By JORDAN MCMORROUGH
CHARLESTON — A seminarian from St. Augustine, Fla., has become the first member of the Diocese of Charleston’s recently initiated volunteer program, and Jason Trull has hit the ground running in his brief stint in the Holy City.
A student at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla., for the Diocese of St. Augustine, Trull arrived in Charleston on June 15. Since that time, he has been hard at work with Bill Iglesias, volunteer director, to make needed repairs to the former rectory at Our Lady of Mercy Church on America Street, where the volunteers will be housed.
In addition to cleaning and painting the home on the peninsula, Trull also assists with various church programs around the Lowcountry throughout the week. On Mondays he works with children at the Our Lady of Mercy Outreach on Johns Island, Tuesdays he helps with the Communion service for Catholic residents at the Carter-May Home in West Ashley, and Wednesday finds the seminarian assisting Father Basil Congro, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy as well as St. Patrick’s Church in Charleston, with any duties that might arise at the parishes. The Time Out Program at St. Thomas the Apostle in North Charleston for people with Alzheimer’s disease holds a Communion service on Thursdays, and Trull is there, followed by a morning of making sandwiches on Friday at the Neighborhood House, next door to the volunteer residence. Sunday mornings see him assisting Father Congro with Masses at Our Lady of Mercy Parish.
This whirlwind of activity is exactly what this native of Jacksonville, Fla., expected when he first thought about doing some type of volunteer work while serving his pastoral year in 1999 at St. Matthew’s in his hometown.
Trull discussed his interest in doing some type of mission work with his mother, a parishioner at Assumption Parish in Jacksonville. She then mentioned her conversation to a friend who attended Bishop Robert J. Baker’s former pastorate, Christ the King Church, who then relayed the information to the bishop, who was just starting the volunteer program here in South Carolina. The rest, they say, is history.
While he expressed a preference for a doing a few more “outdoor things,” Trull said he enjoys his current responsibilities, running the gamut from preparing food at Neighborhood House to talking with the elderly at Carter-May. “I’ll do anything they want me to do.”
Exploring possible new efforts, such as getting involved with the Midnight Basketball League in downtown Charleston, are also of interest to Trull, who wants to get the volunteer house and its residents better known in their urban neighborhood.
Although he will be leaving the Palmetto State on July 27 to attend a seminarian retreat and then return to Boynton Beach for fall semester classes, Trull is gratified that he is helping to set the foundation for the new diocesan program. And, the next volunteer arrives on July 10.
With the arrival of additional volunteers to the diocesan program, donations of labor as well as building materials are still needed at the residence on America Street. Paint, drywall, and insulation are needed, as several rooms in the residence are in need of cleaning and painting. Also, carpet in much of the home needs to be removed, which necessitates the sanding of the bare hardwood floors underneath.
Furnishings, such as side tables, end tables, lamps, chairs, and throw rugs, are in short supply, as are window blinds for much of the house.
Volunteer Director Bill Iglesias is available to arrange times for donations to be dropped off or for persons willing to work on the refurbishing of the house. “I’d be willing to arrange times in the evenings or on the weekends for people who want to work,” Iglesias said. For more information, contact Iglesias at (843) 402-9115 Ext. 26. His e-mail address is Volunteers@catholic-doc.org.