The Winter Immersion Program invites students to live out a 'faith that does justice' by discovering God's presence in the lives of all those they encounter.

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Participants will meet weekly with their team for both semesters, learn about the communities they will be visiting, travel during Winter Break to an immersion site (domestic or international), and reflect on their experiences and the further work of justice to which they are called.

 

Whether the immersion experience is domestic or international, WIP's primary focus is to help students live in solidarity with the materially poor and marginalized, especially upon return. WIP is rooted in Ignatian values, Catholic Social Teaching, and the building of relationships as we share our humanity. Our hope is to transform minds and hearts to live out a faith that does justice.

 

Our Pillars

  1. Faith

    • WIP invites students to dive into their own faith, and reflect on how to live out a faith that does justice. WIP also encourages students to be open to seeing God in all things, including different cultures, relationships, and in marginalized communities. The WIP program is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and Ignatian values. Students of ALL faiths, or no faiths, are welcome deepen and explore their spiritual life through this experience.
  2. Encounter

    • WIP offers students soul-to-soul encounters and opportunities to have a meaningful interaction with a brother or sister who is on the margins of society.
  3. Justice

    • WIP offers students a difficult and often uncomfortable look at injustices in our nation and world. Students are challenged to open their eyes to, and critically think about, the injustices that exist around the world, examine root causes of injustice, and take actions toward a just lifestyle upon return.
  4. Education

    • WIP seeks to educate students and place them in a variety of environments where they can learn about their faith, justice, Ignatian values, and different cultures. WIP provides specific educational opportunities that are unique to topics of the location where the immersion takes place.
  5. Simplicity

    •  WIP provides a space for students to live simply for a week and to find value in simple living when they return to campus.

Practical Information:

Applying

 Attend an information session (Dates & Locations TBD):

  • Tuesday September 4th 11:15am - President’s Lounge (Campion)
  • Thursday September 6th 11:15am - President’s Lounge (Campion)

Monday August 27th - Applications go live. Please come back to this web page to get the link

Sunday September 9th at 11:59pm - Applications due

Wednesday September 14th - Monday September 17th - Interviews

Thursday September 20th - Offers are extended, students will have 24 hours to accept or decline

Program

Weekly meetings - MONDAY's from 8:00pm - 9:30pm, starting September 24th  2018, and continue through March 4th 2019

  • Fall 2018 - 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 11/26, 4/3
  • Spring 2019 - 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4

Failure to attend meetings will result in removal from the program

First meeting, September 24th - Program Fee Due

  • $600 for international immersions
  • $500 for domestic immersions

October 26th - 27th - WIP Retreat

December 5th - Minimum Fundraising Goal Due

December 29th - January 5th - Nicaragua Immersion

January 5th - January 12th - El Paso, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Los Angeles Immersions

January 4th - January 13th - Peru Immersion

Weekly meetings continue same time and place starting January 21st 2019 - March

March 4th 7:30pm - 9:00pm - The Story of Us Event

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is this program a good fit for me? Am I a good fit for this program?

  • Students are asked to view the application process as a discernment process. We highly recommend reading our pillars, and asking reflective questions: Am I ready, open, and willing to dive into a program that holds these values? Can I get behind these pillars? Do I have the time to commit to this program? Why do I want to partake in WIP?
  • We highly recommend talking to WIP Peer Ministers and past participants.
  • Tinamarie Stolz (tstolz@sju.edu) is always willing to answer questions.

How much do immersions cost?

  • There are 2 payments:
    • the first payment is the deposit ($500 for domestic immersions, $600 for international immersions) due at the first meeting (September 24th)
    • The second payment is the cost of your airfare, due on the last meeting of the fall semester (December 4th)
      • Each location has a different price, but you can estimate $300-$600 for domestic flights, and $600-$900 for international flights.
    • Tinamarie Stolz will post the final cost as soon as they are booked.

Do you do any fundraising?

  • Yes! We highly encourage all students to fundraise! WIP will provide a letter, stamps, envelopes, and labels to help students ask family and friends to financially support their desire to serve with and for others. We see fundraising as another way to spread thoughts and ideas about injustices; and further WIP's mission.
  • There will also be a storytelling event, The Story of Us, at 7:00pm in the Perch on March 4th 2019 to thank donors, and show them the fruit of their donation. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook for those who can not physically attend.

Do I pick where I go?

  • Although we do take into consideration where students desire to be placed, we cannot make any guarantees. We ask that students apply to the program, and be open to all locations.
  • Students who have financial concerns, and cannot afford an international immersion, will be placed in a domestic location upon acceptance.

Do I have to be Catholic to be part of WIP?

  • Nope! Students of any faith, or no faith, backgrounds are welcome!
  • Students should be aware that WIP is a faith-based program, and we ask them be open to Ignatian values, reflection, prayer, and Catholic Social Teaching, as they will be invited into discussions and experiences around those topics.

Locations

El Paso, Texas

Organization - Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey
You will travel to El Paso and Las Cruces, New Mexico to volunteer and learn more about issues of social justice along the U.S.-Mexican border. In a time were tensions are high along the boarder, you will come together with local community members to educate yourself and stand with the marginalized.
You will engage in a hands-on examination of the border region and partake in a cultural immersion in the issues that affect the lives of people living between two worlds. You will be asked to approach the week as learners with the opportunity to serve and to be served.  The border, much like the rest of America is a place of challenges and contradictions, it is our hope that your experience will bring to life this critically important issue. You’ll learn about life at la frontera from a variety of people on all sides of this critical and divisive human rights issue.

Arbilito/Monte Siani, Ecuador

Organization - Rostro de Cristo
Work alongside the volunteers of Rostro de Cristo in either Arbilito or Monte Siani, Ecuador. Rostro de Cristo’s mission is not to fix Ecudaor, but to empower it.  This program relies on building relationships with the Ecuadorian people. Unlike other programs that provide support through service projects, the SJU Immersion Program to Ecuador relies on a policy of intentionality that empowers local communities to make decisions and changes for themselves.
You will witness the hope and the challenges that co-exist side by side in the people of Ecuador, day in and day out. During your time in Ecuador, you and your fellow Hawks will lead simple lives, build an intentional Christian community, participate in a ministry of presence, and reflect on the presence of Christ in the daily struggles of the Ecuadorian people as you work towards long-term solutions to the problems of poverty.

 

Piura, Peru

Organization - Parish of Santisimo Sacramento
Since 1997, parish groups, individuals and families have come to the Parish of Santisimo Sacramento, Most Blessed Sacrament, to share in the daily work for the materially poor and also to experience the heroic faith of the Peruvian people.  Everyday there is something valuable to do with someone who has very basic needs.
You will assist the large parish staff, enable missionaries to do the work year round, and really contribute to the well being of our brothers and sisters in need.

Los Angeles, California

Organization - Dolores Mission Parish & Homeboys Industries
You will immerse yourself in Los Angeles like never before. Serve the people of LA through Dolores Mission School, Underwings, visit Homeboy Industries (Homegirl Cafe and Homeboy Silkscree), prepare a meal for the Guadalupe Homeless Project, and experience Ignatian prayer and meditation like never before.

San Salvador, El Salvador

Organization - CRISPAZ
Encounter the people of El Salvador through CRISPAZ, a faith based organization dedicated to building bridges of solidarity between the Church of the poor and the marginalized communities in EL Salvador, and communities in the US through mutual accompaniment. CRISPAZ is politically non-partisan, committed to nonviolence and supportive of the faith journeys of one another.
Students will do a two-day home-stay, learn about the issues facing El Salvador, the dirty wars, and migration. Additionally, they will visit the place where the 6 Jesuits and 2 companions were martyred. This October, Oscar Romero will be canonized! We will be learning about Romero, visiting where he did his ministry, was martyred, and where he was laid to rest.