Spiritual Enrichment on the Jamaica Plain Campus has been an important part of Italian Home’s history since we opened our doors to children in 1919.

Today, every child in the care of Italian Home for Children is offered the opportunity to participate in Spiritual Enrichment, with parental or guardian permission. We work to ensure that children of all faiths feel included and empowered with regard to their beliefs. The Spiritual Enrichment services are designed to present a message of hope, healing and wholeness to children who are recovering from trauma of abuse and neglect along with other family struggles.  In large our hope is to create a spiritual nurturing, caring, loving and safe environment which helps our children flourish in life. Activities emphasize moral and ethical decisions as well as resiliency and coping through faith.

Program includes:

  • Sunday morning worship
  • Wednesday evening classes
  • Prayer
  • Pastoral Care
  • Conversations, visits, and support from a leader of their faith
  • Visits to various places of worship for exposure to many faiths
  • Music, dance, or art incorporated weekly
  • Presentation of religious texts

Sunday Church Services

Sunday morning services are designed to bring children into an age-appropriate worship setting where they experience belonging to the family of God.  Through our weekly worship experience children will grow in their relationship with Christ. Our children are exposed to diverse styles of worship by the participation of visiting churches. Visiting churches are from Roman Catholic and Protestant backgrounds and have volunteered here for many years.

We encourage parents and supporters of the Italian Home for Children to experience worship with us on Sunday mornings from 9:00 am to 9:45 am, followed by light refreshments.  Our schedule is as follows:

2nd and 3rd Sunday of each month

Roman Catholic
1st or 4th Sunday of each month

Sunday services are on a rotation which can be change at any time.  If you are interested in visiting a Sunday service, please contact the Spiritual Enrichment Coordination, Rev. Elba Rudder at 617-524-3116 x325 or email at erudder@italianhome.org.

Seminary and College Student Placement

The Italian Home for Children Spiritual Enrichment Program offers ministry placement opportunities to local theology, religious and seminarian students. These placements are designed for those who are pursuing full-time or part-time vocational ministry, desiring a hands-on learning environment and coaching in leadership. Through our growing partnerships with local colleges, universities and seminaries we are able to offer two or three students placement opportunities per year. Colleges and Seminaries currently involved:

  • St. John Catholic Seminary
  • Hellenic College Holy Cross
  • Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Spiritual Care

We are invested in the spiritual care of all the children, without regard to religious beliefs.  In order to meet each child’s unique spiritual need, we cultivate partnerships with different faith communities. These partnerships may come in the way of chaplains or other religious leaders from faiths that are not represented at Italian Home. We will consider calling our faith partners:

  • To pray for hope, healing and peace;
  • To attempt to answer any religious or ethical question pertaining to a child's spiritual discipline;
  • To provide spiritual and emotional support for the children;
  • To give recommendations for children to participate in religious holidays or observances; and
  • To provide religious and spiritual educational resources for children.

Spiritual care is offered to all children no matter their faith background through the participation of community churches, organization and volunteers. Our current partnerships that allow us to provide spiritual care for children of other faith groups including the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and Hebrew Senior Life Clinical Pastoral Education Department.

Youth Helpers

Youth Helpers are high school juniors and seniors from the community who will serve, lead, and support younger children in their spiritual formation.  Youth Helpers will gain personal understanding of serving others, ministry skills, personal commitment, and fulfill their school community service hours requirements.  

Wednesday Religious Classes

On Wednesday evenings, children can attend religious education in the chapel. A yearly curriculum is being put in place as a guide for our teachers and volunteers to follow. The religious education curriculum addresses the variety of ways children learn such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Classes are held in two 40 minute segments from October to June. Classes are Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.

Church Community Volunteers

We rely heavily on support from local churches and are grateful to the churches that have participated for more than 30 years, including Catholic Church- Sacred Heart Parish, Morning Star Baptist church and Jubilee Christian Church.