Meet The Volunteers-Joseph
Meet The Volunteers - KAROLINE
Town / City: Manchester
Placement(s): Liverpool City Centre Methodist Church, The SVP Shop
A little about me:
My name is Karoline Knedgen. I am 23 years old and I am from Detroit, Michigan, USA. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Human Biology and a minor in Health Promotion. I am a devout Catholic and was an active member of St. John’s Student Centre, the catholic church at Michigan State. I lived in the Emmaus House, a women’s discernment house my last two years of university, where I learned to trust and love the Lord more than ever before. I enjoy playing cards and board games because it allows me to spend time with others in a fun way.
Why I chose the Vincentian Volunteers:
I choose to do a missionary year because I didn’t know what my next step after university was. What I did know was that I wanted to live a life centred on serving others and I knew the best way to do that was to do a service year. My faith is the utmost important aspect of my life so I wanted to do a service year with a Catholic program that was centred around community, service and prayer. When I found Vincentian Volunteers on the Catholic Volunteer Network Website I saw that their three main pillars were community, service and prayer I was overjoyed. I applied for the program soon after.
I have three different placements this year. On Mondays I am at St. Cuthbert’s Church in Manchester helping to organize and make bags of groceries to give to the homeless in the morning and helping with a Tea Dance for the Elderly in the afternoon. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am in Liverpool at a place called Somewhere Else or the Bread Church where I and others make bread, socialize and eat lunch together. The people there are from all different walks of life. Some people are mentally disabled and have their support worker with them, others are single parents with their young children, and others are homeless and are there for a warm meal. On Wednesdays and Fridays I work in Manchester at a St. Vincent De Paul Community Shop or a Second-hand Store. I help with whatever is needed at that moment. It can range from sorting and pricing donated items to working the cash register or the till.
The highpoints of the last two months is how welcoming and friendly everyone in Manchester and Liverpool are. My roommates are all such amazing people; they are nice, fun and supportive. We have all only been together for a short time but it already feels like we are a family. I also really enjoy going to adoration and confession followed by Mass every Saturday at the local church. It allows me to reflect on my week and praise the Lord. I have only been in England for two months but I already feel like I’m at home here.