AV Enjoys Heartland Family

Brendan Curran O.P.
Province Representative to the Apostolic/Dominican Volunteers

As a follow-up to my article that I posted on April 30th on the province listserve, I would like to share with you one of the experiences of the seven Apostolic Volunteers this year who will be concluding their year of volunteer work as this goes to print. Our province has two volunteers who are working with our province members in Denver and in Chicago. However, the program is a collaborative project involving 20 congregations and two of our provinces. One of the other five volunteers, Michael Kucera lived this year with the Sinsinawa Dominican Heartland Community just down the street from St. Albert the Great in Minneapolis. Michael taught at De La Salle High School during his year of service. I would like to share his community life this year as an AV with our sisters in his own words:

In a few words, life in community is a gift. I knew this the moment I left my soon-to-be home last summer after visiting it for the first time. The best part about this gift, though, is that I have the privilege of opening it again and again every morning, every day I come home, every time I walk through the door.

Our home is like any other home in that we share the responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, raking leaves, and shoveling snow, that is if we get any snow (Don't get me wrong; I can do without the snow for awhile). The real magic is in the spirit of our home; it's in the energy of our meals together, our prayer, our leisure time. My favorite time (and there is no better moment) is when we laugh together - and we do this often.

Life in community has been like moving in with four mothers, four sisters (literally and figuratively), four dear friends. It's meant never having to say "I need" because I already have more than I could have ever wanted in my sisters. In these months, the sharing of our lives has been so whole that I can't imagine life without them, and yet every day is so new.

Do understand that we have lives outside of each other; often the best gift I give to myself is time away, a personal life away from my personal life. Even with this comes the deep appreciation of knowing I'll come home to the calm, quiet spirit of Doris, the uproarious energy and laughter of Jeri, the low-key, however, ever-present humor of Martha, and the enthusiasm and interest of Margaret.

I have never flet that my family at Heartland has been anything but a model of laughter, appreciation, of peace, of love, and likewise has never made me feel like anything else. It seems that Heartland's gift is the home we make for all who walk through our door.

  -   courtesy of Re:News, January 2000

For more information on the Apostolic Volunteers see their website at:
http://www.sinsinawa.org/aposv.htm also check our website for a history of our affiliation with the programĚ..

Brendan Curran O.P.
brendancurran@yahoo.com