Franciscan Life Process Center Announces 2024 Volunteer Opportunities

We received the following press release from the Franciscan Life Process Center.

Lowell, Michigan, April 8, 2024 – The Franciscan Life Process Center is seeking volunteers to help care for its 230-acre farm in Lowell, support environmental education efforts and assist with fundraising events in the greater Grand Rapids area to advance the nonprofit’s mission.

Since its founding by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in 1972, the Franciscan Life Process Center has assisted in the education, healthy development and cultural enrichment of individuals and communities of people throughout West Michigan. It operates two locations under one mission: to promote a relationship with God that brings dignity and hope to the sacred process of all life through programs that assist, educate, enrich and inform.

“We are dedicated to helping individuals unlock their fullest potential as they journey through the process of life, and provide a wide range of services in art, counseling, land and music therapy to support that process,” said Sarah Kelly, communications, event and volunteer program coordinator. “We’re seeking volunteers who are interested in learning more about how to be good stewards of God’s creation and promote opportunities for personal growth.”

The Center’s campus in Lowell is a working farm, which includes an orchard and large vegetable garden, as well as conventional crop fields leased to a local farmer. The Franciscan Sisters also care for and raise livestock including beef cattle, goats and egg-laying chickens, along with a collection of beehives.

The Center relies heavily on the support of volunteers to preserve the land and provide environmental education to the community. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available to those who are interested in these areas.

Workdays with Franciscan Sisters: Every second Saturday from spring through fall, community members are invited to work alongside the Sisters on the land from 9 a.m.-noon. Projects include land maintenance, harvesting, canning produce, farm chores and a variety of seasonal tasks.

“Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi’s philosophy and practice, this volunteer program helps individuals accept each other as unique beings as they learn about life on a working farm,” Kelly said. “Working alongside the Franciscan Sisters, volunteers gain a deeper understanding of nature, of the Catholic faith and God’s place in their lives.”

Dates include April 13, May 11, June 8, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12 and Nov. 9. Those interested may register for Workdays with the Franciscan Sisters online.

Center Land Workdays: On select dates once a month, volunteers can work on the grounds from 9 a.m.-noon to help beautify the Center. Those interested may register for Center Land Workdays online. Dates and activities include:

  • Monday, April 22 – Earth Day grounds work.
  • Wednesday, June 26 – Summer grounds work.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6 – Feast of the Transfiguration grounds work.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 – Trail clearing and prep for the 10th annual Franciscan Rhythms Trail Run.
  • Monday, Oct. 7 – Celebrate St. Francis with apple picking.

Corner of Creation: This new program will give volunteers an opportunity to take responsibility for tending to a specific section of land throughout the year. Regular activities could include weeding, raking or planting. Those interested may contact [email protected] to schedule a tour of available “corners.”

Volunteers for Environmental Education: Individuals who have a passion for the outdoors and for working with children may be interested in joining the Center’s 2024-2025 Environmental Education Program. This program invites fifth-grade students from area Catholic schools to experience outdoor classroom adventures at the Center in Lowell for three weeks out of the academic year, one week each during fall, winter and spring. A background check and VIRTUS training are required for these volunteers. Those interested may contact [email protected] for more information.

Event Volunteers: As a nonprofit, the Center must raise funds to support its Land, Counseling and Music Therapy programs. Two fundraising events are planned for 2024: The biannual Beggar’s Bell Bash on June 12 and annual Franciscan Rhythms 5K Trail Run & Walk on Oct. 5. Volunteers who like to bake, sort, craft and assemble are needed June 10-11 and Sept. 30-Oct. 5 to ensure these events run smoothly. Those interested may contact [email protected] to get involved.

Additional opportunities are available for specialized projects perfect for knitters, sewists, crafters and quilters, as well as prospective Eagle Scouts. For more information, visit

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