Benedictine Volunteer Corps tabs 26 SJU students for service

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December 6, 2018

The biggest cohort in the 16-year history of Saint John’s Abbey’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps (BVC) was unveiled Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The 26 volunteers in the 2019-20 BVC chapter will serve on five continents at 13 monasteries in 12 countries and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Two BVC members will serve at each of the 13 monasteries.

Members of the cohort (listed alphabetically), with their hometown and assignment location, include:

  • Dominik Bame (Mound, Minnesota) – Cairo, Egypt
  • Darragh Cutter (Golden Valley, Minnesota) – India/Sri Lanka
  • Lucas Friederichs (Lakeville, Minnesota) – Bogota, Colombia
  • Ryan Gall (Savage, Minnesota) – Newark, New Jersey/Saint Benedict’s
  • Michael Garber (Milaca, Minnesota) – Coban, Guatemala
  • James Gathje (Richmond, Minnesota) – Coban, Guatemala
  • Sam Gerdts (Le Sueur, Minnesota) – Hanga, Tanzania
  • Kirk Harrington (Chanhassen, Minnesota) – Cairo, Egypt
  • Grant Hesse (Madison, Connecticut) – India/Sri Lanka
  • Noah Hynes-Marquette (Le Sueur, Minnesota) – Rome, Italy
  • Jaheer Jones (Newark, New Jersey) – Humacao, Puerto Rico
  • Jacob Kirsch (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) – Imiliwaha, Tanzania
  • Kevin Lamb (Avon, Minnesota) – Newark, New Jersey/Saint Benedict’s
  • John Miles (Grand Haven, Michigan) – Tororo, Uganda
  • Matthew Minnehan (Watertown, Minnesota) – Jilin, China
  • Luke Olley (Woodbury, Minnesota) – Bogota, Colombia
  • Joshua Olson (Fairfield, California) – Hanga, Tanzania
  • Taylor Pickthorn (Cottonwood, Minnesota) – Montserrat, Spain
  • Muqkadeen Poole (Newark, New Jersey) – Jilin, China
  • Mike Reilly (La Canada, California) – Tororo, Uganda
  • Jacob Ruhland (St. Cloud, Minnesota) – Imiliwaha, Tanzania
  • Aaron Schweitz (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) – Tabgha, Israel
  • David Stokman (Maple Lake, Minnesota) – Rome, Italy
  • Richard Swanson (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) – Montserrat, Spain
  • Michael Timmerman (Robbinsdale, Minnesota) – Tabgha, Israel
  • Arturo Viera (Dallas, Texas) – Humacao, Puerto Rico

The BVC is a service opportunity offered to men recently graduated from SJU. Grounded in Benedictine values and spirituality, the BVC provides a unique encounter with the Catholic monastic tradition, the multitude of needs expressed in religious communities around the world and the challenge to commit one's talents to meeting these needs.

Beginning in 2003, the BVC has sent over 215 men to 24 Benedictine monasteries around the world to support those communities in their work, prayer and common life.

Saint John’s Abbey’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps 2019-20

The 2019-20 cohort of the Benedictine Volunteer Corps. Photo by Fr. Timothy Backous, OSB.