A View from a Young Volunteer
By Anna Claflin, volunteer
Editor's note: Sisters from Mount St. Scholastica write a weekly column titled "View from the Mount" in our hometown newspaper, the Atchison Globe. The Aug. 27, 2016, column column comes courtesy of a young woman who was a volunteer at Mount St. Scholastica during the summer. She reminds us that serving others is an important element for young people in their spiritual and personal development. Any individual or group interested in volunteer involvement at the monastery, even only on an occasional or special event basis, is invited to contact Sister Loretta McGuire, volunteer coordinator, for more information.
Hello, I’m Anna Claflin. I attend Atchison High School – this year I’ll be a sophomore - and one of our requirements for graduation is that we volunteer. This summer I had a great volunteer experience. I volunteered at Mount St. Scholastica four days a week and completed all my volunteer hours.
My volunteer week went like this. On Mondays I worked with Sister Jeannine in the sisters’ guest housing called “Bethany” and sometimes in the guest areas at St. Cecilia’s. Sister Jeannine and I would clean and make beds to keep the guest rooms ready for people to stay all night. The same would go for St. Cecilia’s, although sometimes we would bring laundry up there. On Tuesdays I worked with Sister Deborah in the Library. There we sorted books and reshelved them. On Wednesday I worked with Sister Carol Ann at the Sophia Center. There was a lot to do there such as vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the rooms in St. Catherine’s, where the people stay who come to make a retreat. Then lastly on Thursdays I worked with Sister Janelle. We would arrange beautiful bouquets of flowers from the sisters’ gardens. I only had the chance to work with Sister Janelle for a few weeks before she got busy, then I worked with Sister Loretta. She was fun to be with and I enjoyed helping her in the garden making more bouquets! At the very end of my volunteer work I was sent out with a blessing after my meal. I was very thankful to work there and be with all the sisters.
I didn’t know much about the sisters before I volunteered there. My mother first told me about the sisters from reading about the Mount. I learned that the sisters can be really funny and that they’re extremely kind. I think that everything they do is wonderful such as getting up early in the morning to praise and to go garden even in the hot weather.
I believe that it is good that young people (teenagers) volunteer because it gives them the work experience they might need in the future for jobs. It also helps out the community in a lot of different ways! Being with the sisters and volunteering this summer has made me a better person because of all the love and care I received from the sisters. The sisters are very supportive and they really do love everyone that comes there, which is a fantastic thing and makes the Mount a very welcoming place!
It has been a real blessing to work with the sisters this summer. I hope to take on a job in housekeeping there this coming fall when I turn sixteen. I hope to see some of the sisters I met this summer during my job. Thank you, Sisters (especially Sister Loretta), for letting me volunteer with you. It has been a pleasure.