Enders Island is fortunate to have many talented volunteers who help in our office, tutor the young men in our recovery program or drive them to classes and jobs in the community, help in our kitchens making jams, jellies and pies, and perform a host of other activities essential to keeping our ministries thriving. We are also seeking volunteers who can assist in event planning or provide other professional services.
The St. Chichester Award for Service
Saint Richard of Chichester stands as a shining example of one who was always voluntarily at the service of others. His life consisted of a fervent prayer life, a charitable heart, a spirit of self-sacrifice for his fellow man, and a strict sense of self-discipline, all of which are the virtures needed to form a willing spirit of service to others.
Described as "jolly, warm hearted, courteous and of a cheerful countenance" by his confessor, Richard was one who loved all and was loved by all. He was also a scholar. He attended universities in Paris, Bologna and Oxford, and was the companion and follower of St. Edmund. He accompanied Edmund to Pontigny. Richard's confessor noted:
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits thou hast given me,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen.
"The Archbishop rejoiced that by the decision of his chancellor he was shielded from the intrusion of much of his day-to-day work: and the chancellor was glad to be taught by the holiness and conversation of his master. Each leaned upon the other - the saint upon the saint: the father on the son, and the son on the father."
Richard built and dedicated a chapel to St. Edmund which was one of the last things he did right before he died. In preparation for his burial, Richard's internal organs were removed in that very same chapel and placed in the altar - a fitting resting place for the heart of such a loyal companion and friend. To this day, Dover's Chapel is the only church dedicated by one English saint to another.
St. Richard is the author of a familiar prayer immortalized by the musical Godspell:
SAINT RICHARD OF CHICHESTER
Jolly, Warm Hearted, Courteous,
and of a Cheerful Countenance
An original illumination by Jed Gibbons
Each year, our president hosts an event to thank and honor the many volunteers who - like St. Richard of Chichester - provide for the many day-to-day needs of St. Edmund's Retreat. It is customary to recognize a single volunteer or a group of volunteers with the St. Richard of Chichester Award for Service. Below is a list of the dedicated volunteers who have received this award: