|DV Henry Moller|
Our latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Henry Moller.
Henry serves as a teacher at Immaculate Conception Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Atlanta Georgia and reflects on his year with DVUSA with gratitude.
Thank you for your service Henry and for sharing your many gifts with your students, colleagues community members,and fellow volunteers.
Dominican blessings in all your future endeavors.
As I packed my bags and prepared to board the plane on the way to the Dominican Volunteers USA opening retreat I distinctly remember thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Now, nearly a year later, in the best possible way, I am still not sure I can fully explain the answer to my question. Here is my best attempt:
Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year I have served as a teacher and a coach at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School living in the Penn Community in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta. Throughout this time I worked and lived with some truly incredible and inspirational people. I am so thankful for the warm welcome and hospitality I received upon arriving in the Penn Community and the continued growth and connection we developed as an intentional community focused on social justice issues and our own spirituality. Each member of the community contributed in different ways and taught me a great deal about living in harmony with brothers and sisters in Christ.
At my ministry site I was equally blessed to find inspiration and opportunities to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. This inspiration came from the incredible faculty, staff, and administration at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit in their tireless support and constant commitment to the school’s mission of developing men and women for and with others but most of the inspiration I received came from the indescribably amazing students I interacted with daily. I am lucky enough to be returning as a full-time teacher next year at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit and truly look forward to strengthening the relationships I have forged. Being able to tell my students I would be returning for an additional year and receiving warm congratulations from them was an experience I will never forget.
Dominican Volunteers USA has been much more than a ministry/community placement program this past year. While the room and board, stipend, and placement have been great, the year would simply not have been the same without the encouragement and care shown by every member of the Dominican community. To my fellow Penn Community members, all members of the Dominican Order, Megan, Allison, and David, all the wonderful people at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, and to my fellow DVs, I extend a heartfelt thank you for making this year possible.
5 years ago if you had asked me if I would be open to a year of service, living in community, and exploring my faith I would have thought you had mistaken me for someone else. I am eternally grateful the me from 5 years ago grew to a point where I was willing to take a chance on what has been a wild adventure. Numerous doors have been opened to me as I continue to find myself in this wonderful thing we call life. For that, I will be forever thankful.