Mission and History
Good Shepherd Volunteers recruits, educates, and supports full-time volunteers who use their God-given talents to serve women, adolescents, and children affected by poverty, violence, and neglect in domestic and international placements. Our volunteers live out the four tenets of social justice, simplicity, spirituality, and community, and are encouraged to maintain a commitment to these principles for a lifetime. Good Shepherd Volunteers, founded by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, is dedicated to honoring the sisters’ core values of individual dignity, mercy, reconciliation, and zeal.
The congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was founded in France in 1835 by Saint Mary Euphrasia and has grown into an international religious community, living and working in sixty-seven countries. St. Mary Euphrasia knew the pain and brokenness of humanity. Her vision was of human wholeness and insight into the dignity and worth of each person. This vision and insight inspires the worldwide efforts of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd mission today that extends mercy and care to people suffering injustice, oppression and alienation. Their spirit of reconciliation seeks to heal broken relationships and promote peace and justice despite the many conflicts in our worldwide community.
In this spirit, Good Shepherd Volunteers (GSV) was established in 1992 to invite lay volunteers to share in the charism of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd by working in social service programs in the United States founded and/or managed by them. With the support and encouragement of the congregation, Good Shepherd Volunteers extended its outreach internationally. Today, Good Shepherd Volunteers collaborates with sisters and lay collaborators in the United States and Asia.
The growth of GSV has responded to St. Mary Euphrasia’s call to “embrace the world” and assist women, adolescents, and children most in need. Collaborating with lay people to provide community care and outreach around the world strengthens the sisters’ mission and identity. Today, GSV has over 300 alumni throughout the U.S. and overseas. Many GSV alumni continue to share in the charism of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd through work in Good Shepherd-sponsored programs and in the fields of social work, education, and advocacy.