Are you looking for a unique and challenging way to give of yourself in service to Christ and His Church through serving others? Is God calling you to work as a Catholic missionary with opportunities to serve overseas, or to a be a volunteer in the U.S. or Mexico? Below is a list of short-term awareness and long-term direct-service missions for lay individuals and families.
Alaska Mission, Ad Gentes Missionaries (USA)
Alaska Mission invites you to spend a year and serve the northern-most Catholic mission diocese in our country! The ministry spans the cultures and ages found within the Diocese of Fairbanks to include both adult and youth formation with Alaskan Natives and non-natives. The team of missionaries strives to aid the church in Alaska with catechesis for youth and young adults. Visit AdGentesMission.org for information.
Altum Institute Missionary Program, Annunciation Heights, Estes Park CO
Come join us for a year of service and personal formation in the stunning Rocky Mountains of Colorado! Altum Institute Missionaries live and pray in community, become Field Instructors for JPII Outdoor Lab, lead Summer Youth and Family Camps, receive “whole person” formation (spiritual, intellectual, relational, physical), and so much more! Visit AnnunciationHeights.org for information.
Augustinian Volunteers (USA & Peru)
Augustinian Volunteers are Catholic men and women who wish to serve God’s people in the Augustinian tradition. Volunteers must be between 21 and 29 years of age, unmarried, and with a college degree who are flexible in regards to placement and ministry/job. Year-long and semester programs are available. Domestic placement is a 10-month commitment, and an international placement is for 11 months. Visit Osavol.org for information.
Beatitudes Missions (Denver, Israel, France, Peru)
For young adults who desire to follow Christ as part of a small community and as a team, while growing in communion with God and brothers and sisters, in study and contemplation, in service and mission. Criteria: readiness, age 19-26, desire for spiritual growth, and an interest in consecrated life. For information on applications, scholarships, pilgrimages, internships, and service dates, visit beatitudesmissions.org.
Catholic Sports (Denver, San Diego, Chicago and D.C.)
Catholic Sports is a Denver-based and nationally growing recreational sports outreach targeting young adults 18-39 years old. Their mission is to build authentic community through recreational sports. The leagues allow players to enter this authentic community, through which they will be invited into Bible Studies, so that they may continue to grow in a personal relationship with Jesus. To learn more about the leagues and missionary job openings, visit CatholicSports.net.
Christ in the City (Denver)
Christ in the City is a Catholic mission program dedicated to forming young adults, volunteers and the greater community to be life-long missionaries and to know, love and serve the poor. Missionaries live in a community house, receive spiritual formation, and walk the city streets to bring the love of Jesus to those most in need. Year-long and summer programs are available, as well as week-long mission trips. Visit Christinthecity.org
Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (Denver)
CVV is a community of faith and action that responds to the Gospel call in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. Young adults, ages 22 to 30, serve Denver’s poor, elderly, homeless, developmentally disabled and troubled youth. The year-long program offers an opportunity for spiritual, emotional, and professional growth, and a way of discerning and living one’s Christian vocation. Visit covivo.org for more information.
Based in the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY, Con-solatio offers young adults ages 18-30 the chance to serve 1 to 2 years as a missionary in one of their 40 mission homes in 26 different countries. Missionaries lives in slums and inner city neighborhoods offering a ministry of presence to those who suffer the most, while immersing themselves in the culture and in the hearts of the people they serve. Visit Con-solatio.org for information.
Creatio, a Catholic Ministry located in Denver, promotes Catholic Social Teaching regarding the stewardship and care of God’s creation. The team leads outdoor adventure mission and pilgrimage trips around the world that focus on service projects for people most in need as well as cultivating a deeper and more prayerful life while strengthening their relationship with God and others. Visit Creatio.org for more information.
Family Missions Company (worldwide)
FMC is a lay Catholic apostolate ministry of Catholic evangelization and service for families and individuals. Full time missionaries make a minimum two-year commitment, beginning with Intake, three months of training and formation at the mission base in Louisiana, and continuing with service at a designated mission post. Visit the website for more information.
Farmer to Farmer (East Africa)
Farmer to Farmer is a Catholic Relief Services program that sends volunteers to work with farmers and rural businesses to develop the capacity necessary to increase local food production and rural incomes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Volunteers are needed for the USAID’s Feed the Future projects. Assignments are 2-3 weeks. Register in the database for consideration at FarmertoFarmer.crs.org. (Photo by Sara Fajardo/CRS)
Fidesco is a Catholic organization that recruits, trains and sends individuals, couples and also families with children to underserved areas abroad for one or two years serving a full time development mission opportunity. With over 150 projects that are predominately initiated by local bishops, our focus is on fostering full human development by offering one’s professional skills with the witness of one’s faith life. Visit Fidesco for more information.
FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students (worldwide)
FOCUS is a national organization present in over 80 college campuses and in more than 30 states. FOCUS Missions offers mission trips for college students and young adults age 18 and older to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe to serve and evangelize among the poor. They have summer and winter trips as well as spring break trips. Visit the focus.org website and click on missions.
Franciscan Mission Service (worldwide)
Following a 13-week mission formation process, Catholic lay women and men prepare to serve on two-year missions where they partner with poor and oppressed communities around the world. Through the FMS program, you will explore themes of personal conversion, communal living, simplicity of lifestyle, and ways of working for peace, justice, and care of creation. Visit franciscanmissionservice.org for more information.
Franciscan Partners Program (New Mexico)
After a week-long orientation, Catholic lay women and men prepare to give a year or more of service to the poor and marginalized peoples of the geographic area served by the Franciscan Friars in the southwest United States. Currently they minister primarily with the Native Americans on the Navajo Reservation and the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico and Arizona. Visit Franciscan Partners Program for more information.
Glenmary Home Missioners (Appalachia USA)
Glenmary welcomes school (ages 14+) and adult groups for week-long immersion trips designed to give individuals a first-hand experience of missionary service. Long-term volunteers, known as Mountain Managers, serve at the Glenmary Group Volunteer program site on Joppa Mountain in Grainger County, Tennessee. Mountain Managers live on site and serve terms from 3 to 24 months. Visit Glenmary.org for more information.
Ignasian Volunteer Corps (Denver)
The Ignasian Volunteer Corps (IVC) is a national non-profit service organization that provides men and women, most aged 50 or better, with opportunities to serve serves 1 to 2 days a week at a local nonprofit. Coming together as a community each month, they pray and reflect using the tools of St. Ignatius and the member’s unique experiences at the work site. Visit ivcusa.org for information.
International Missionary Foundation (worldwide)
The International Missionary Foundation (IMF) is dedicated to helping the poor and neglected in developing countries. IMF seeks to maximize mission trips for greater impacts in the lives of the mission volunteers, beneficiaries and supporters. This is an opportunity to attend to the cries of the poor while enriching your spiritual life through Christ-centered missions. Visit imfmission.org for information.
Lalmba Association (Kenya, Ethiopia)
Headquartered in Longmont, CO, Lalmba serves in Kenya and Ethiopia, running health and orphancare programs in remote villages without access to basic amenities. Lalmba seeks volunteers with medical and administrative backgrounds to serve for 1-2 years, to live a simple lifestyle in an African village and train locals to run the projects themselves. Single people, couples and families can apply. Visit lalmba.org for more information.
Lay Mission Helpers Association (worldwide)
Lay Mission-Helpers work in mission dioceses at the request of local bishops and religious organizations, serving in professional capacities while witnessing their faith. Must be at least 21 years old, have a college degree or professional skill (education and health care are especially needed), and be willing to make a 3-year commitment. Visit laymissionhelpers.org for information.
Maryknoll Lay Missioners (worldwide)
Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a Catholic organization inspired by the mission of Jesus to live and work with poor communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas, responding to basic needs and helping to create a more just and compassionate world. Are you called to serve? Stipend, health insurance, and student loan repayment program are just a few of the benefits. Visit mklm.org for more information.
Maryknoll Society (worldwide)
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers invite you to deepen your faith as a short term volunteer. You will also study and learn about cultures, about global realities and about peoples, especially the poor. Opportunities available in China (for teachers), Thailand/Myanmar, Tanzania, and Bolivia. You can volunteer for 6 weeks up to one year. Visit maryknollsociety.org for more information.
Missionary Servants of the Poor of the Third World (Peru)
This missionary order welcomes men, women, and families who want to serve the poor in Peru. They accept missionaries as young as 18; women must be fluent in Spanish to serve in the women’s community, the men’s community can speak either Spanish or English. The ecclesiastical name of the group is Opus Christi Salvatoris Mundi. Visit their website msptm.com for more information.
NET Ministries (USA)
The National Evangelization Team (NET) serves in 100+ U.S. dioceses, equipping young adults with the ministry skills needed for evangelization. The program is open to non-married, practicing Catholic men and women between the ages of 18 to 28. Service year is mid-August through mid-May. Visit netusa.org for more information.
Passionist Volunteers International (Jamaica)
Passionist Volunteers International (PVI) is a post-graduate program working among the rural poor in Jamaica. Volunteers commit to one or two years of service, becoming a part of the community. Like the Passionists’ namesake, Saint Paul of the Cross, volunteers live out his mantra “love is ingenious”, seeking out the downtrodden and shouldering their burdens with them, whatever they may be. Visit Passionistvolunteers.org for information.
Salesian Volunteers (Tijuana and Cuidad Juarez)
The Salesian Volunteer Program is based on the Salesian Charism, which is working with youth in particular, poor and abandoned. Mission trips are open to all high school and college students (ages 18 to 30). Trips that can last a weekend, a week or two, the summer season or an entire year. Visit donboscowest.org for more information.
Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara Lay Missionaries (worldwide)
The religious family of the Incarnate Word offers mission trips can last for as little as two weeks to as long as several months. Some volunteers go on their own or with a small group. SSVM also works with parish youth groups and university Catholic centers who want an opportunity to volunteer together. To inquire about mission possibilities or to begin the application process please visit ssvmusa.org for more information.
SOLT Missionary Volunteers (USA, Mexico, Belize)
The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) invites young people, in service to the poor, to volunteer in missions, finding a life-giving environment to discern their vocations and share the love of Jesus Christ. Two of the missions are located in the English-speaking country of Belize in Central America, and two are located in Mexico, where proficiency in Spanish is a requirement for volunteers. Visit Solt.net/volunteer for information.