Iona in Mission: 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 2014-2015

I'M India (Service-Learning Course)
Dates: January 5 – 16, 2015
This new Iona in Mission immersion will explore the socio-political reality of Indian society through partnering with the Edmund Rice Network in Calcutta and Delhi.  While in Calcutta the group will serve at various Christian Brother ministry sites and the Mother Teresa house.  The second phase of the immersion will be in Delhi partnering with the 9 is Mine campaign advocating for the rights of children for education & healthcare.
S-L Course: Special Topics in International Studies taught by Dr. Tricia Mulligan.
Estimated cost: $2,000-$2,500
Student Leaders: Jesse Brown and Alexandra Vinci

I'M Ireland (Service-Learning Course)
Dates: January 2 – 16, 2015

Students will walk in the footsteps of Bl. Edmund Rice during this mission immersion in Ireland. One week will be spent in Dublin serving at various ministries of the Edmund Rice Network and learning about social justice issues. The team will then head south to Waterford and Callan to visit the Edmund Rice heritage sites.
S-L Course: RST326: Theology of Christian Service taught by Dr. Carl Procario-Foley.
Estimated cost $2,000
Student Leader: Meghan Rayder

I'M Nazareth Farm, West Virginia
Dates: January 4 – 10, 2015

At Nazareth Farm, students will learn about the economic challenges of Appalachia and engage in service opportunities such as constructing homes and visiting community members. This week long service-retreat immersion experience will focus on the cornerstones of simplicity, community, prayer, and service.
Estimated cost: $325
Student Leader: Kara Urso

I'M New Orleans
Dates: January 10 – 17, 2015

Hurricane Katrina is over, but hardly forgotten as a distant memory. Students 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 work with St. Bernard’s Project, a rebuilding non-profit operating in one of the areas most devastated by Katrina, and other partners in New Orleans. The rich and unique culture of New Orleans will also be explored by the group.
Estimated cost: $900
Student Leader: Kelli Gordon

I'M Baltimore (Service-Learning Course)
Dates: March 14 – 21, 2015

This new mission trip will immerse the Iona in Mission group in the heart of Baltimore with Catholic Charities.  A typical week includes volunteering at Our Daily Bread, Catholic Charities meal program, serving lunch daily to 500-700 people; assisting with meal service at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center; and also partnering with various organizations to learn about the criminal justice system.
S-L Course: Special Topics CRJ 391HY: Concepts of Crime & Social Justice: A View from Baltimore, Maryland taught by Dr. Cathryn Lavery.
Estimated cost: $400
Student Leader: Peter Munoz

I'M Bolivia
Dates: March 13 – 21, 2015

The Iona in Mission group will be working with Los Hermanos in Cochabamba, Bolivia in their ministry to boys of the street in a tutoring program, serving in an orphanage, and visiting families in the surrounding villages. The groups will be fully immersed into the complex reality of Bolivian culture and the socio-political situation.
Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply!
Estimated cost: Bolivia - $1,700
Student Leader: Jasmin Bayla

I'M Zambia
Dates: May 21 – June 3, 2015

Participants in the Zambia immersion act as servant-learners, immersing themselves in the Zambian culture and customs while working alongside the Christian Brothers and community partners on educational initiatives in Mazabuka, Zambia.  The team also travels to Livingstone, Zambia to visit wildlife game parks and Victoria Falls which is the world’s largest waterfall.
Estimated cost: $3,000
Student Leader: Carrington Clarke

I'M Syracuse, NY – L’Arche
Dates: May 18-25, 2015

L’Arche is world-wide network of communities of people with and without developmental disabilities who share life together. The Iona in Mission group would be living with the L’Arche members to witness their community and the dignity of every person.  This immersion will be a journey of spirituality, community, celebration, and awareness of developmental disabilities.
Estimated cost: $250
Student Leader: Megan Nicolaro

I'M Rochester, NY
Dates: May 18 – 25, 2015 

Participants will be hosted by the Sister of St. Joseph (SSJ) of Rochester and serve in their ministries while living in community together. The SSJ Volunteer program offers women and men the opportunity to serve the poor and marginalized at sites such as: a middle school for disadvantaged youth; an elementary school serving a large refugee population; 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.
Estimated cost: $250
Student Leader: Sarah Kondziela

I'M Philadelphia
Dates: May 23-29, 2015

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 social services and housing to families and individuals dealing with issues related to poverty and/or homelessness. The IIM Philadelphia service immersion gives participants an amazing experience to grow in faith and service to the poor and marginalized.
Estimated cost: $150
Student Leader: Lauren Keller

I'M South Dakota (Service-Learning Course)
Dates: To be Determined

The team will travel to the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota to work with RE-MEMBER, a non-profit organization which works with the Oglala Lakota Nation. The participants will work at various projects across the Reservation and be immersed in the culture of the Lakota people to learn about their history and the injustices present on Reservations.
S-L Course: Special Topics MCO499: The Role of Native Americans in Popular Media taught by Dr. Tony Kelso
Estimated cost: $1,000
Student Leader: Diana Parlato

I'M Camp Viva (Service-Learning Course)
Dates: August, 2015

The mission of Camp Viva is to provide respite and fun for individuals and their families who are affected by HIV/AIDS and residing in Westchester County and the Bronx, through a weeklong summer camp. Serve as a counselor at the camp while also learning about issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS.
S-L Course: Special Topics in Social Work taught by Mary Pat Draddy, LMSW
Estimated Cost: $100-200
Student Leader:  TBD

"My experiences at Agape have helped me in opening my eyes and my heart, looking at the world in a completely different way."
- Gabrielle Witt, Class of 2013

"Experiencing the culture of a nation, the spirit of each village, and the stories of each individual person left me amazed by the strength of the Zambian people, and inspired to do and see so much more of Africa and the world."
- Kimberleigh Costanzo, Class of 2014

"The pure gratitude of the people living [in New Orleans] was relentless and sincere. [It] was one of the best decisions I made since I set foot on Iona's Campus."
- Mike Petre, Class of 2012