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 2013-2014

Winter Break
I'M Peru
Dates: TBD (January, 5 – 17)
During the mission immersion in Lima, Peru students partner with Los Hermanos to learn about and experience Peruvian culture through engaging people in the Canto Grande neighborhood and service by constructing a home and working at the Christian Brothers’ school. The group will also visit a true world wonder at Macchu Picchu and learn about Peru’s indigenous history.

Estimated cost $2,000
Application Deadline: September 6, 2013

I'M Ireland
Dates: TBD (January, 5 – 17)
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 pilgrimage sites while continuing serving alongside the poor and marginalized of Ireland.
Estimated cost $2,000
Application Deadline: September 6, 2013
I'M Nazareth Farm, West Virginia
Dates: January 5 - 11
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
Application Deadline: September 16, 2013
Spring Break
I'M Haiti (Service-Learning Course for Credit)
Dates: TBD, Spring Break
This is a new type of Iona in Mission experience where the service and cultural immersion in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the spring break is part of a service-learning 3-credit course taught by Dr. Tricia Mulligan. The team will form in the fall semester to begin preparation. Then during the spring semester, the participants will be enrolled in the International Studies course entitled, “Haiti: Political and Economic Challenges in a Post-Natural Disaster Context.” Through this service-learning experience, students will be exposed to the historical, political, economic, environmental, and cultural challenges facing Haiti in the post-earthquake era as well as learning the unique history and culture of Haiti.
Estimated Cost: TBD
Application Deadline: September 16, 2013
I'M New Orleans
Dates: March 15 – 22, 2014
Hurricane Katrina is over, but hardly forgotten as a distant memory. Students will work with Camp Restore, an organization utilizing local and national volunteers to rebuild the homes of the elderly, disabled, or uninsured victims of Hurricane Katrina. The team will also be immersed in the amazingly unique culture of New Orleans through visiting the many neighborhoods and sites of the city while being embraced by the hospitable folks of NOLA in unexpected conversations that are sure to occur, which turn solidarity into real relationships.
Estimated cost: $900
Application Deadline: October 4, 2013
I'M Detroit
Dates: March 16 – 22, 2014
Motown Mission offers a service, cultural, and mission immersion experience in the heart of Detroit. The group will work in urban ministries such as community development projects, food banks, soup kitchens, and urban farms while getting a taste of Detroit’s cultural history and life in the evening. The city of Detroit struggles with extreme poverty, high unemployment, major population decline, and many abandoned homes.  However, Motown Mission introduces us to the many untold grassroots initiatives committed to improving Detroit and reminds us all that Detroit is not just its reputation in the media and that “Th3 C1ty Liv3s!”
Estimated Cost: $800
Application Deadline: October 4, 2013
I'M Philadelphia
Dates: March 16 – 22, 2014
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 underlying vision is empowerment and justice. The IIM Philadelphia service immersion gives participants an amazing experience to grow in faith and service to the poor and marginalized.
Estimated cost: TBD (est. $100 - $200)
Application Deadline: October 4, 2013
Summer Break
I'M Zambia
Dates: TBD
Participants in the Zambia immersion act as servant-learners, immersing themselves in the African 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
Application Deadline: October 11, 2013
I'M Washington, D.C.
Dates: TBD
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: $375
Application Deadline: January 27, 2014
I'M Rochester, NY
Dates: May 19 – 25, 2014
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 in their vital ministries, such as: a middle school for motivated yet economically disadvantaged youth; an elementary school serving a very 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 and vulnerable children; and a community medical center serving families who are uninsured or underinsured. The program also includes reflection on Catholic Social Teaching and how we are each uniquely called to serve and be our very best selves.
Estimated cost: TBD (less than $300)
Application Deadline: January 27, 2014

"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