- What is the length of service commitment?
- What is expected from missioners?
- Does the SLM program accept married couples?
- Does the SLM program accept dating couples?
- How long does the application process take?
- Is there an application deadline?
- Do I have to do fundraising?
- What are my financial responsibilities?
- What will the SLM program provide?
- Can I choose where to go to serve?
- Do I need a second language to go overseas?
- Where do SLMs live while in mission?
- What can I expect from the orientation program?
- Can I defer my student loans?
- Does the SLM program cover the costs of immunizations?
- Does the SLM program place families with dependents?
- When do SLMs depart for mission?
Q: What is expected from missioners?
A: SLMs represent both the Salesian Lay Missioner Program and the Salesians of Don Bosco, and are expected to conduct themselves properly. Missioners are also expected to live a Christian lifestyle and participate in community living through mass, prayers, meals etc.
Q: What are my financial responsibilities?
A: You are responsible for paying your way to & from our orientation. (Room & board are taken care of during the orientation.) Vaccinations are another financial responsibility for you. Visa expenses and travel expenses to & from site are paid by the Salesian Lay Missioner (SLM), but will be reimbursed upon completion of commitment. Travel to/from required discernment weekend are covered by the applicant (Room/board/program fees are covered by the SLM program).
Q: Do I have to do fundraising?
A: No. SLMs do not have to do fundraising; however, many SLMs, once at their respective site, decide that they would like to raise money for a specific project or for a general donation to their site.
Q: What will the SLM program provide?
A: We will pay for room, board, and medical insurance. Travel expenses to and from the site are paid by the SLM. Upon completion of commitment, travel is reimbursed by the Salesian Lay Missioner program. The stipend of $50 per month for all SLMs, domestic and international.
Q: Can I choose where to go to serve?
A: Placement is a process of mutual discernment, involving the missioner, SLM program, and the ministry site. We will take your geographic and ministry preference into account. It’s important to us that you will be able to use your gifts and feel you are making a difference. It is also important that we are responding to the urgent needs of the people we serve, and so we ask applicants to be flexible and open to a true discernment process.
Q: Do I need a second language to go overseas?
A: Conversational knowledge of the language spoken in the mission is a plus. We also have ministries with diverse cultures in the United States that will allow you to use second language skills; especially Spanish.
Q: Where do SLMs live?
A: They normally live in community with Salesian Priests, Brothers or Sisters. Sometimes they do live with other Salesian Lay Missioners and/or volunteers from other organizations or different countries.
A: Orientation is a three-week experience. The first two weeks focus on service and cross-cultural training. The last week of the orientation is spent at the Salesian Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY, where SLMs learn more about the Salesians: youth ministry, spirituality, Don Bosco’s Preventive System, and much more. The orientation finishes with the commissioning of the SLMs.
Q: Can I defer my student loans?
A: Yes. Many SLMs have deferred their loans and have needed a letter from the Salesian organization stating that they are not receiving any type of salary and working as a volunteer. The deferment process and requirements depend on your loan provider, but we would be happy to work with them.
Q: Does the SLM program place families with dependents?
A: No. Due to the complexity of placing families w/dependents (i.e. housing, schooling, etc.), the SLM program is not set up to handle such cases. There are, however, programs that are able to take families with dependents. You can check out these programs at www.CatholicVolunteerNetwork.org.
Q: When do SLMs depart for mission?
A: SLMs are free to depart for mission after successful completion of the orientation program. Some opt to leave directly from orientation while most go home to prepare and then leave. It’s recommended that SLMs depart for mission within 1 month of the end of orientation. There is no “fixed date” that all lay missioners depart for mission.