Serve: Faith and Justice

Informed by the Jesuit mission of “the service of faith and the promotion of justice,” campus ministry provides integrated learning opportunities that help you witness the challenges faced by others, reflect on those experiences, and challenge how you will think and act differently.  

Through accompaniment and solidarity, we amplify the voices that are not heard and become men and women for and with others.

Belize service trip

Participants who traveled to the St. Martin DePorres Community in Belize City worked with teachers and students at the elementary school, as well as with members of the Center for Community Resource Development. 

Immersion Experiences

The immersion program challenges students to build communities that stand in solidarity with people on the margins, engage diverse expressions of spirituality and work for justice. An immersion experience can be local, halfway across the country or on the other side of an ocean.  While your actual immersion experience may last a week, what you develop and gain will last long after that. Our program will continue to support you and engage you upon your return to campus and in your ongoing efforts to be in solidarity with the oppressed of the world.

We invite you to join us, experience immersion, understand, imagine and act. In the words of Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former superior general of the Society of Jesus, “Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively.”

For more information, contact Jen Petruso, campus minister for faith and justice, at jpetruso@slu.edu or (314) 977-1516. 

Immersion Trip Application (Due Oct. 2nd)

Walking in Beauty: Spirituality, Culture and Justice in the Navajo Nation

Klagetoh, Arizona
Friday, March 10th - Sunday, March 19th
Cost: $300

At St. Anne’s Mission located in the Navajo Nation, we will immerse in service and education, helping with some manual work and visiting with students at a local Catholic school. You’ll learn from Navajos about life on a reservation today, with a focus on public health-related issues including substance abuse, diabetes and access to healthy food. You’ll also experience the distinctive cultural richness of the Navajo people, including their history, landscape, mythology and rituals, learning opportunities for solidarity and accompaniment.

Learn About St. Anne's Mission

Faith, Justice and Public Health in Appalachia

Wheeling, West Virginia
Saturday, March 11 - Saturday, March 18
Cost: $300

Through this partnership between the Department of Campus Ministry and the College for Public Health and Social Justice, you will examine the unique public health challenges created by rural poverty, as well as the ways local communities are and are not addressing them. You will attend presentations about alcohol and drug abuse, access to nutritious food, and the effects of environmental degradation due to industrial activities in the region. You will also work with the local agencies below  to gain a more nuanced understanding of these issues through personal connection with patients in public health clinics and children in after-school programs.

PATCH Community and Children First

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department

Keeper of the Mountains Foundation

Strangers in Our Midst: Seeking Justice in a Contemporary Urban Environment

North St. Louis, Missouri
Saturday, March 11 - Saturday, March 18
Cost: $150

This is an opportunity for you to explore social justice issues close to home. You will examine  the economic, political and social dimensions of poverty in St. Louis with a special emphasis on building relationships between community organizations and SLU. During the immersion, we will use social analysis and open, faith-based reflections to discern how SLU and each student can be a man or woman for all of St. Louis. Following the trip, we will produce a tangible resource or a series of events that will continue to strengthen the relationship between SLU students and our neighbors in the greater St. Louis area.

Restorative Justice in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
Saturday, March 11 - Saturday, March 18
Cost: $600

This immersion explores how crime impacts communities, what measures and policies can help them heal, and what our responsibilities are to those who have hurt us. You will work with the Jesuit Restorative Initiative in the prisons and jails around Los Angeles County to help bring the tools of Ignatian spirituality to young men in prison. The group will also meet with organizations working to reform the criminal justice system in California. You must be 21 years of age to participate.

Jesuit Restorative Initiative

Seeing All Our Neighbors

Mobile, Alabama
Saturday, March 11 - Saturday, March 18
Cost: $300

This immersion is designed to help you see the world through the experiences, unique challenges and joys of someone with an intellectual disability. You will spend a week with the L'Arche Community, an organization that provides homes and workplaces where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. You will serve with the community as a companion and helper, performing basic maintenance such as painting and cleaning, but also playing cards and accompanying the members through their day.

 The L'Arche Community

Greek Life Mission Trip

Kermit, West Virginia
Saturday, March 11 - Saturday, March 18
Cost: $300

This is an opportunity for members of SLU’s diverse fraternity and sorority chapters to come together for others. It is also an invitation for you to experience service as more than swinging a hammer or digging a trench and enter into solidarity with people marginalized by society’s social structures. Participants will travel to the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia to engage in direct service and learn from people who are working to address rural poverty.

 Able Families

The Kino Border Immersion

Nogales, AZ
Friday, March 10th - Sunday, March 19th
Cost: $550

This immersion, sponsored by the Center for Service and Community Engagement, works with the many communities impacted by migration across the US/Mexico Border: undocumented migrants, ranchers, members of the US Border Control and local communities on both sides of the border. The goal is to better understand how these communities are impacted by migration and US immigration policies. The Kino Border Initiative was founded to serve deported migrants and advocate for immigration policies that are person and community centered.

Kino Border Initiative

SLU-Belize Project

Belize City, Belize
Saturday, March 11th - Sunday, March 19th
Cost: $1,100

Working with and learning from the St. Martin DePorres Community in Belize City, you will explore the challenges the community faces, such as unemployment, gang violence and lack of access to high quality education. You will work with teachers and students at the elementary school, as well as with members of the Center for Community Resource Development. You will also participate in cultural outings to explore Belize's rich history, diversity of people, geography and food.

Leadership Opportunities 

Serving as a student leader on an immersion experience allows you to be a role model and a guide to your fellow participants. You will help your peers enter more fully into the host community and be open to the challenges posed by seeing the world from a new perspective. You’ll assist others in understanding the program pillars of community, spirituality, solidarity and social justice and how those concepts can be integrated into their lives after they return to SLU.

Before

Prior to the immersion experience, you will build community with fellow student leaders, attend the Ignatian Companion Workshop, engage in six weeks of intentional leader formation based on the pillars of the program (community, spirituality, solidarity and social justice), work with staff facilitators to plan and lead six preparation meetings with student participants. Student leaders will also lead publicity and recruiting efforts for the trips.

During

While participating in your immersion, you will demonstrate the values of the program through your behavior, as well as help the facilitators assess the needs and concerns of other students and help facilitate reflection during the course of the trip.

After

Following your return to campus, student leaders are key to helping the group process and integrate the experience into their lives at SLU. Each group will meet at least once following their trip to explore what solidarity looks like here on campus through completing a solidarity project  and participating in a post-trip day of reflection.

Student leadership positions are serious, year-long commitments requiring three to five hours a week, and more in the weeks leading up to big events.

2017-18 Program dates

Sept. 7, 2017 5 - 7 p.m.:  Information session
Sept. 14, 2017 5:30 - 7 p.m.:  Student leader formation
Sept. 17, 2017  approx. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.:  Ignatian Companion Workshop
Sept. 28, 2017  5:30 - 7 p.m.:  Student leader formation
Oct. 12, 2017 5:30 - 7 p.m.:  Student leader formation
Oct. 26, 2017  5:30-7pm:  Student leader formation
Nov. 9, 2017 5:30 - 7pm:  Student leader formation
Nov. 30, 2017  5 - 7 p.m.:  Immersion Program Kickoff
Jan. 18, 2018 5:30 - 7 p.m.:  Student leader formation
Jan. 22, 2018 - Feb. 26, 2018: Six weeks of preparation meetings with trip participants
March 8, 2018 6 - 7 p.m.:  Sending Forth Liturgy

Apply to be an Immersion Trip Student Leader

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is an annual gathering in Washington, D.C., that commemorates the Jesuits and their companions who were martyred in El Salvador in 1989. It provides an opportunity for members of the Ignatian family (Jesuit institutions and larger church) to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity.

From Nov. 4-6, 2017, members of SLU's delegation will learn, reflect, pray, network, advocate and explore the important connections between faith and justice. The teach-in is a place where you will be empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged and affirmed in your work for Gospel-centered social change. The weekend culminates in a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill with your senators and representatives.

Interested students are invited to complete the application by midnight on April 23, 2017. More information about the teach-in can be found at ignatiansolidarity.net

For more information, contact Jim Roach at jamesroach@slu.edu or 314-977-2427.