Educational Support » Mission & Service » Service Immersion Trips

Service Immersion Trips

The primary inspiration for the St. Joe's Immersion Program is Jesus' call to "Come and See" (John 1:39). Jesus invited the first disciples to step out of their everyday lives to encounter God in a new way. The Immersion Trips provide opportunities for students to respond to this call and expand their life experiences by seeing outside their everyday lives and standing in Solidarity with those on the margins of our society. 

The trips are not tourist excursions, but are community-based experiences, witnessing real-life situations. Students develop a deep respect for the people they visit, and they recognize God’s presence in the lives of the people they encounter.

Homestead, Florida
During February break, students escape the the cold in Buffalo and travel to Homestead, Florida for a special service opportunity with the Lasallian Educational Center. This organization helps house and serve underserved immigrant communities. 
Camden, New Jersey
This annual summer trip gives students from St. Joe's the opportunity to wrestle with issues of urban poverty in one of the economically poorest cities in the United States. While in Camden, they live at the Romero Center, a retreat center with a mission of social justice education. Students work at many different sites throughout the city including food pantries, preschools, senior day care centers, and Habitat for Humanity. 
Bethlehem Farm, Talcott, West Virginia
Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community in rural Appalachia which provides services to the local residents. Students spend the week living the Gospel principles of service, prayer, and simplicity by completing home repairs in impoverished neighborhoods. This immersion trip takes place in the spring each year.
Lasallians in Action
Lasallians in Action is a week-long experience of prayer, simplicity, and service. Students sleep overnight at SJCI. Each day and several evenings, students and adult chaperones go to various service sites in the Buffalo area. The evenings are comprised of a little free time, dinner together, reflecting on the day's service, and evening prayer. The program happens during the summer and is a great example of living out our faith through service. 
food bank photo