The national board of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (ivcusa.org) has approved an application from an organizing committee in Albany to open a site for the program in six counties in the Albany area (Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Fulton and Montgomery). The IVC is a Jesuit Catholic program open to persons 50 and older of any faith who want to volunteer in a community or a church agency serving the poor. They make a commitment to serve for one or two days per week for ten months of the year. The Albany site has been in the planning stage for over two years. The program is expected to begin in the Albany area in the fall. Over the summer, those who have expressed interest in serving will be matched with the agencies offering volunteer positions. It is expected the volunteers who bring lifelong work experience to the placements and will serve in positions with more responsibility than most volunteer positions. There will be about fifteen volunteers and placements as the program begins. Catholic Charities of the Albany Diocese, Family Promise, St. Vincent’s Church (Albany), St. Catherine’s Center for Children, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI- Albany) are among the agencies which will have volunteers.
The IVC began in the mid 1990s as a related program to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) which was established many years earlier for young persons following college. JVC volunteers still work and live in community together at many sites across the country. The IVC volunteers will live in their own homes. Both programs have a spiritual component. IVC volunteers will meet and share spiritually in the Ignatian tradition on a monthly basis. They also will have access a spiritual reflector during their service. The Jesuits in the Catholic Church were founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola.