Introducing the 2018-2019 Precious Blood Volunteers: Lina Guerrero

2018-2019 Precious Blood Volunteer Lina Guerrero

Lina will serve at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) in Chicago, Illinois and will live with Dayton Precious Blood Sisters in the Bridgeport neighborhood. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas then graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland with degrees in international studies and Spanish. She spent the last year serving as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in western Missouri with the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund. She has committed to serving as a Precious Blood Volunteer for a full year.

  • Why do you want to volunteer?

“After being a Jesuit Volunteer this past year, I felt a call to do another year of service because I felt like I wasn’t ‘done’ yet. There is still so much work to be done, systems to tackle, and things to learn about people for me to not try to volunteer again.”

  • Why do you want to volunteer with Precious Blood Volunteers?

“After meeting, living with, and attending a parish with Precious Blood priests, I truly enjoyed and was spiritually nourished by their examples, ministries, and spirituality. I also have had a Precious Blood priest as my spiritual director this past year, which also allowed me to discern my desire to continue volunteering as well as working with the Precious Blood Community. Also, us Jesuit Volunteers spent a lot of time with the Kansas City Precious Blood volunteers over the past year, with some of our placements overlapping with theirs. So in short, all things Precious Blood were of great support to me and my fellow Jesuit Volunteers during our JV year in Kansas City. ”

  • What are you looking forward to about your volunteer experience?

“Being able to continue serving in many ways that I did as a Jesuit Volunteer, but also have the ability to learn, serve, and grow in ways that I didn’t during my JV year. Just the fact that this experience will be very different from my previous volunteer experience is exciting for me.”

Volunteers Serve in Many Ways

Aaron Wise (2021), at work at KC CARE Health Center

By Tim Deveney, Precious Blood Volunteers Director

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, speak at the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Teach-in for Social Justice. Fr. Boyle said we need to not “settle for just shaking your fist, roll up your sleeves to create the place where we cherish each other with every breath.” Over the last 10 years, I have seen Precious Blood Volunteers do exactly this. 

Precious Blood Volunteers is a ministry of the United States Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Our volunteers serve at one of our placements in Kansas City or Chicago.

They are formed in Precious Blood spirituality by living in intentional community, walking with people who are suffering, and seeking reconciliation. 

The program was created in 2008 by the Kansas City Province. Marie Trout, then director of Companions, and Fr. Al Ebach, C.PP.S., came up with a plan to give an opportunity for lay people to live in service to others for a year as a part of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

Thomas (front), Michael, Mike, and Allison (2020) at Orientation at Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty

Since that time we have had volunteers serving people at Catholic schools, health clinics, social service centers, a hospital, an LGBTQ service center, parishes, a legal aid clinic, and at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. Our volunteers have gone on to careers in medicine, education, nonprofit management, ministry and engineering. 

The volunteers who serve with us are often right out of college, but we have had people in other stages of their lives, including people in their 30s, 60s and 70s.

Our volunteers have served in a variety of roles, including teaching, mentoring, tutoring, campus ministry and coaching at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School. In Chicago at PBMR, our volunteers have worked in arts and music programs, tutoring, the woodshop, the garden, and in peace circle training. 

At Bishop Sullivan Center in Kansas City, our volunteers have helped in the food pantry, run the free restaurant, and assisted people needing help paying their utility bills. We have had volunteers serve as medical assistants at KC Care Health Center, which serves anyone regardless of their ability to pay for care.

Brooke Buth (2018) with a student at Cristo Rey KC

I am excited about what we have coming for the next volunteer cycle. Currently we have four young people committed to serving with us and we are working on finding a few more to round out the 2023–24 cohort. 

The volunteer cycle starts in late July with our orientation retreat at the Precious Blood Renewal Center (PBRC) in Liberty, Mo. During orientation, our new volunteers learn more about the Precious Blood spirituality and charism, have time to reflect on what they are being called to in their service, and better understand the expectations we have for them in their work and community life. 

Each month they will participate in spirituality/justice nights, when volunteers share the blessings and challenges of the work they are doing. We hope to have people from throughout the Precious Blood Community lead these meetings. 

Our volunteers also participate in two retreats and have other opportunities for spiritual growth. The mid-year retreat is scheduled for

Lina Guerrero (2018) with Sister Donna at PBMR

February in Chicago. At that retreat, our Kansas City based volunteers see where our Chicago-based volunteers serve and live. The mid-year retreat’s focus is seeing where God has worked in their lives over the first half of their term of service and to help them develop a focus for the last few months. 

The second last retreat is the end of year at PBRC. At this retreat, volunteers reflect on how God has worked in their lives over their term of service and to see how they want to carry forward what they have experienced. We will help our volunteers find a spiritual director if they seek it out. 

We would love to have your help in supporting our volunteers and the program in general. The most important item on the list is praying for them. Many of our volunteers have told me they felt the prayerful support of the Precious Blood community. 

Vincent Tedford (2021) working with a student at PBMR

Another way to support the volunteers is to send them cards or emails letting them know you are praying for them. If you’re in Chicago or Kansas City, you can invite them to your home for dinner, take them out for a meal or coffee, or invite them to share their experiences at a Companions gathering or Community night. If you have a background in spiritual direction or companionship you can serve as a spiritual director for one of our volunteers. 

You can follow along with what is happening with Precious Blood Volunteers by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Tim Deveney is the director of Precious Blood Volunteers. Go to to learn more about Precious Blood Volunteers. 

Steps on the Journey

By Tim Deveney, Precious Blood Volunteers Director

I have traveled a fair bit during the last 18 years, so I have my packing routine down pretty well. I have different routines for different types of trips. When I pack for recruiting trips to college campuses, I pack pants, button-down shirts, a dressy pair of shoes, and ties for when I’m feeling a bit saucy. If I’m heading to Chicago to visit our volunteers, I’m more of a nice shirt and jeans type of guy. I know to check the weather in every destination I’m going to. It always amazes me how different the weather can be between Chicago and South Bend.

Traveling requires me to think through some of the possible contingencies. Where do I stay that is both comfortable and responsible with the resources the United States Province trusts me with? What’s the best route? Do I really want to pay the tolls to get to Notre Dame, or should I take an extra half-hour on the road to avoid the tolls? Should I rent a car or trust my skills in navigating public transportation? Do I have child care for my kids in the mornings before school? How am I going to get to and from the airport? (Thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for regularly taking care of those last two items.)

Even with all the planning, there is a lot I cannot control. The traffic in Chicago is always a wild card. The places I stay might not be comfortable or quiet (There’s a loud rooster that lived near our volunteers in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago!). There are usually some unique experiences, sights to see, or new food. I learned about the glory of kolaches thanks to former volunteer Lina Guerrero’s parents in Austin, Texas. I have met some amazing people, some of whom I now count as confidants and friends.

Sometimes there are unexpected difficulties that come up. There are times when I feel tired and have to force myself to take that next step. I have been to recruiting fairs that no students show up to, leaving me with two to four hours of thinking about all the other work I have to do and the burden that my family is bearing because I’m traveling. At visits to our placement sites, I have to have unexpectedly difficult conversations with our volunteers or our placement contacts. Those conversations occasionally involve me having to dive really deep into how I am working with those people.

In November, I traveled to Florida for the Catholic Volunteer Network annual conference. It was our first in-person meeting since 2019. During the conference, one of the participants shared the poem “For Those Who Have Far to Travel” by Jan Richardson during an opening prayer. It’s a meditation on the journey of the Magi. It offered me a much different perspective on the journey the wise men took. She opens her poem:

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.

The story of the Epiphany only appears in Matthew’s Gospel. The “wise men from the East” only appear briefly in Matthew’s infancy narrative. The author of Matthew’s Gospel gives them only two more sentences than Joseph, whose silence makes the wise men seem verbose. The unnumbered group undertakes a journey whose destination they do not know.

They appear in Jerusalem to get directions. When they arrive in Bethlehem, they give their gifts to Jesus and offer him homage. They renege on their promise to Herod after having dreams in which angels warn them Herod’s intentions are not good. They end up going home a different way. They are a group of people who appear quietly in Matthew’s Gospel, and after giving their gifts and offering homage to Jesus, they just as quietly disappear.

What was their journey like? What did they pack? What new foods did they taste? Who were the people (besides those in Herod’s court and the Holy Family) they met on their journey?

How did they feel on their journey home? Did they feel the exhilaration of getting a glimpse of God’s love, or did they feel let down that God’s glory was in a child born to a young peasant woman and a carpenter instead of in a palace? Were their lives changed by their journey and those they met at their destination? How did they push through when they were tired, thirsty, or hungry?

We are all on journeys, maybe not as profound as the wise men, but journeys nonetheless. Our community is on a journey of discernment and discovery of how we are to witness Christ’s reconciliation in the world. Ultimately, this is a journey of love, inspired by the love of a God who gave us his Son to bring peace, mercy, justice, and truth. The road is hard, but like the wise men, we need to continue on even if we do not know the steps ahead of us. We probably do not even know the place we are going to! Throughout it all, we need to trust the slow work of God and be open to God’s love being revealed to us in unusual ways.

Tim Deveney is the director of Precious Blood Volunteers. Go to to learn more about Precious Blood Volunteers. 

This article originally appeared in the January 2023 edition of “The New Wine Press.”

Excerpt from “For Those Who Have Far to Travel” © Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons. Used by permission.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021

We join in celebrating International Women’s Day by sharing reflections from current Precious Blood Volunteers and alumnae. Enjoy!

Precious Blood Volunteers alumna, Lina Guerrero, with Sister Donna at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago

Allison Spraul, a current Precious Blood Volunteer, sharing her reasons for serving

To learn more about serving as a Precious Blood Volunteer go to our website

Tapping the Wine Cellar-August 6, 2020

Please join Fr. Keith, Vicky, Tim, and guest former Precious Blood Volunteer Lina Guerrero for this recording of August 6th’s Tapping the Wine Cellar! We hope you can take some time to explore the coming Sunday’s readings using this video as a jumping-off...