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What is the living situation like for volunteers?

Volunteers live in an apartment in the Pilsen community of Chicago within walking distance of the school:

  • Each Volunteer has his or her own room.
  • The apartment includes a shared living room, kitchen/dining area, washer/dryer, and wi-fi.
  • Volunteers share all community responsibilities which include cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning and planning community nights.
  • Weekly community nights which rotates between Mass, spirituality, program pillar, and fun night.
  • The Volunteer community is designed to foster a commitment to living simply and examining the sustainability of resources in our lives.

What are the benefits and financial arrangements of being a CRJV?

The Cristo Rey Jesuit Volunteer Program is more than just an interlude before graduate school or a career. CRJVs make important contributions to the lives of our students and, in the process, are changed through their service to the community. To aid them in their work, volunteers each receive a stipend for personal expenses. This stipend has been sufficient for volunteers to make a commitment to living simply, while still providing for their personal needs. Benefits include:

  • A professional, supportive work environment and mentoring by experienced teachers.
  • An intentional community of others committed to service
  • Opportunities for professional development, spiritual and personal growth
  • HMO Health Insurance and full Dental Coverage.
  • Room & Board and Transportation
  • Stipend: $400/month for living and $200/month for loan repayment (both subject to payroll taxes).
  • Upon successful completion of the program, Volunteers will receive a $2,500 lump sum award (also taxable).

How are the Volunteers' jobs assigned?

Cristo Rey strives to find a balance between the needs of the school and the particular gifts of each volunteer. There are many needs at Cristo Rey and it doesn't take long for a volunteer to find his or her niche within the school.

Volunteers in the past have sometimes helped to teach a class. They have found their place on the field or on the court coaching a wide range of athletic teams. Volunteers have led retreat programs and been heavily involved with campus ministry activities. They have also worked in various offices around school, volunteered their time at fund-raising events, counseled, tutored and led many extra-curricular activities including student government, student plays, service trips, etc.

Driving students to their corporate internship jobs is an essential need of the school and all volunteers are asked to drive once daily. All volunteer responsibilities are assigned or approved by the Program Coordinator who works in conjunction with members of the Leadership Team to fill the school’s needs with the Volunteers best interests and gifts in mind.

Do the Volunteers have retreats?

Yes, the Program Coordinator, Chaplain and the Volunteers collaborate to create the format, content and location of five retreats:
  • An overnight Orientation Retreat at the beginning of each school year.
  • A day-long reflective retreat during Advent.
  • A day-long reflective retreat during Lent.
  • A self guided spiritual experience.
  • A final overnight reflective retreat at the end of the school year

What is the Spirituality (or group prayer) like?

The community’s spiritual/personal development is a main component of the CRJV experience. Each year, the content of the spiritual component vary based on the needs and desires of the Volunteers. Examples of what CRJV communities have done in the past include:
  • Community spirituality nights, including reflections, group prayer and faith activities once every three weeks.
  • Mass at the CRJV house in the Roman Catholic Tradition once a month.
  • Optional one-on-one spiritual meetings with a selected spiritual director.

CRJVs are also involved with the students’ spiritual formation at Cristo Rey through masses, retreats, and classroom prayers. CRJVs are encouraged to explore/reflect upon their own spirituality/personal development in light of their experience of service, simple living, and community.

What is the vacation policy?

During the school year, Volunteers follow the school’s vacation schedule:
  • 2 weeks vacation for Christmas.
  • 1 week vacation for Easter.
  • 4 weeks summer vacation between year 1 and 2.

Is the 2 year commitment mandatory?

Yes, all Volunteers are asked to commit to a two year experience. Most volunteers reflect that the first year is spent learning the ropes and the second year makes their experience complete through forming stronger relationships with the school and its students and using the skills and resources they gained during their first year to make a lasting impact at the school. In addition:
  • volunteers feel they hit their stride and make the most meaningful impact on students in their second year.
  • enjoy a full year without distraction about life post service work (grad school applications, MCAT/GRE/LSAT prep and resumes)
  • the continuity of our program relies on 2nd year volunteers welcoming and guiding the new volunteers through their first year of service

Who are good candidates for the CRJV program?

The CRJV program recruits men and women who are aware of and wholly supportive of the mission of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. As Ignatian Spirituality is an integral part of that mission, we seek individuals who are open to experiencing and exploring the aspects of that perspective in their intentional community and in the larger school community. We look for applicants who have been touched deeply by their experiences in service, community, and spirituality/personal development and wish to share those gifts with others.

What is the transportation arrangement for the volunteers?

  • Volunteers share one provided vehicle which includes gas and insurance.
  • Volunteers are asked to arrange and finance all travel plans outside of Chicago.
  • Downtown Chicago is easily accessible via public transportation.