VILLANOVA, Pa. – As an Augustinian Catholic institution, Villanova University is deeply committed to serving the needs of communities, near and far. Throughout the year, the University’s Campus Ministry Program provides students the opportunity to take part in several types of Service and Justice Experiences. Next week, during Fall Break, nearly 350 Villanova students will participate in the Service Break program, traveling to 24 locations across the country and internationally – from Texas and Louisiana to the Dominican Republic and Belize.
During this year’s Fall Break, several service teams will travel to areas impacted by immigration issues. One group will visit the Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, to learn about the issues facing the border such as immigration, economic development, human rights, and social justice. Another will travel to Denver, Colo., to work with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (CVV) and explore the effects of poverty on marginalized communities.
In addition to these trips, three service groups will assist areas affected by natural disasters. Two groups will travel to locations impacted by Hurricane Katrina – Mobile, Ala., and Mandeville, La. – while one will visit Staten Island, N.Y., to assist in ongoing relief from Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re excited to have so many Villanovans who want to participate in this program,” said Timothy O’Connell, Associate Director of Campus Ministry. “We hope that they will be able to contribute to the efforts of our community partners – at locations as close as the Aquinas Center in Philadelphia and as far away as Rostro de Cristo in Ecuador. Ideally they will learn something from the people they meet and return to campus inspired to continue the struggle for justice and the common good.”
Working closely with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country, Villanovans will head to numerous sites including Maryville, Tenn., Oklahoma City, Okla., and Rockport, Maine, to help build safe and sustainable homes for those in need.
International Justice Experience sites include Belize, where students will partner with Hand In Hand Ministries to build a modest, 16x16 foot home from start to finish. In Duran, Ecuador, students will join with Catholic volunteer program Rostro de Cristo, spending most of their time in the local community visiting with neighbors, partner foundations, and after-school programs.
Villanova’s Campus Ministry Service Break Program offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in service experiences both locally and abroad throughout the year. Trips are already being planned for Winter Break, as well as Spring Break, when at least one group will travel to Pine Ridge Reservation led by a student leader who is a native of the area.
Volunteers who participate in the University’s Service Break trips describe the experience as transformative. The trips help students connect with the global community as they experience other cultures, religious traditions, and socio-economic situations. Participants are challenged to become global citizens who use their education to change the lives of the disadvantaged. To learn more about Villanova’s Campus Ministry and Service Break program, click here.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.