Volunteer Program






Dunbar, Pennsylvania

June 16-21, 2013


Archbishop Williams High School (FULL)

Crow Reservation, Montana

July 11-18, 2013


Bible School (FULL)

Bardstown, Kentucky

September 1-7, 2013


Home repairs  Memphis Group, Family & Friends (FULL)

Appalachia, Kentucky

October 6-12, 2013


Spalding University

Memphis, Tennessee

January 11, 2014


Volunteer Gathering & Disaster Relief Program Training

Belize City, Belize

January 19-26, 2014


St. John's Hollywood House (FULL)

Belize City, Belize

February 9-16, 2014



Elm Grove, West Virginia

February 27-March 2, 2014


Renovation of transition home for Florence Crittenton Services

Louisville, Kentucky

April 22, 2014


Mayor’s Program: My Give A Day (Volunteers needed)

Botswana, Africa

May 2014

approx $3,700 COMPLETED

Mission trip (FULL)

Disaster Relief

May 2014


Arkansas tornado disaster response

Appalachia, Kentucky

May 12-17, 2014


Home repairs

Crow Reservation, Montana

June 7-13, 2014


Home repairs

Bardstown, Kentucky

June 15-19, 2014


Home repairs, Vincentian Academy

Bardstown, Kentucky

June 25, 2014


"Feeding America" food distribution (Volunteers needed)

Barton, Ohio

July 20-25, 2014

Archbishop Williams High School

Nazareth, Kentucky

August 2, 2014

Annual Volunteer Day of Reflection

Appalachia, Kentucky

August 11-16, 2014


(Volunteers needed)

New Orleans, Louisiana

September 22-26, 2014


(Volunteers needed)


November 2-16, 2014

approx $2,000

Dharuhera - Asha Kiran (Volunteers needed)

Belize City, Belize

January 17-25, 2015

"Building for Change" collaboration with Hand in Hand Ministries (Volunteers needed)

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SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program: Our mission is complete in Barton, Ohio. The students will be heading back to Massachusetts while Sisters Luke and Angela depart for Kentucky. Thank you to all of the volunteers for your hard work this week!

From Luke Boiarski, SCN: We are making good progress on our project here in Barton, Ohio. We continue to experience the generosity of the people in this area.
Tomorrow is our last working day here and the students from Archbishop Williams High School are pleased with the results. Thank you for your prayers and continued support of the SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program!

Join the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s Lay Mission Volunteer Program on a volunteer mission trip to work with the Sisters and children at Asha Kiran in Dharuhera, India.

  • What: Asha Kiran, a school operated by the SCNs for young girls who are orphaned, or who have been taken out of brothels and other hostile environments
  • When: Nov. 3-16, 2014
  • Where: Dharuhera, near Delhi, India
  • Why: To change lives in a cross-cultural partnership with the oppressed, economically poor and marginalized, primarily in the areas in which Sisters are called to mission
  • Cost: Approximately $2,000 including airfare, room and board

If you (or anyone you know of) are interested in joining the group, please contact Felicia Rowe at felicia@scnfamily.org or (502) 348-1583 for more details.

Help us spread the word regarding this amazing, once in a lifetime service opportunity!

Update from Sister Luke Boiarski, Director of the Lay Mission Volunteer Program:

The students from Archbishop Williams High School, Carol O’Brien, Mike Delanty and Sisters Luke and Angela Hicks arrived in Barton, Ohio on Sunday, July 20 to begin their service of painting a home for Ms. Corrine.

As you can see by the photos, it has been and continues to be, a wonderful adventure.

The people in this small coal mining town have been so gracious to us. Please pray for the safety of all involved in this project.

SCN volunteers joined the local ‘Feeding America’ program this morning distributing food from their monthly location at the Nelson County fairgrounds. Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. For more about how you can volunteer with us, please visit our website: www.scnfamily.org/volunteer

An Inheritance of Gratefulness

Lay mission leader serves others at home and abroad

Belief in reincarnation isn’t part of Felicia Rowe’s Catholic faith. Still, her grandmother’s spirit lives on in her.

Felicia, 31, of Louisville, is assistant director of the lay mission volunteer program at the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Her job involves recruiting volunteers for short-term missions, disaster relief, and community service projects, documenting the work on video and following up with participants about what they got from their experiences.

She recently returned from Botswana in southern Africa, where she worked in an HIV/AIDS clinic and a preschool. In January, she helped build houses in the Central American nation of Belize, and this month, she will assist a team of volunteers for Feeding America, distributing food to the needy in Nelson County.

“I get paid to do what I would do unpaid,” she said.

It’s a vocation Rowe’s grandmother, Marie, would understand.

Marie was a student at Nazareth Academy and considered becoming a sister before she married and became a mother instead. When she was being courted by J.C. Greenwell, he would call on her once a week, until one day when Marie told him she was going to join the Sisters of Charity and he shouldn’t come back. The next week, he came twice, and “the rest is history,” Felicia said. The two married and had 11 children, including Felicia’s mom, Julie, who married Brad Rowe, her father.

Though she never became a nun, Marie Greenwell lived a life of service. A college graduate and medical technician, she served for a time on the board of health and did volunteer work for the Red Cross. She attended the 6:30 Mass every morning at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, was a Eucharistic minister and was always helping people.

“She was a faithful and prayerful person,” said Julie.

In some ways, Felicia is like her.

“She’s aware of the needs of other people and what she can do for them,” Julie said of her daughter. “She’s a kind person.”

When she was a young girl, Felicia participated in blood drives and school service projects, and often went with their mother, brother and sisters to visit the elderly in nursing homes.

“She’s always had a love of older people,” Julie said.

That’s one of the reasons Felicia likes her job at SCN, where many of the sisters are older women.

“It’s kind of a natural fit because the sisters remind me of my grandmother,” she said. “I love being here because I have such respect for their wisdom and everything you can learn from them.”

Another reason she likes her work is the opportunity it provides for travel.

Her wanderlust began in the sixth grade when Felicia joined her mother, brother and sisters on a backpacking trip of across Europe. In college, she studied in Ireland, the Netherlands and the Bahamas.

Since then, she has visited every continent except Antarctica, and she’s thought about how she can get there.

The time she was in India, studying yoga and doing some work at an ashram, was especially an eye-opening experience, because it was the first time she was a minority and a woman in a culture where women don’t have the same rights and privileges they do here.

“There’s so much you can learn by being immersed in other cultures,” she said. “I really feel like it isn’t until you’re out of your comfort zone that you really start to learn about yourself and other people as well. I have ample opportunities to do that, so it’s one reason I’m so grateful to be able to do the work I do.”

Felicia is a 2001 graduate of Bethlehem and a 2005 Bellarmine grad. In 2009, she earned a master’s in public health from Benedictine University in Chicago, then studied for a year at the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico. She was going to be an optometrist, but to her “parents’ dismay,” she said, she changed her emphasis to public health.

She worked for a children’s hospital in Philadelphia and a charity in New York City before she was hired by the Sisters of Charity as an assistant to Sister Luke Boiarski, director of the lay mission program of the Office of Congregational Advancement.

Sister Luke’s leadership resulted in an expansion of the volunteer program to the point where she needed someone to be her right hand.

“Now Felicia’s taking it to the next step,” said Diane Curtis, a spokeswoman for SCN.

Sister Luke described Felicia as compassionate and generous, and said “her openness to other cultures is extraordinary.”

Patsy O’Toole, an SCN associate and Sister Luke’s director, said Felicia’s work is to her “a ministry.”

“She approaches the job with her whole heart,” she said.

Her organizational skills, matched with “her ability to draw people together make her a perfect person for this role.”

Soon after she began her job with SCN, Felicia visited New Orleans, which is still recovering from the 2005 hurricanes. A little later she did poverty relief work in the Appalachian town of Beattyville, Ky., and helped build houses and relationships with homeowners in Belize City.

She believes in treating the people she assists “with the same respect everybody deserves, regardless of who they are or where they are — it doesn’t matter if it’s Beattyville or Botswana.”

In Botswana, Felicia cared for orphans, many of whom are living with AIDS, and she found the Sisters of Charity who live humbly among those they serve, an inspiration.

Botswana is a young country and a hopeful one.

“I loved it because the people were so welcoming, happy and uplifting, even though they often had difficult challenges,” she said.

“As Americans, we are given so much and are so fortunate, but we seem to lack the gratitude to live fulfilled lives,” Felicia said.

Her grandmother, said Julie, would be proud of her.

SCN lay mission volunteers have completed their work on the Crow Reservation in Montana and will be flying back from Billings later this evening. Prayers for their safe return!

SCN lay mission volunteers on the job at the Crow Reservation in Montana

SCN lay mission volunteers continue their mission trip at the Crow Reservation in Montana:

June 10, 2014

The volunteers worked on the same trailer home today putting more sub flooring down in the kitchen area. We hope to finish with the tiling in the bathroom tomorrow and also with mounting fixtures. Two young women and a teen came over to assist us with the work. It was a great time to talk with them and we thoroughly enjoyed their company and the opportunity to make connections within the local community.

Luke Boiarski, SCN, Director of the Lay Mission Volunteer Program shares another update from the mission trip to Crow Reservation, Montana:

On Monday, June 9th, we worked all day repairing the bathroom flooring and installing a toilet
for a family. We also assisted the sisters here in planting their seasonal garden.

This evening, Gaylene, an artist in the Crow tribe explained the meaning of the regalia worn by horses for parades and special occasions.

This past Saturday, June 7th, Luke Boiarski, SCN, and three SCN lay mission program volunteers arrived at the Crow Reservation in Pryor, Montana. The group was graciously greeted by Sisters Mary Lou and Sharon Smith, two sisters from Leavenworth, Kansas, who have been there in ministry at St. Charles Mission for the past three years.

More from Sr. Luke:

On this Pentecost Sunday, June 8th, how privileged we were to have the opportunity to listen to the Crow chant and to hear the gospel read in Crow by Fr. Randolph Graczyk, who has been on the reservation for over thirty years. It was a wonderful experience to be able to celebrate liturgy in such a profound way on this special feast.

Later in the evening, after traveling to Billings to purchase supplies for our week of service, we gathered to hear J. R. Goes Ahead share stories of the history, culture and spirituality of the Crow people.


Three SCN lay mission volunteers along with Sister Luke Boiarski, SCN, will be doing home repairs in collaboration with members of the Crow Tribe in Pryor, Mont. They will be in Pryor from June 7-13. Please keep them in prayer.

Mission accomplished: Luke Boiarski, SCN, Director of the Lay Mission Mission Volunteer Program, returns to Nazareth after mission trip to Appalachia (Beattyville, Kentucky).


Kentucky ministry helps salvage mementos in Arkansas

Group sponsored by Sisters of Charity of Nazareth makes first trip to Natural State

There are a lot of places in Arkansas that give residents the cachet of mountain living without sacrificing too many modern conveniences. Brush Mountain is not one of those places.

Just a couple of stumps inside the west Pulaski county line, you know immediately that anyone you encounter along Deer Drive or Turkey Trail is the real deal; people so enamored with the breathtaking views and monastic silence they’ll daily drive, sans guardrails, a half-mile of glorified logging trails that twist over steep ravines like a king snake just to get their morning paper.

And when disaster strikes — be it forest fire, ice storm or as was the case April 27, a lethal twister — everyone here knows the first axiom of this wild and beautiful place: Help who and where you can, but survive on your own. Until today.

“Can you believe we found them up here?” said Sister Luke Boiarski, SCN. “The first day we were here someone at the volunteer center said ‘Well, there’s probably some people way up at the top who need help.’ So we came!”

The “we” who have again ascended here after working Mayflower the day before are members of the Sisters of Charity Disaster Relief Team supported by Sister Luke’s order, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Just in its third year, the ministry has traveled to six disaster sites in a roughly 500-mile radius from the motherhouse in Nazareth, Ky. The group spent May 5 to 8 working affected areas, with its own trailer to haul gear, a minivan full of Kentuckians and the unsinkable Sister Luke at the wheel of this, their maiden voyage to Arkansas.

“I have never been in a diocese where I have been so welcomed with accommodations,” said Sister Luke. “Mr. (Patrick) Gallaher with Catholic Charities was absolutely marvelous. It’s the first time that a Catholic Charities has responded the way the Diocese of Little Rock has responded.”

The disaster relief work grew out of the order’s SCN Lay Mission Volunteer program, of which Sister Luke is director. 

In 2011, summer floods made transportation to the site of a project impossible, so Sister Luke diverted her cadre of volunteers to Missouri, still reeling from the cluster of tornados that had raked the area three weeks earlier.

“I believe, truly with all my heart, that was an inspiration from God,” she said. “I told my director, we weren’t going to Montana, instead we were going to go to Joplin, Mo. She said, ‘Where are you going to stay?’ I said I don’t know; she said, ‘What are you going to eat?’, I said, I don’t know.

“She said, ‘Luke, what are y’all going to do?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, but you know what? It’s OK.’” She said. “As Americans, we have to have everything lined up so perfect, that we don’t let in the Spirit.”

The Spirit that led them to Joplin — where a local Baptist church gave them shelter and the Red Cross kept them fed — now came to rest in the frayed and splintered trees surrounding what used to be Linda Lanier and Sonny Alvarado’s home. The couple moved in 2007 from their native Louisiana.

“When we moved here, one of our neighbors said we’re insulated from tornados because of the ridge,” said Linda through a broad grin. “Well … they were wrong.”

Sister Luke said the group takes its orders onsite from property owners so they have to be ready to handle just about anything from chainsaws to tweezers.

On May 6, the focus here was getting debris into piles; on May 8 they’re hanging tarps and sifting for personal items. It’s a common request among disaster victims; some items are for insurance purposes, others simply knit the first purl of normalcy back into life.

“We never pass judgment on what we find because you never know what’s important and what isn’t,” Sister Luke said. “If where I live was hit by a tornado and a volunteer found a wooden spoon with a crack in it, they’d never think that was important. The fact is, that spoon belonged to my mother and as long as I got it back, that and my grandmother’s pizza pan, nothing else I have matters.”

The workers moved through the garage onto what looks like a back deck, that is, until you see the family room fireplace set into the remaining tattered chunk of wall shifted three feet off the slab. Sister Luke and her crew pick gingerly through a beachhead of powdered drywall, shredded insulation and crackling glass looking for any personal items. Nothing escapes their gaze — bits of pottery, a stray personal paper, a remnant of a 40-year stamp collection. Each find is a mini-celebration, a baby step back.

Lanier circulates, offering workers cold drinks and giving newcomers the tour like a hostess throwing the first dinner party of a new home. The only time she seems pensive is when she peers down the cliff at an impossibly clean square of concrete.

“See that slab? Down there is where that man and those two children were killed,” she said. “We were lucky.”

Another busy day assisting in Mayflower, Ark.

Tonight  was a very special evening. Sister Margaret Meisner invited us to a lovely dinner at her home. We were joined by Martha Borders, SCNA. Take note of our visors, Martha officially made us Razorback fans.

It was great for all of us to gather as the SCN family.

We closed the evening with a prayerful reflection of our time here in Arkansas.

More photos of the SCN Disaster Relief Team working today near Little Rock, Ark.

SCN Disaster Relief Team is on the Ground This Week in Arkansas

Sister Luke reports,

On Sunday, May 4, nine members of our Disaster Response Ministry were commissioned and blessed during the 10:30 a.m liturgy at Nazareth as they respond to the disaster in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. Please keep them in prayer.

Patrick Gallagher, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Arkansas, has been so gracious and hospitable. He has been such a God send. He not  only arranged for our accommodations at St. John Center in Little Rock, Ark., but made initial contacts for us in the areas of greatest need.

The work continues today.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have a long tradition of responding in times of disasters. Some examples include flooding in Louisville, the yellow fever epidemic, flooding in India, a hurricane in Belize. Continuing in this spirit, the SCN Disaster Relief Program involves volunteers to offer spiritual and physical support to persons experiencing a disaster. We respond in the same spirit of Vincent de Paul with reverence for each person and witness to God’s presence in the midst of adversity. The Disaster Relief Program provides an opportunity to put faith into action.

More info: http://www.scnfamily.org/help/disaster_relief

The SCN lay mission volunteers have spent the last few days immersing themselves in the culture of Botswana and assisting the sisters in their various ministries. On Thursday they helped the workers at the child care center in Mmopane and were also present with the sisters for an evening Mass welcoming a new candidate from Botswana, Malebogo Robert. On Friday morning they led an in service workshop for the staff at the Pabalelong Hospice in Metsimotlhabe on stress and time management.

SCN volunteer orientation in Metsimotlhabe after landing in Botswana. Please pray for our volunteers during their mission trip over the next few weeks.

The SCN Lay Mission Volunteers have arrived in Johannesburg! Next stop: Botswana!

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Would you like to change someone’s life?

(You’ll be surprised at the change in your life as well.)

The SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN), invites lay women and men to cross-cultural partnership with people, especially the oppressed, economically poor and marginalized, primarily in the areas in which Sisters, Associates and/or members of the Charity Federation are called to mission.

Future volunteer opportunities are always available. Contact Sister Luke today.

Sister Luke Boiarski, SCN
P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, KY 40048
(502) 348-1578


“If you ever get the opportunity to go — go! It does give you a better perspective on where you live and what you do.” — Peggy Downs

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