Student volunteers take a break after working outdoors.

Monastery volunteers roll up their sleeves

Many helpers are Benedictine students

When Sister Loretta McGuire took on her new responsibility as director of volunteers for Mount St. Scholastica, her first stop was Benedictine College.

She knew many of the school’s students are required to complete volunteer hours, and she had lots of ideas about how they could put in those hours at the Mount.

Planting bulbs. Scraping paint. Raking leaves. Cleaning.

“I met with the Serra Club, with Father Simon and others and asked for volunteers,” Sister Loretta said.

The answer was “yes,” again and again, and the Mount has seen a steady stream of volunteers completing projects every weekend.

A trio of students planted tulips. Members of the basketball team scraped paint and cleaned in St. Ann’s, one of our residence halls. The weekend before Thanksgiving, eight students rolled up their sleeves to clean the sacristy in St. Lucy’s chapel and clear flower beds around the campus, among other duties.

“These students are so generous with their time,” said Sister Loretta. “They are hard workers and a pleasure to have here!”

She particularly noted the hard work of Karlie Dalton and James Reding, who visit with her weekly to set up volunteer tasks.

Of course, not all of the Mount’s volunteers are students. Many adults lend a hand at the Mount, as well. Karen Sneller, for example, is at the Mount weekly to assist Sister Angela Ostermann in food service, and to visit sisters who live in the Dooley Center. 

In addition, a whole crew of volunteers provide the smiling faces that welcome guests at the Sophia Center in Atchison, and still more volunteers help out at the Keeler Women’s Center in Kansas City, Kan.

Although most of the volunteers have specific assignments – some short-term, others extended but limited to a few hours at a time – the Mount also offers a live-in volunteer program. Such volunteers typically commit to one year of service, and a formal application process is required.

For more information about any of our volunteer programs, contact Sister Loretta McGuire at 913-426-0726 or email her at