The contents of this page, and all links appearing on this page, do not represent the positions, views, or intents of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest or those of the Northern Plains Resource Council.
“You’re moving to Montana why…?”
I’m doing a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest (henceforth JVCNW).
I’ve had my mind set on a year of service for a few years now, after hearing about it at St. Mary’s and having lots of super cool role models lead the way for me. Thanks to lots of cool service opportunities at St. Mary’s, this just felt like the right next step for me.
“Wait… so Montana? Like where there are more cows than people?”
Yeah, Billings. The biggest city in MT at just over 100,000 people. So basically the size of A2, except zero percent like A2 in any other way. More sprawling, more industry, but cool topography and a pretty Big Sky.
“Where are you going to be working?”
The Northern Plains Resource Council, a grassroots conservation and family agriculture group that organizes Montana citizens to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and unique quality of life. I’m an organizing assistant, so I’ll be working on a bunch of projects around issues like coal, oil/gas, clean energy, ag, and local food.
“Oh so that’s right up your alley?”
Yes. Yes it is.
“Do you ski? There’s awesome skiing in MT!”
“So, are you a Jesuit?”
Uh, no. Jesuits are members of a Catholic order of priests and brothers called the Society of Jesus created by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century. Jesuits are super cool (s/o to the Jesuit priest at St. Mary’s who were some of my most valued mentors in college), and are really involved in education and service. It’s all about finding God in all things and about being a contemplative in action. It really is amazing, but no, I am not and cannot ever be a Jesuit, but I am living the ideals and values of the Jesuits and of Ignatian spirituality this year.
“What values will be guiding your year?”
JK LOL nobody asks this but I’m going to tell you anyways:
- Simple Living – This year is all about living a more simple and reflective life. In some ways it means just making intentional decisions about how we spend our time, our money, our energy, but it also means we are living without a car, wifi, or excess money (monthly stipend for food/bills/rent + $100 personal stipend).
- Spirituality – This year is a great opportunity to dive into and explore our spiritual/reflective lives and figure them out a little more. We will have weekly spirituality nights as a community to reflect and share our experiences. I will also be looking for a faith community in Billings to be a part of.
- Community – Ladies, ladies, ladies! I’m living with four other girls this year, all serving at different places around the area. We are challenged to live and learn as an intentional community. Part of this is having a community bank account from which we buy groceries, pay bills and rent, and take care of other household needs, but it’s a lot more than just sharing money; we’ve got lots to learn from each other. Additionally, this means we’re encouraged to get involved in the greater community of our locales, striving for solidarity with the people around us.
- Social and Ecological Justice – Wooo, SoJo! As JVs we are to take a critical look at the injustices that exist within our communities, both socially and ecologically, and commit to working for structural change. At our service organizations and beyond, we will serve, observe, and reflect on what’s going on on the margins.
“Want to be penpals?!”
Okay, nobody asks this either, but in case you’re interested (because I am!), my address is:
3514 3rd Ave S. Billings, MT 59101