The Vision Behind Immersion Experiences:
Cheverus High School Campus Ministry immersion programs offer intentional experiences of encounter. Immersion participants become “contemplatives in action.” Before, during and after trips, students are led through deep reflection so that they might better discern ways to actively engage with the world. The vision behind these trips is grounded in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and made concrete in the documents and wisdom contained within our Jesuit tradition.
Immersion Trip Applications:
Ignatian Teach-In For Justice
At The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) Cheverus students have the chance to learn from other young people from Jesuit high schools and universities, who are practicing using their voice in the public arena. Powerful keynote speakers and interactive break-out sessions inspire and inform students about numerous and complex justice issues. The conference culminates in a visit to one of our elected officials, here students articulate, in person their values and vision of a better world.
The Teach-In has inspired many projects and initiatives within our community, likewise individual participants expand their self understanding, stepping more responsibly into their role as a citizen and finding ways to put their faith into action. A jam packed whirlwind weekend, this trip is an exercise in hope and courage.
Tucson, AZ /Nogales, Mexico
The Borderlinks immersion offers experiential learning opportunities that explore the difficulties of migration and life along the U.S./Mexico border.
Students on this trip don't provide direct services. They are witnesses to the governmental systems that uphold national policy. They get an inside look at our justice system, hear first account narratives and are engaged in constructing understanding. The kids are not told what to believe. They are given pieces to better understand things. They also get to meet people who are carrying on in hope and generosity despite tremendous adversity.
Often conversations around immigration are reduced to “good people’, “bad people” and “the wall”, but the southern border immersion reveals the complexity, humanity and deeper truths that lie behind these simplifications. Preparation for this trip includes learning about immigration law, delving into current events and policies, and considering the experience of migrants, asylees and refugees in our own community. The Borderlinks trip inspires action for social transformation.
Rosebud, South Dakota
Students befriend and learn from the Sicangu Lakota on the Rosebud immersion. During our stay, we are camp counselors at Body, Mind and Soul Camp, in the Parmelee community. The trip affords deep reflection and learning on the complex history between the American government and the the Lakota people; we also explore the historic and current relationship between the Church and Native people. Our deepening knowledge of history helps students to make sense of current day realities they see on the reservation.
Preparation for the trip includes experiential learning about the Wabanaki people of Maine, reflection on the historic trauma of this community and the richness of native culture. After one week of work, play, reflection, and prayer at Rosebud, participants come home with a deep desire to learn from and serve those who are often overlooked.
This March we begin our local immersion programs! Students will learn about various socio-economic issues through service work and encounter with local organizations and individuals. We will experience local culture, and grow a deeper understanding for the complexity of justice issues in southern Maine. As with all immersions, preparation and reflection before, during, and after will be an essential element of our experience. Beyond serving individuals and deepening understanding about our local community, local immersions intend to transform students and inspire a life-long commitment to service and justice in their home communities.
Ways to Give
To support the Campus Ministry Immersion Program at Cheverus, please fill out the secure gift form below. Feel free to contact Elizabeth Woodcock, Director of Leadership & Annual Giving, at (207) 774-6238 ext. 183 with any questions you may have. Cheverus is a registered 501(c)(3) organization of the Internal Revenue Code. Gifts to Cheverus constitute a deductible contribution as allowed by law. Thank you for supporting today's Cheverus students to be people for and with others through your gift.
Mindful that sometimes service immersion programs may have harmful unintended consequences, the Campus Ministry Team is committed to each stage of the "Pastoral Circle" model of social analysis and action. We continually evaluate our programs checking that we do not unwittingly perpetuate cycles of inequality, injustice, or paternalism.