Introducing 2017-2018 Volunteers: Leah Landry

2017-2018 Volunteer Leah Landry

Leah Landry is a native of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. She will be moving east into the Back of the Yards neighborhood serving at Precious Blood Ministry Reconciliation. She will be living in community with the Dayton Precious Blood sisters who live and serve in Chicago. This past May she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, Spanish and peace studies. Leah was awarded the Yarrow Award from the Kroc Institute at Notre Dame. The Yarrow Award is awarded to peace studies undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to service in peace and justice.

  • Why do you want to volunteer?

“I am excited to be a volunteer at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation because I see this as the start of my vocation dedicated to helping create a restorative justice system in the US. As a volunteer, I will have a chance to learn from and be a part of the stories and the experiences of the young people at PBMR. I hope this year helps me grow and become a better advocate and ally for people who have been hurt by our current justice system.”

  • Why do you want to be a Precious Blood Volunteer?

“I want to be a Precious Blood Volunteer because I am looking forward to being a part of a community that is dedicated to making the world a better place and helping others. I think it will be a great experience to work alongside volunteers who are passionate and excited about social justice issues like me.”

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

“I am really looking forward to getting to know the Back of the Yards community. I’ve lived outside Chicago my whole life and have always wanted an opportunity to become more ingrained in the city neighborhoods. I am also excited to learn more about restorative justice and be trained in how to facilitate circle processes. I can’t wait to start volunteering at PBMR and finally put into practice all the theories and ideas I learned in my Peace Studies classes.”

Introducing the 2017-2018 Precious Blood Volunteers: Hector Avitia

2017-2018 Volunteer Hector Avitia

Hector Avitia will serve in Chicago at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation and will live in community at the Formation House in Hyde Park. He grew up in Los Lunas, New Mexico and graduated in 2010 from the University of Notre Dame. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Over the last seven years Hector has worked in the corporate world along with volunteering in his church community. He has committed to serving as a Precious Blood Volunteer for a full year.

  • Why do you want to volunteer?

“I have always felt like I was called to service, but I didn’t know how I was supposed to live out that call. In the past, I have served by spending my free time in various ministries, especially youth ministry and social justice advocacy. These were great experiences that taught me a lot about giving back to the community, but I knew that there was still more that I could do to help the marginalized of our society. After much thought and prayer, full-time volunteering was the obvious next step in this journey of service.”

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

“I interviewed with a few other organizations that all had many great things that made them amazing choices, but there was something special about Precious Blood. From my interview with Director Tim Deveney at a little Mexican restaurant in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago to the Skype session with Fr. David Kelly, I immediately felt a connection with Precious Blood. I could already picture myself working alongside these awesome people, and that is a big deal. We are about to embark on a mission with many obstacles and challenges, and having that trust and openness with your leaders will help us overcome the tough times ahead. It will also make the positive moments that much more enjoyable.”

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

“By working and living with the community I will be serving, I hope to grow in my faith and have a better understanding of the needs of south side Chicago. This volunteer experience is part of my discernment to see how I can further help those in need. The best way to know the needs of a community is to live alongside that community. I want to walk a mile in the shoes of our forgotten brothers and sisters, and I believe Precious Blood provides just that. I am also looking forward to hearing about the other volunteers’ journeys. I know that there is a lot that I can learn from all these people if I just take the time to listen.”

2017-2018 Volunteers Update

Former Precious Blood Volunteer, Ryan Cornelissen, tutoring a student at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School

by Tim Deveney, Director of Precious Blood Volunteers
I am excited to announce that we will have six and possibly seven new volunteers this coming volunteer cycle. They are a well-accomplished group with varied backgrounds, work experience, interests, and educational training. They will bring energy, youth, experience, and passion to the Precious Blood community and to the people they serve.
This group of volunteers will be living and working in Kansas City and Chicago serving and walking with people who have been marginalized in our society.  In Kansas City we will have volunteers serving at KC CARE Clinic, Cristo Rey Kansas City High School, and St. James Place (part of the Bishop Sullivan Center). They will live in community at Gaspar Mission House.

Jade Bowman, a former Precious Blood Volunteer, taking the vitals of a patient at KC CARE Clinic

The Chicago volunteers will serve at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR). They will be our first volunteers serving at PBMR since Bonnie Kane served there in 2011. The female volunteers will be living with the Dayton Precious Blood sisters and the male volunteer will live at the Formation House in Hyde Park.
One group of volunteers will begin their Orientation in the first week of August and the second group will participate in Orientation in September. Early in the summer we will be introducing each one of them to the Precious Blood community.
You can learn more about Precious Blood Volunteers at