Service and Justice Experiences

EcoTeach_Mastatal, Costa Rica

Service and Justice Experiences application is NOW LIVE! Applications are due by Tuesday, September 3rd at 11:59pm!

If you have questions, please contact Ed Sloane:
edward.sloane@villanova.edu  |  [610] 519–6292                                                                                                             

Fall 2019  | October 12-19, 2019

(unless otherwise noted)

The cost listed for each experience below includes transportation, food, and lodging. Cost does not include vaccinations, passport fees, and personal spending money. Some financial assistance will be available but not guaranteed. You will also have 1 ½ months to raise funds with your group. Please speak to Ed if finances are a concern.

Restless Heart Experiences

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in [God]." - St. Augustine

Each of these experiences will involve 5 weeks of group gatherings before the immersion component. These are opportunities for community building and reflection around the specific theme or issue for your SJE. Following the immersion component groups continue reflection and supporting one another in living out principles of justice and solidarity.

Aquinas Center S16

Group meets Wednesdays 8PM

Immersion begins Sunday, October 13th  

What are the barriers that make it difficult for us to be truly present and in relationship to others? What does it mean to encounter another and be present to their story? Pope Francis calls on all people to allow such questions to inform the structures of society. In this SJE, participants will explore these questions together. In addition, they will spend a week at the Aquinas Center in the heart of South Philadelphia. Hospitality, education, and service are the core values that inform this ministry and will guide the experience for participants.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/

Cost: $300                                                                                                                      Participants: 12

Group meets Mondays 9PM

Immersion begins Sunday, October 13th

This SJE invites participants to reflect on how various systems interact to produce poverty and exclusion in our contemporary world. Participants reflect on the relationship between racial and environmental justice, sometimes called “environmental racism.” What is our own place in these systems? Participants will also spend a week at The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) in Camden, NJ. CFET is an environmental retreat center with an urban farm that engages and educates people of all backgrounds to practice a more environmentally responsible way of living on the planet.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.cfet.org/                                                                                       

Cost: $300                                                                                                                      Participants: 12

 

Group meets Wednesdays 6:30PM

In the United States, in 2018 it was reported that nearly half of all renters can’t afford rent and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. A lack of affordable housing is a significant barrier to human flourishing in the United States. Do all people deserve affordable housing? Participants will explore this question and will also explore the roots of the contemporary housing crisis. They will spend a week with Forsyth County Habitat For Humanity in Winston Salem, NC participating in a home build.  In Winston-Salem 5% of the housing does not meet the minimum housing code and 2.5% live in over-crowded condition. There is significant need for both new houses and neighborhood revitalization projects.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website:  http://www.habitatforsyth.org/                                                                             

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 13


         

2018

Group meets Mondays 9PM

During this SJE participants will examine the dynamics of power present in short term service. How do we enter responsibly into communities when there is a power imbalance? Participants will spend a week with Hand in Hand Ministries in Louisville, KY. They work with local residents on a variety of community projects determined by the community itself. Hand in Hand answers the expressed needs of the communities it serves. From time to time, the group will be paired with a local church partner, family, businesses, or other area non-profit doing great work to strengthen the community.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://myhandinhand.org/                                                                                       

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 15

 


                                      

Group meets Sundays 8PM

Giving and receiving mutual acts of hospitality removes the distance that separates people whose life experiences are very different. This SJE allows participants to both offer and receive the healing experience of being received as guest and partnering with others to provide a home for the displaced. Participants spend a week with Marion County Habitat for Humanity in Marion, SC. Marion County has the highest unemployment rate in the state and safe affordable housing is scarce. Participants will have plenty of work to do and will be welcomed by the Marion community.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website:  http://www.marionschabitatforhumanity.org/                                                                  

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 13

Broken Heart Experiences

"I think the university has as its agenda, ruining your lives. And having this experience of the poor sets your agenda. All I mean to say is that we would hope that you would be Christian revolutionaries for the rest of your lives. And that doesn't come unless your heart has been broken." -Fr. Dean Brackley, SJ

Broken Heart Experiences are intended to go a little deeper than Restless Heart experiences. In particular, there is a more intentional focus on advocacy. Each of these experiences will involve 5 weeks of group gatherings with Winter experiences meeting for additional weeks prior to the immersion component. Groups return to campus to focus on advocacy through a public "solidarity project."

Group meets Tuesdays 8PM

Immersion begins Sunday, October 13th

What does it mean to live in a thoughtful and intentional way with others and with the land? How does such a commitment transform our values in such a way that we are enabled to work toward the thriving of all of God’s creatures while bearing witness to the belief that another way of living in community is possible? Participants will spend a week at the Bethlehem Farm Community in Alderson, WV. Bethlehem Farm is an intentional, Catholic community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. The group’s days will be centered around living out the principles of Catholic Social Teaching through community service and work on the farm.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.bethlehemfarm.net/main/                                                                                 

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 15

Group meets Wednesdays 6PM

Water is the fundamental source of life yet today an increasing number of people lack access to clean drinking water. A lack of municipal services, industrial pollution, and the waste of a consumer society make this necessity out of reach for many. Access to water is emerging as a primary justice issue in the 21st Century. Participants will examine their own water use, reflect on this crisis, and practice sustainability. They will also spend a week exploring this issue first hand with the Community Learning Network in Santa Fe, NM. In particular, they will learn how water justice has emerged as an important justice issue among indigenous peoples in the region.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: www.communitylearningnetwork.org                                                                                   

Cost: $800                                                                                                                      Participants: 12

 

 

Group meets Tuesdays 6PM

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any nation in the world. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of those incarcerated since the 1970s and it has been predominately working class people of color who are impacted by this trend. Participants will examine and discuss how the United States system of criminal justice impacts communities. Participants will also spend a week at Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. This Catholic parish works with and connects to social service organizations that are working to support formerly incarcerated and gang involved individuals.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.dolores-mission.org/                                                                                          

Cost: $800                                                                                                                      Participants: 10

Group meets Sundays 4PM

How are we to live faithfully at a time of climate-crisis? Participants will discern answers to this question through intentional practices and conversation. They will also spend a week with Salal + Cedar in Vanvouver, British Columbia, Canada. Located in the lower Fraser watershed, the racially diverse city of Vancouver is adjacent to wilderness, industrial agriculture, and global shipping ports. Part of the Wild Church movement, the Salal + Cedar community worships outdoors and engages in conservation, education, and direct action for climate-justice. Participants will stay on an organic farm, paddle a traditional canoe with Indigenous T’sleil Waututh hosts, restore wildlife habitat, study medicinal plants, develop community organizing skills, and support front-line land and water defenders.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://salalandcedar.com/                                                                                                    

Cost: $800                                                                                                                      Participants: 10

Group meets Wednesdays 8PM

Immersion begins Sunday, October 13th

Living justice can be difficult in a world in which success often means having more and unreflective reliance on technology, consumer goods, and an individualistic mentality dominate. How are we able to live thoughtfully and intentionally, promoting values that enhance the common good? As part of this experience, participants will spend a week at St. Isidore Catholic Worker in Cuba City, Wisconsin. St. Isidore is an intentional community committed to simple living through practices of no-till agriculture and life in community. Participants will assist on the farm, visit sacred sites of indigenous peoples in the region, and engage in skill building for land justice and indigenous rights.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://www.catholicworker.org/communities/houses/wi-cuba-city-st-isidore-cw-farm.html

Cost: $750                                                                                                                     Participants: 10                      

 

 

Winter 2020  | January 4-11, 2020

Broken Heart Experiences

Winter SJE applications will be due September 17th before midnight.

Winter SJEs provide the opportunity for groups to meet throughout the semester to build community and engage in dialogue, reflection, and critical conversation. These experiences also include a commitment to at least one experience of local service or justice work as a group throughout the semester.

Group meets select Wednesdays at 4:30.

In addition to group gatherings there will be at least one opportunity for local service.

Application due September 17th before midnight.

How do the different aspects of our body shape how we both experience the world and are perceived by others. How do the different aspects of our body such as ability, skin color, and gender intersect to produce our unique experience of life? This SJE focuses on sharing and receiving the stories of one another and developing solidarity with others whose stories might be different. The group will also spend a week with Mustard Seed Communities in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This organization provides intentional living communities for and with children and adults with disabilities across the 2/3rds world.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after return is REQUIRED to apply.

Website: https://www.mustardseed.com/

Cost: $1400.00                                                                                                               Participants: 12