By Elizabeth Lowe
Pat Skarupa first became interested in learning more about St. Ignatius Loyola when three of her sons attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson more than four decades ago. Skarupa has learned about Ignatian spirituality over the years and about five years ago, she began volunteering through Baltimore-headquartered Ignatian Volunteer Corps.
“You always get more than what you give,” said Skarupa, 76, a parishioner of St. Joseph’s Passionist Monastery in Irvington who volunteers at St. Ann in Baltimore.
To promote and celebrate “the good work” of area Jesuit organizations, a first-ever Ignatian 5K road race and one-mile walk is set for April 6 at Patterson Park in Baltimore, sponsored by the Ignatian Volunteer Corps.
All proceeds from the “Runners for Others” event will directly support the social ministry programs of nine Jesuit organizations in the Baltimore area: Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Baltimore; Ignatian Volunteer Corps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Loyola Blakefield, Towson; Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore; St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church, Woodstock; St. Ignatius Church, Baltimore, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, Baltimore; and the Maryland Province of Jesuits.
Like Skarupa, most volunteers have some connection to Ignatian education and are attracted to Ignatian spirituality, said Mission Helper of the Sacred Heart Sister Marilyn Dunphy, Baltimore regional director of Ignatian Volunteer Corps.
“We’re not just a volunteer placement agency,” she said. “There is a spiritual component for volunteers.”
That spiritual component includes retreats and a day of reflection.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps was founded in 1995 by two Jesuit priests. The organization has about 400 volunteers nationwide and nearly 25 in Baltimore – typically over age 50 – who “serve the poor and marginalized,” Sister Marilyn said. Each volunteer performs about 600 hours of service annually.
If you go:
What: Runners for Others: An Ignatian 5K
Where: Patterson Park, Linwood and Eastern avenues, Baltimore
When: April 6, 9 a.m.
Cost: $25 ages 23 and over; $20 ages 11-22; $10 current Jesuit middle and high school students and Jesuit Volunteer Corps volunteers; free 10 and under
How to register: eliteracemanagement.com/runners-for-others
Did you know: Shayla Francis, a senior at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, drew the race logo – St. Ignatius running through the streets of Baltimore.
Copyright (c) March 21, 2013 CatholicReview.org