Volunteering at Cranaleith: George Whalen

Volunteering at Cranaleith: George Whalen

As I was approaching retirement from a long career in Philadelphia City government, I started to think about what was I going to do with the balance of my life. I had always been interested in Religion and I was active in several groups at our parish. I also studied Theology at LaSalle University before retiring and taught Religious Studies at the Penn State Abington campus location for several years after retiring.

Another driving force in this assessment of my future was a desire to give something back in my golden years. Along the way in my career there had been some very challenging and stressful times. My faith helped me through these bad times. I felt a strong urge to give back in some way.

I looked around for other more active ministry opportunities and I came upon the Ignatian Volunteer Corp (IVC). The Jesuits have this volunteer program for senior citizens where we are placed in various volunteer settings. We come together once a month to share about our experience or to discuss some readings of one kind or another. Some members teach; some work at social service agencies; others like me do office work.

It was almost a moment of divine providence that the IVC had an opportunity for Cranaleith which was not very far from my home. I have been doing office work which is second nature for me. In addition, I have been reaching out to Holy Ghost Prep where I have friends to perhaps do some joint activities.

It feels good to give something back to the church which so helped me over the years. I hope this brief testimonial will help others discern their own journey in the later part of their lives.