Service in South Bend

Mercy Works

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?" - Dorothy Day

Our weekly service program, Mercy Works, is named after the works of mercy, the call directly from Jesus in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, welcome the stranger, and more, all because in serving “the least of these,” we serve Christ.  Therefore, the invitation to serve our community on an ongoing basis is not simply about service.  It is about a “revolution of the heart,” a chance to encounter Christ in those most in need, be transformed, and respond to the call to be protagonists of justice in our world today.  

Through the Mercy Works program, both undergraduate and graduate students engage in weekly service (2-4 hours a week), working together in small groups to encounter people on the margins of the South Bend community. We offer a wide variety of options: students may choose to feed the hungry, tutor adults on the road to recovery, play with children, or so much more.  Transportation is provided for Mercy Works volunteers via student drivers (with the cost of gas reimbursed), bus routes (free to ND students), and ride share services (reimbursed), so you do not need a car to participate.  Students of all faith traditions, backgrounds, and experiences are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Perhaps the most important part of our program is our monthly community dinners: a chance for students to reflect together on their experiences of receiving and extending mercy on and off campus.  We tie in both faith and justice concepts, so that students have the opportunity to integrate their service experiences and insights into their everyday lives on campus, becoming, as we say here at Notre Dame, a force for good in the world.

Sign up for Mercy Works!

One-Time Service Opportunities

"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” - Mother Teresa

Campus Ministry has a variety of community partners in South Bend that welcome and appreciate Notre Dame students as volunteers.  Many of these nonprofits offer one-time service opportunities for both individual students and groups, whether it be some of your friends, your residence hall, or your club.  Contact our community partners directly to set up the experience yourself, and let Becky know if you would like assistance putting together reflection questions, prayer, or justice education to pair with your service experience.  Students who participate in service even one time are invited to join us for our Mercy Works dinners for the opportunity to reflect on the experience.  Simply contact Becky for an invitation.

Places to Serve


  • Becky Czarnecki, Assistant Director of Faith and Justice, +1 574-631-9738