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Service and Justice Experiences

EcoTeach_Mastatal, Costa Rica

 

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Ed Sloane:
edward.sloane@villanova.edu  |  [610] 519–6292                                                                                                             

What are SJEs All about?! (Jeanine Aquino '22)

Are you feeling called to acts of service? Do you want to learn about some of the major social issues in the world today? Do you want to experience transformative encounters with those working for justice? Would you like to build community with Villanovans who share these commitments? If you answered YES to any of these questions you might be called to participate in a Service and Justice Experience! Listen to these words from one of our leaders, Jeanine Aquino to learn more!

A Message from the SJE Team about Fall 2020 Experiences

Hey all, the SJE leaders and the SJE staff would like to share some important news with you all. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to postpone Fall 2020 SJEs. Instead, we will instead SJEs in Winter, Spring, and May of 2021. Please take a moment to listen to a message from one of our leaders to learn more and keep checking back for more information!

In Peace,

The SJE Leaders and Program Coordinators

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Service and Justice Experiences 2021 

All SJEs listed below will be moved to Winter, Spring, and May of 2021. Check back soon for more details! More sites are also soon to be added!

Restless Heart Experiences

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

Restless Heart Experiences are an opportunity to learn from and journey with those on the margins. Groups engage in acts of mutual service and intentional reflection with each other and the community where they serve. Some of these experiences combine service with a prayerful and retreat-like atmosphere that connects faith and justice.

While all Service and Justice Experiences share a common commitment to a faith that does justice and an encounter with the oppressed in loving solidarity, each Service and Justice Experience is unique. Please explore below to learn more!

We ask all participants enter into their immersion experience with head, heart, and hands open to receive what is offered by each community.

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 focus on a specific theme and invite a deeper level of critical analysis and discussion. They also include acts mutual service and skill building for activism and advocacy back home. 

Many of these experiences also include reflection on the connection between faith and justice through experiences of prayer.

As with Restless Heart Experiences, each Broken Heart Experience is unique. Click below to learn more!

Winter 2021 | January 3rd-January 9th

Unless otherwise noted, all Experiences depart from campus on Sunday morning. Particpants must return to campus by Jan. 2nd for departure. Click below for more information!

Restless Heart Experiences

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 Habitat for Humanity in Wilmington, NC participating in a home build. 

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://www.capefearhabitat.org/                                                                

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 9

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 Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte, NC participating in a home build. 

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://www.habitatcharlotte.org/                                                                  

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 10

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 Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County in Winston-SalemNC participating in a home build. 

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: https://www.habitatforsyth.org/         

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 10

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.

The group will drive to their destination.

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

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 12

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.

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: http://myhandinhand.org/                                                                              

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 12

Broken Heart Experiences

Located in central Appalachia, Bethlehem Farm is a faith-based Catholic living community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. During the week at the Farm, the group is immersed in environmentally-conscious and sustainable living practices while working with the surrounding community, praying together in the Catholic tradition, and learning about and from the people of Appalachia. The group’s days will be centered around Catholic Social Teaching principles and they may find themselves doing a variety of projects, from working alongside a family in repairing their home to practicing sustainability by working the farm and preparing the food it produces. 

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: http://bethlehemfarm.net/                                                                              

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 12

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

Participant openings: 8 

Justice for immigrants does not end at the border. This Experience asks, what does immigration justice look like on Villanova’s campus, and how are we called to be a community of justice on campus? Participants will work together to develop skills for community leadership and engagement with a focus on immigration justice. They will share knowledge and resources with grassroots groups working to increase awareness and engagement in their own local communities.

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: http://www.viainternational.org/

Cost: $850.00

Participant openings: 10   

Spring 2021 | February 27th-March 6th

Unless otherwise noted, all Experiences depart from campus Saturday morning. Click below for more information! More sites to be added soon, so STAY TUNED!

Restless Heart Experiences

The Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps (Cap Corps) offers participants the opportunity to work in direct service with the poor, live a simple lifestyle, and build community with one another. The spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi is central to this experience of community and service. Participants will work in a variety of ministries while spending the evenings learning about the intricacies of life in Cleveland.

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: http://www.capcorpseast.com

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 9

Immersion begins Sunday, February 28th

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 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. 

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: http://www.cfet.org/

Cost: $300

Participant openings: 9

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 Habitat for Humanity of Arkansas Valley in Ft. Smith, AR participating in a home build. 

The group will fly to their destination.

Website: http://www.habitatfs.org/         

Cost: $750

Participant openings: 9

Broken Heart Experiences

Immersion begins Sunday, February 28th

Located in central Appalachia, Nazareth Farm is a faith-based Catholic living community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. During the week at the Farm, the group is immersed in environmentally-conscious and sustainable living practices while working with the surrounding community, praying together in the Catholic tradition, and learning about and from the people of Appalachia. The group’s days will be centered around Catholic Social Teaching principles and they may find themselves doing a variety of projects, from working alongside a family in repairing their home to practicing sustainability by working the farm and preparing the food it produces. 

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: https://www.nazarethfarm.org/

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 7

Immersion begins Sunday, February 28th

Dedicated to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, and inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, Emmaus Farms serve the rural poor, the weak, the elderly, and the marginalized. Their mission is to serve Christ in his many forms, to serve where the need exists, and to allow others the opportunity to see and fulfill the need for service, as well as to experience the spiritual richness of the people of Lewis County. Participants will engage in immersive work on the farm, pray together in the Catholic tradition, experience the prayer traditions of Appalachia, and engage with the community of Lewis County through various tasks throughout the week.

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: http://emmausfarm.org/                                

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 7

May 2021 | May 16th-May22nd

The SJE leadership team is really excited to share a NEW opportunity for service and immersion at the end of the academic year. The demands of classes, work, and other commitments can make it tough to participate in an immersion during the school year, so before you start your summer vaction or intership, consider a week of service and immersion! 

Unless otherwise noted, all Experiences depart from campus Sunday morning. Click below for more information!

Experience life in an Appalachian "holler." The Appalachian Catholic Worker blends a commitment to education, contemplation, and outreach in an effort to find sacred space and hope in the mountains of central West Virginia.  Participants on this "reverse mission trip" will spend their time learning about Appalachia by encountering her people and hearing their stories. They will reflect together and discuss Appalachian social and environmental justice issues. Finally, they will participate in work projects on the farm and in the local community.

The group will drive to their destination.

Website: https://www.acwfarm.com/                                                                            

Cost: $350

Participant openings: 7

Community Learning Network inspires groups to cultivate responsible, respectful, relational living that will deepens the way participants look at life and the world. They accomplish this through immersion in the culture, history, and ecology of New Mexico. Participants will serve through community work projects, learn and discuss the relationship between colonization and ecological devastation in conversation with indigenous community members, and develop an appreciation of indigenous worldviews. They will bring these experiences into conversation with Catholic spirituality and social teaching.

The group will fly to their destination.

Website: www.communitylearningnetwork.org                                                          

Cost: $800

Participant openings: 9 

How are we to live faithfully at a time of climate-crisis? Salal + Cedar believes an answer requires solidarity with Indigenous peoples. 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. Student 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.

The group will fly to their destination. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after return is REQUIRED to apply.

Website: http://salalandcedar.com/

Cost: $800

Participant openings: 7