“My time with Christ the King Service Corps changed my life. It was both challenging and rewarding. It taught me that we’re not always made to live in comfort. Discomfort leads to growth, change, and compassion,” reflects Shannon Grady, who was a 4th grade teacher with the program in 2018-19.

2018-19 volunteer teacher Shannon at her goodbye party.

Christ the King Service Corps (CKSC) was one of the 25 programs to receive an impact grant from the Catholic Foundation in 2018. The $5,000 grant is supporting the costs associated with hosting two Christ-inspired volunteers who are teaching in Christ the King School. CK school is one of the four remaining Catholic elementary schools in the city of Detroit and serves K-8.

CKSC was founded in 2010 by the parishioners of Christ the King Catholic Church in Northwest Detroit to support their parish school and other community organizations in the neighborhood through providing full-time volunteers who live together in community and grow spiritually.

CKSC members come from around the country to live and work together in a community of faith. They participate in mass and retreats, pray as a community, and have the option of spiritual direction through the church. They support each other and share cooking and chores. CKSC members work full-time and gain experience while serving a community in need. Experienced mentors and on-the-job training provide volunteers with support.

2018-19 volunteer Julia with a salad she made from vegetables grown at the CKSC community house, located on the parish campus.

CKSC members are provided housing, food, health insurance, use of a community car, and a small monthly stipend. They have the opportunity to practice simple living and also to experience the generosity of parishioners who often invite the corps members for a home-cooked meal.

In August, the two new CKSC volunteers for the 2019-20 year arrived. Etta graduated from Manhattanville College with a degree in philosophy and will be working both at CK school and St. Christine Food Pantry. Jenny graduated from the University of Scranton with an education degree and will be teaching at CK school.

“I joined CKSC in search of a deeper connection to myself, to God, and to the world around me. CKSC is unique as a service corps connected to a parish; it connects us to a broader community of the parish, neighborhood, and the people that the parish organizations partner with and serve. I don’t know enough about the neighborhood and the people in it to truly be their neighbor in the biblical sense of the word, so my goal is to learn from the people around me and to be taught by them as I attempt to make differences in their lives. My hope is that we will all be impacted by each other,” reflects Etta Griffiths in her first week of CKSC.

The $5,000 grant from the Foundation goes toward covering costs associated with hosting the volunteers. Board president Terry George shares, “The grant helps pay for the volunteers’ health insurance and car insurance, for example. This lowers the cost that the agencies pay to host the volunteer. It expands the agencies’ capacity to do things they couldn’t otherwise do by bringing in skilled, energetic and faith-centered young professionals.”

If you or someone you know would be interested in a year of service with Christ the King Service Corps, visit their website.


Would you like to support volunteers like Etta and Jenny? Give to the Foundation’s competitive granting funds and increase our capacity to award grants to impactful, innovative organizations like the Christ the King Service Corps.