Catholic Volunteer Work


Dear Friends,

I volunteered in college and went with a group of students to El Salvador, but it was covered as a part of my tuition. I am really interested in doing some type of Catholic Volunteer work, perhaps for a summer. I really don’t know how to start.

I’ve checked various websites (Catholic Volunteer Network, Cross-Cultural Soulitons, etc.), but it seems like there is a lot of out of pocket cost for a volunteer experience. I understand there are reasons for costs (clean drinking water, transportation, room and board, etc.). I would really hate to be one of those people who sets up a “fund me” page and asks for donations, I do not like asking for money.

Does anyone know if ways to fund a trip like this? Has anyone had similar volunteer experience? Even if my trip was fully paid for, I’d have to figure out a way to pay for my bills and rent while I am gone.:thumbsup:

Any prayers and advice are appreciated!


Find a parish that does annual mission trips. We have a group that travels to an orphanage in Haiti every year. Through CRS. They take 18 people each time, and the parish funds the airfare.


I found a position here in Mexico volunteering tutoring English as a Second Language to some kids and teens, and other tasks. I stayed at a casa for 9 months and then moved here. I’ve been off and on in the US, but been here now, total, 10 years, found I liked it.

I got dual citizenship and now, I live here.

I found a position that had room and board and a tiny stipend.

Though, admittedly, I had an income.


This is partially copied and pasted from one of my previous answers. I think the two I’m going to mention below will provide you with the necessities; travel will probably be yours to cover, however. So at least, you don’t have to worry about some of it. Or are you looking for travel expenses and other expenses to be paid for?

I’ve looked into missionary organizations too. One I heard of from going to a fair and another I found by searching online.

They are:

  1. Jesuit Volunteer Corps
    ( – I think this is the US site but I’m not sure)
    ( – This one is for the Canadians)

  2. Dominican Volunteers International

I believe you can choose where you want to go and they will, of course, also suggest for you something that suits your abilities. I’ve explored this one a bit more. They have a list from 2012 which will hopefully give you an idea of the areas (geographical and missionary-wise) that they do work in. Go to this link:…d=19&Itemid=32

Then press “The communities that have requested volunteers” (in bold, blue text) and download the PDF. Just to let you know, once you click it, you might read the first place and think “It’s in Spanish, I don’t understand” and leave it at that. But look through each one; some are in English, French, etc (it’s not a lot to look through, really).

There are also testimonies, pictures, etc. Their Facebook page also has some pictures.

For the Dominican Volunteers international, in one of the pages (, it says:

“The Dominican communities who wish to receive volunteers need to complete a form (available in four languages) with information about the project, the characteristics of the community, the expenses that they will cover. The receiving communities should respect these expressed commitments.”

So I think this one might be negotiable since it is up to the receiving community as to what they contribute in terms of expense coverage, but keep in mind that the Dominicans are a religious order who are under the vow of poverty and we wouldn’t want to financially burden them.

I hope this helps! I’m curious what you think and would like to hear your thoughts on this so if you have the time to give feedback, please let me know. God bless!


I am really surprised you are finding a lot of cost associated with the opportunities on Catholic Volunteer Network. Are you looking domestically or internationally?

I had quite the opposite experience…I found most domestic opportunities for summer only require you to pay for your travel to and from the site. Internationally, more costs tend to exist…

Maybe even check out Catholic Familyland in Ohio. I think they are getting a new website, though. It is a summer commitment. My buddy in college did it and received a stipend.

closed #6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit