Message from Alumna Emily

October 2, 2013

Greetings Newmanites!


How art thou? I am now living in Houston, Texas, serving for a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), living out JVC’s four core values of spirituality, community, simple living, and social justice. During this year, I am residing in an impoverished neighborhood with five other Jesuit volunteers. My five housemates are amazing people doing equally amazing things throughout the city, including working in refugee services, a food pantry, advocacy against human trafficking, and at a legal firm that tries to get people on death row a life sentence instead.


My own full-time volunteer position here in Houston is at the Open Door Mission as the social services coordinator, where I work with a team of social workers to provide services to homeless men in our addiction recovery program and convalescent care center. Basically, I do intake and conduct psychosocial and social services needs assessments. I help the guys get ID cards, social security cards, birth certificates, refer them to medical, psychological, and dental appointments, and help them get health insurance. On Fridays, I teach a gardening class for men in the convalescent care center. I helped finish making raised garden beds that are wheelchair accessible. This past week, we just planted a variety of plants- strawberries, pineapple, marigolds, cabbage, tomatoes, and others. The guys had so much fun!


Although the transition from Quebec to Texas is a huge culture shock and I miss Montreal, Texas is really growing on me. My neighborhood is full of great Salvadorian and Mexican restaurants, where I have discovered the beauty of pupusas and horchata. I have seen an armadillo in the wild, as well as tarantulas. The music scene here is really interesting; I’ve seen country and rock shows so far. And in two weeks, I am getting ready to run in my first 5k ever!


If y’all could please pray for the men at the Open Door Mission, and for my community here, I would really appreciate it! And please email me at, especially if you’re interested in doing JVC!




Emily (4th from the left) with her house-mates and fellow Jesuit Volunteers
Emily (4th from the left) with her house-mates and fellow Jesuit Volunteers

By Newman Catholic Students' Society Executive

For more information about the Newman Catholic Students' Society executive, please consult the Executive Committee page under the About menu on this website.