24, Gaudium et Spes) 

Since its foundation in 1958, SOLT has involved lay missionaries in her ministry, the presence of the laity being integral to the mission of SOLT. Though the type of ministry varies depending on the location of the mission, the experience of being a missionary volunteer with SOLT will always involve opportunities for a rich spiritual encounter with Christ through the sacraments, adoration, praying the Liturgy of the Hours with the priests, brothers and sisters, and the possibility of regular spiritual direction. Missionary volunteers also have occasion to grow and to build life-long friendships through living in community, and by pouring themselves out in life-giving service wherever they are needed.

I’ve often been told that “the Lord will not be outdone in generosity.” Through my own experience serving as a missionary volunteer, and by accompanying others on that journey, I’ve seen firsthand the truth of that statement.  May you experience the “hundred-fold” promised by Jesus to those who follow Him unreservedly, and may every challenge be met with the grace of perseverance! 

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Now Accepting Applications

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