Residential Volunteer Program for Women

Sacred Heart Monastery’s Residential Volunteer Program for Single Women

The Residential Volunteer Program (Sponsored by the Yankton Benedictines) provides single women (55 and under) with several opportunities to enhance their lives. The program includes sharing in the life, prayer, and ministries of the Monastery. Ministries may include:

Helping in the Gift Shop                 •The Sacristy                 •The Kitchen                 •The Garden 

The Archives                                  •The Film Library           •The Bakery                  •The Peace Center 

What are the Steps?

First of all, the volunteer has an official welcome with a blessing ceremony with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community.  Then, there is a brief orientation program where the Residential Volunteer learns the intro to Liturgy of the Hours, Intro to Lectio Divina (traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer), Sacred Heart Monastery’s relationship with Avera and Mount Marty College, and History of the Yankton Benedictines. Once concluded the volunteer  enters into the Benedictine balance of Ora et Labora – Pray and Work. Also, participate in Sacred Heart Monastery’s happenings and local events! Create your own custom schedule. Discover Sacred Heart Monastery’s Residential Volunteer Program. 

Please fill in this online application form listed below (All information confidential). All required steps for applicants listed below. If you have questions contact S. Bonita Gacnik OSB, Program Director.– 605-760-2741

The application process in addition asks applicants to:

  • Applicants must provide contact information for two references (non-family members). Either a spiritual director or pastor and a supervisor or faculty member.
  • Applicants must provide a release for a background check.
  • Applicants must participate in a Skype or telephone interview prior to acceptance into the program.

Residential Volunteer Elizabeth Donner

What did you enjoy about volunteering with the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery?

“The generosity of Spirit, the JOY in helping, the stories and kindness, the smiles, and expression of thankfulness.”

Select here to read Elizabeth Donner's Testimonial

I spent many months researching monasteries in the United States. I knew that God was calling me to spend time with Him while giving completely of myself to others. Once I learned about the existence of volunteer opportunities at monasteries that included room and board, I knew it was just a matter of time before I found the right fit.

I chose to apply for the residential volunteer program opportunity at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton for several reasons. Two of the reasons distinguished this program from others. First, the volunteer program was distinctly separate from those who might already know they are interested in entering a community. While the question of vocation was one I had given some thought to, I wanted to be able to experience living at a Monastery without the assumptions about vocation or pressures that might be associated with a novitiate year. The second distinguishing reason was the flexibility offered by the Sacred Heart Monastery program. It was nice to have the option of staying for less than a year.

My time at  Sacred Heart Monastery was a blessing in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I was able to allow God to work within me, to open my heart, and to see the beauty in life again. The sisters welcomed the volunteers with open arms and with the deepest generosity I believe I have ever seen.  I had no idea that in the midst of giving myself I would receive so much in return.

Select here to read Kim Mosqueda's Testimonal

“Being here has given me more peace in my life. I have grown in compassion, and it is humbling to be around people who have such a love for God who hold onto their counter-cultural ideals.”

Kim Mosqueda arrived on June 4 to join Theresa McGinn as a Residential Volunteer at Sacred Heart Monastery. Kim is originally from Santa Ana, California. Before leaving California, she attended California State University Chico for an Art Studio Degree. She will be volunteering for three months.

Shortly after receiving her degree, and spending some time working, she was prompted by a friend to travel to South Dakota, where she is a nutrition assistant and diet clerk for Avera. Once here, she realized she wished to pursue further education and is one year  and one semester into the criminal justice track at Mount Marty College. Kim shares, “I ultimately wish to work with the FBI against human trafficking.” Toward the end of her first semester at Mount Marty College, Kim first discovered the Residential Volunteer Program, “I was drawn by some of the fliers around campus.” She went home to visit family for a month before coming to Sacred Heart Monastery to volunteer. Of her family background she shares, “I had identified with being Roman Catholic and had practiced my religion more in the past, but I felt there wasn’t enough time with my given responsibilities to be as active as I wished. I saw this opportunity with the volunteer program as a way to give back and learn from this community of Sisters to see what it looks like lived out.”

Kim helps the Sisters with a variety of work including assisting S. Phyllis in the Sacristy, cleaning with S. Bonita, and office work with S. Mary Jo. In addition she may also help assisting Sisters in the care center. “I appreciate the volunteer program and the flexibility it gives me with my schedule.”

Kim will be staying at Marty House with S. Bonita Gacnik, Residential Volunteer Director and the other volunteer, Theresa McGinn. Kim stated, “I have enjoyed my conversations with Theresa, so I’m looking forward to getting to know her more.” In her free time Kim enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, working out, tutoring and drawing. She looks forward to volunteering next summer.

The Residential Volunteer Program provides an opportunity for enrichment, not only for volunteers but also for the Sisters. The Sisters look forward to sharing times of prayer, ministry, and recreation with the Residential Volunteers. To learn more about the program visit this link online or contact S. Bonita Gacnik at or 605-760-2741 with questions.

Original source here: Press and Dakotan Kim Mosqueda Article

Heard of us?

Are You a Woman Who

  • Is looking for a meaningful work experience that enriches others?
  • Is pursuing your education but in need of a break from the books in order to re-focus and re-direct your education?
  • Has thought about religious life and would like to live with our Monastic Community for a period of time?

Other scenario?

Maybe, there is a different scenario that you find yourself in? Most noteworthy, our goal is to provide an opportunity for you to serve others. In addition to discovering more about yourself and the sisterhood. So, let us help you.

What do we look for in a volunteer?
  • A volunteer who enjoys serving others and mutual enrichment of a religious monastic community.
  • A volunteer needs to be 21 years of age or older (or at least a junior in college) without dependents.
  • She should be in good physical health.
  • A volunteer will be responsible for personal expenses (room and board are provided).
  • One will provide for own financial, medical and personal needs.
  • A volunteer is to have a willingness to commit to a specific period of time (3-12 months). Commitments may be renewed annually.
  • A volunteer will work around 30 hours a week (4-6 hours/day).
  • A volunteer has the option of working in another location locally part-time up to 20/hr per week.
  • To fill out an application.
Volunteer Benefits
  • She is encouraged to participation in daily Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours.
  • Opportunities for spiritual growth (e.g., days of prayer and recollection, spiritual direction if desired, and time for personal prayer).
  • Opportunities to attend music, theatre, sporting events, and lectures at the Monastery and at Mount Marty College.
  • Includes a stipend for her.
  • She has a private rooms in an area reserved for Resident Volunteers.
  • Share meals with the Sisters in the Monastery refectory (dining room).
  • Enjoy interaction and leisure activities with the other Volunteers and the Sisters.
  • Experience nature. We have great outdoors to explore.

Other Volunteer Options:

Are you looking for more casual volunteer experience? Visit our Volunteer Sacred Heart Monastery page.