Sometimes this means volunteers interview at multiple locations before starting their work. After making sure that the organizations they work with share the values of the IVC, Hinchen sets up meeting and interviews for the IVC volunteers with potential work sites.
"We do not just assign somebody to a place without them meeting one another ahead of time. They have to interview. The agency has to say, 'This person would be good here.' The person who is going to be the volunteer wants to make sure that this is someplace that she or he is going feel comfortable in and be able to give," Hinchen said.
Once the individual finds a site, they undertake their volunteer work in the spirit of IVC ministry.
The IVC ministry has its roots in the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish knight who underwent a conversion after being wounded in battle in 1521, swore off military life to devote his life to God, and started the Society of Jesus -- the Jesuits -- as approved by Pope Paul III in 1540.
The ten-month, two-day-a-week commitment includes keeping a journal and a regular schedule of spiritual reflection with a peer called a "reflector." The commitment also includes an overnight retreat, and monthly meetings with groups of volunteers.
Hinchen said with that level of commitment put forth by volunteers, the IVC makes an effort to make sure volunteers end up working in a place which nurtures the spirit of community, even allowing volunteers to suggest new places to place volunteers.
"For the most part, we have those lined up before the applicants come in, but we are always looking for new places to put volunteers," Hinchen said.
According to the organization's website, most IVC volunteers are over age 50. The New England branch is in its third year, and has 15 volunteers currently serving.
Hinchen stressed the importance of the idea that service with the IVC requires serious commitment.
"Sometimes people call me up and they are hoping they can work an hour or two in their neighborhood or something, and with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps it is not that simple. It is a substantial commitment of time and self," he said.
More information on the program is available at www.ivcusa.org/ivc-offices/welcome-to-ivc-new-england