Tom Frieberg, JV Encorps Coordinator & Development Officer, shares his excitement and reflection of his recent work on preparing the launch of the Encorps program:
Our inaugural Jesuit Volunteer Encorps program year is largely in place, and is set to begin on January 7. These past few weeks we have been speaking with individuals who have applied to the program, and to others who are just curious at this stage, perhaps checking things out for Fall 2012. Each interview or visit this month, in person or over the phone, takes on special meaning in light of the Advent season. There’s the general sense of waiting and expectancy, of course, (we’ve been “announcing” Encorps’ debut for more than six months now!). But more specifically, I’m moved by parallels with the Feast of the Visitation. Luke’s gospel tells this story of Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visiting her cousin Elizabeth (pregnant at the same time with John the Baptist). At the moment Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child “leaps for joy” in her womb. Deep within her, she senses great and holy things to come.
As I listen to the stories of our Encorps applicants’ lives, hearing their hunger to grow in faith and generosity in community with others, there is a similar stirring. Their varied journeys of fifty or sixty or more years have brought them to JVC Northwest! Perhaps they’ll stay a long time in our Encorps community, perhaps they’ll move on soon, or discover this isn’t where they’ve been called at all. But they are holy visitors nonetheless, carrying promises of justice, compassion and healing for the world.
[. . . ] the Mighty One has done great things for [us],
and holy is God’s name.