The Immersion Trips

What is Immersion?

Our primary task on the journey is to open our hearts, listen and try to be compassionate, that is to deeply allow ourselves to “see” as the local people see. Immersion is a window through which we see the world in new ways. It forces us beyond our comfort zones, invites us to grow and opens up new possibilities for LIFE.  We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. The rules and norms of your culture may not all be valid and may block the experience. People world-wide live and think differently from you and that is a good thing.  The border is a place of encounter; it becomes a place where we can share life with people of different economic levels, who speak a different language, who have distinct ways of thinking and living. Encounter is a place for breaking down the walls that divide. -Reflection from Juan Casey, a Christian Brother in Peru

Please contact Stephen Hill for more information.

Immersion Trips 2015-2016

I'M Nazareth Farm, West Virginia
Dates: January 10 – 16, 2016
At Nazareth Farm, students will learn about the economic and environmental injustices and cultural richness of Appalachia while engaging in home repair service within the community. This service-retreat experience will focus on the cornerstones of simplicity, community, prayer, and service as you live and work with other college groups.  Expect a Miracle!  
Estimated cost: $250 - $350
Student Leader:  Krissy Bucchi
I'M Ireland (Service-Learning, Criminal Justice)
Dates: January 3 – 15, 2016
Students will walk in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice during this mission immersion in Ireland. One week will be spent in Dublin serving at the Wheatfield Prison, the Peter McVerry drop-in center for people who are homeless or suffering addiction, and soup kitchens while learning about social justice issues relating to these populations. The team will then head to Waterford and Callan to visit the Blessed Edmund Rice heritage sites.
Estimated cost $2,000
Student Leader:  Kayla Kosack
Faculty Moderator: Dr. Josh Klein
I'M Kolkata, India (Service-Learning, Int’l Studies)
Dates: January 4 – 16, 2016
We will partner once again with the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers in Kolkata, India serving in various Brothers’ ministries: St. George’s school, the Mary Rice Centre for children with disabilities, and outreach programs to ‘the Untouchables.’ The group will also serve at Mother Teresa house serving the extremely poor, sick, and dying. The service-learning course will explore Indian culture and society from several lenses, which will be made real with cultural site visits during the immersion.
Only students in their junior or senior years will be permitted to apply.
Estimated cost: $1,800 - $2,000
Student Leader: Tiffany Henderson
I'M New Orleans
Dates: January 2 – 9, 2016
Hurricane Katrina is over, but hardly forgotten as a distant memory. The IIM team will partner with the Duchesne House, which offers a service & cultural immersion and reflection program that is meant to help students come away from the week spent in NOLA with more than a “feel good” experience.  The group will serve at a variety of community organizations to explore social realities of poverty, racism, environmental restoration efforts while also exploring the unique and rich culture of New Orleans.
Estimated cost: $700 - $900
Student Leader:  Kori Li Bennett
I'M Lima, Peru
Dates: January 4 – 16, 2016
The Iona in Mission group will be partnering with Los Hermanos (Christian Brothers) in the Canto Grande barrio of Lima, Peru to build relationships of solidarity through home construction, family visits, and running a day camp for the children of the neighborhood.    Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply!
Estimated cost: $1,500 - $1,800
Student Leaders: Harley Checo & Jordan Courage

I'M Chicago
Dates: March 18 – 25, 2016
Port Ministries, a Franciscan inspired non-profit organization, will engage our group in their comprehensive services addressing the basic needs of food, healthcare, and education while also educating the group about the root causes of poverty, hunger, and despair on the Southside of Chicago.
Estimated cost: $600 - $850
Student Leader: Patrick Lynch
I'M Habitat for Humanity – Harrisburg, PA
Dates: March 20 – 25, 2016
The team will partner with the Habitat for Humanity Chapter of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for a week of service on their home construction and repair builds for families and veterans in need. The group will also volunteer in the Habitat ReStore and a local food bank. During the week, the group will have the chance to explore the city of Harrisburg and have a community night with home owners and Habitat for Humanity staff.
Estimated cost: $350-450
Student Leaders: Katie Baller and Roger Rojas
I'M Washington, D.C.
Dates: March 19 – 25, 2016
The Pilgrimage seeks to help young adults connect their faith with social awareness and action. In doing this, the Pilgrimage hopes to build communities where people are invested in eradicating hunger, homelessness, and poverty. The Iona in Mission team going to Washington, D.C. will embark on a transformative week of action and reflection with our neighbors who are poor in the nation’s capital.   
Estimated cost: $300 - $400
Student Leader: Shelbey Roy
I'M Rochester, NY
Dates: May 22 – 27, 2016
Participants will be hosted by the Sister of St. Joseph (SSJ) of Rochester and serve in their ministries while living in community together. Iona volunteers will serve the poor and marginalized at sites such as: schools for low-income children; a soup kitchen; Bethany House which is a safe house for women and children in need; a daycare center for medically fragile children; and a community medical center serving families who are uninsured. The program also includes reflection on Catholic Social Teaching and how we are each uniquely called to serve and work for social justice.
Estimated cost: $250 - $300
Student Leader: Zahann Nelson
I'M Syracuse, NY – L’Arche
Dates: May 23 – 29, 2016
L’Arche is world-wide network of communities of people with and without developmental disabilities. The Iona in Mission group will be sharing time and living together with the L’Arche Syracuse members to witness their community and the dignity of every person regardless of ability.  This immersion will be a journey of spirituality, community, and awareness of developmental disability. or
Estimated cost: $250 - $300
Student Leader:  Riley Schmitt
I'M Philadelphia
Dates: May 22 – 27, 2016
The Saint Francis Inn is a place of ministry with people who are homeless, addicted, mentally ill, and very poor. The main service site is the restaurant-style soup kitchen feeding up to 400 people a day while also providing other services. In addition to the Inn, the St. Francis community runs a thrift shop, women’s center, and the Urban Center which provides much needed services to people and families living in poverty. The IIM Philadelphia service immersion gives participants an amazing experience to grow in faith and service to the poor and marginalized.
Estimated cost: $100 - $150
Student Leader:  Brianne Keahon
I'M Zambia
Dates: May 23 – June 7, 2016 (dates to be confirmed)
Participants in the Zambia immersion act as servant-learners, immersing themselves in the Zambian culture and customs in Mazabuka, “the sweetest town in all of Zambia.” The group serves at the Christian Brothers’ Changa Changa community school, the City of Joy home for at-risk girls, and accompanies home care-giver teams on visits to the elderly sick and people living with HIV/AIDS. The team also visits the Magoye Village to experience rural Zambian life and travels to Livingstone, Zambia to visit the natural wonder of Victoria Falls.
Estimated cost: $2,500 - $3,000
Student Leader: Hannah Smith
I'M Camp Viva (Service-Learning, Social Work)
Dates: August 2016 (dates to be confirmed)
Spend a week as a camp counselor in beautiful Rhinebeck, NY at Camp Viva, which provides much needed respite and community for children and families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.  The service-learning course occurs during the Fall 2016 semester and helps to process the experience further.  Publicity and the application process will begin during the spring semester.
Estimated cost: $100
Faculty Moderators: Mary Pat Draddy, LCSW and Dr. Meryl Nadel
Application Deadlines:
  • Group A (India, Ireland, Peru):  September 11
  • Group B (Nazareth Farm, New Orleans):  September 25
  • Group C (Chicago, New Mexico, Washington DC):  October 16
  • Group D (Zambia):  October 30
  • Group E (Habitat):   January 25
  • Group F (L’Arche Syracuse, Philadelphia, Rochester):  February 1
  • Group G (Camp Viva): TBD