Opportunities to help out


I was reading an article about the child immigrants story that is in the news recently.
It moved me. And then it occurred to me that I am doing nothing to help anyone.

I am at a crossroads in my life. I am thinking maybe it’s time to DO something with my life.

So I turn to CAF and ask: anyone know of organisations that might make use of me?


54 year old woman in perfect health. Have degrees in Humanities and fashion design. Post graduate diploma in textile art.

Taught in the UK for two years, woodshop, metalwork, textiles, art, graphics.

I live in Canada, but a citizen of US, UK, and Canada.

Right now I am living in the woods having “retired” with my husband. He promptly went back to work and I am alone here for 50% of the time, basically pet sitting and playing around with my “art” hobbies.

We have the house on the market and are looking to go elsewhere because I am going stark raving mad with the isloation and boredom. I am not in a community, and the nearest town is 2.5 hours away on the ferry.

I could travel, teach, hand out food stuffs, paint houses, whatever… I’m pretty flexible and adaptable. I’m up for an adventure and have a wish to help.
My biggest problem is that I have a case of plate fright and will not eat food that is too exotic. No bugs or monkey brains for me…but I don’t need many calories anyway.

I’ve lived a traditional suburban life. But with my husband gone so much and the house market not moving I could be stuck here for a couple of years. So I thought I might as well see if I could do something with my time. Honestly, I wake up in the morning and think, well! Only 16 hours to go…

I dearly need and want a way to be useful whilst waiting for my husband to get sick of working, and the house to sell.

Anyone got ideas for organisations that might make use of me?
I think the Peace corp will take marrieds but only if the partners are serving together.
I’d have to do this on my own.


Have you thought about getting in touch with the Catholic Worker Movement or any other organization running a settlement house or something of the sort?

God bless.


I’m sort of in the same boat: 56 y.o. man in great health (just bicycled 116.8 km today). I was “forced” into retirement 6 months ago in a restructuring (I work(ed) in IT). I live in a rural area (in the woods like you but nearest town 10 minutes away and Montreal 1.5 hours away). My wife works as a physician (family doctor) in the nearest town so moving is out of the question, they need their doctor!!! My last job involved commuting into Montreal and it nearly killed me, and certainly killed my quality of life. So far I can’t find anything nearby.

So far I’ve been helping out at the local abbey, of which I am an oblate. The monks are thinning out and need help. So far I’ve helped out in their cider factory, doing a lot of translation from French to English for them to accommodate the growing number of anglophone oblates, and one of the monks has asked for IT help as he runs the gift shop.

But it’s far from keeping me occupied full time (hence the 116.8 km bike ride today). Besides that I putter around the property, do the house cleaning/lawn care/car maintenance-actually that means “take car to garage”/litter box cleaning.

Maybe I should write my Great (Catholic) Novel…

So any ideas you come up with, I’m all ears. One thing I’m pretty certain of, I don’t think I want to use my talents to feed the corporate world anymore. Too much evil for me in that part of society. But I wouldn’t mind helping out NGOs or Catholic organizations with my skills.


Hi! I live on an island…about half way up Vancouver Island and towards the mainland by two islands. I loathe it and am pretty lonely. Montreal is a wonderful city.

Anyway, I’m thinking of maybe doing a food run with Adopt a Native Elder. (anelder.org) They help out elderly traditional Navajos on the reservation of the Southwestern a US. Maybe I can get my son to join me. But it’s only a week. But it might turn into a regular thing.

Let me know any other ideas. My nearest monestary is Benedictine, but I can’t get there and back in one day. I’ve tried it. It just wouldn’t work for either of us. No churches around here except in that town 2.5 hours away.

Well just have to keep looking!
God Bless


I know that monastery! I met a couple of oblates from there in 2009 in Rome at the World Oblate Congress; and also at last years congress, I met a young monk from that abbey at Sant’Anselmo, he was there for advanced Benedictine studies (Sant’Anselmo is a unique monastery in that it houses the Benedictine college so that almost all monks who reside there are only there temporarily for their studies). Also my wife is from Vancouver (well, Aldergrove really), so I’ve been to BC many times but oddly haven’t had the opportunity to visit the abbey; when I’m there, we tend to be very busy with family visits, etc.

Anyway I digress. I myself don’t mind the isolation so much; I tend to be contemplative by nature (hence the oblate thing). For several years I worked from home and loved it. It’s not so much isolation that’s an issue for me, but the need to keep my brain busy. Fortunately much IT work can be done remotely, though there are few companies yet that believe that. But it’s a brutal field, with not much loyalty either way; so I’m ready to do something more useful for humanity and less oriented towards “shareholder value”.

My wife is a family doctor and expressed a desire to do humanitarian work in a developing country when she retires. Perhaps I’ll be able to tag along and help them a bit with the administrative side of things; prior to being laid off I worked in health care IT (electronic medical records). But until then I have some time to kill; I don’t think she’ll retire for a few more years yet.


No matter where you go, or what spirituality you take on, our Charity Associates of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal has a number of ministries to which someone may belong:


Vincentian is basically “leaving God for God”, and involvement in charitable works in one’s own community. We have an online group, and some of the members are desirous of vowed religious life.

DD – I would recommend the Kateri Ministry of CAMM. We presently support the activities of the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation, who are now involved in rebuilding teacher houses, and building a Parents Center at Wounded Knee school. I am certain that there are First Nations initiatives there locally in Vancouver.

Ask St. Joseph’s help in selling your home.



Thanks, cloisters. St Joseph has been standing on his head in my yard for a while now.

I will look into those places. They sound really up my alley. Do you have a link?


Google ‘friends of pine ridge reservation’. Anything I link from memory may be faulty.



You may want to consider being a foster parent. Perhaps that would be something for the future since you live in such a rural place. Good and loving foster parents are desperately needed, especially for emergency placement and older children. I work with at-risk high school kids and so many people label them as ‘bad’ kids. The reality is that very few are actually ‘bad.’ In ten years, I’ve seen two kids who seemed a little hard of heart. Most are so sweet and have been hurt by those who are supposed to be caring for them. There are a lot of foster parents who are in it for the wrong reasons and do not treat the children as they should. So providing a home of safety, kindness, and love is much needed. It’s not for everyone, but maybe something to pray about. God bless you.

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