A Jesuit education promotes Justice through Solidarity – It is not enough to be living in the world – we have to participate in transforming it. A Jesuit education is transformative because it engages the real world, especially with an obligation to be of service to and stand in solidarity with those most marginalized. We strive towards solidarity with all people, and seek to transform suffering and injustice so as to work towards the common good of all. We call this transformative engagement of the world “women and men with and for others”.

One way a student can expose themselves to the gritty reality of the world is by participating in a domestic or an international service-immersion experience with the Office of Campus Ministry. Domestic trips take place during Winter Service Week, a 7-day experience over the January break. This year’s sites are with the Sisters of St. Joseph in Rochester, Erie Benedictine Community in Erie, PA, and with Grow Ohio Valley in Wheeling, WV. International sites range from a 1-3 week experience. This year’s sites include a one-week experience with the Mustard Seed Community in Jamaica, a 10-day experience with Crispaz and the Kino Border Initiative in both El Salvador and Nogales, MX, and a 3-week experience located in rural Poland working at a summer camp for children in foster care.

These experiences can be spiritually, personally, and professionally transformative.

Margaret Treichler (’19) reflects on her own involvement with Campus Ministry’s Service-Immersion Experiences:

“My Sophomore year at Canisius I was working in the office of Campus Ministry and so when applications came out I was one of the first students to see them, and I instantly knew I wanted to go. That year I participated in the immersion to Erie, PA. Since then I have traveled through Campus Ministry to Argentina, West Virginia, and the Arizona/Mexico border. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world.

I study Human Services with minors in Communications, Women and Gender Studies, and Child, Family, and Community Studies. While all of the immersions I’ve participated in relate back to my areas of study in many ways, my trip to West Virginia is where I most resonated with spiritually, morally, and interest-wise. We learned about poverty. We met poverty. We experienced poverty. My trip to West Virginia reaffirmed my passion for fighting poverty, and reignited my compassion for all those I meet.

All of my immersion experiences have changed me in different, and similar, ways. Each experience has helped me to grow deeper in my faith, understand God better, see the world through someone else’s eyes, but most importantly these trips have humbled me. Pope Francis calls us all to a life of humility, and because of these trips I can understand why.”

Applications for domestic and international service-immersion experiences are currently available in the Office of Campus Ministry (OM 207) and are due by Wednesday, October 10, by 5pm. Any questions can be referred to Associate Campus Minister Kaitlyn Buehlmann at 716-888-2422 or buehlmak@canisius.edu

Margaret Treichler and the rest of the Grow Valley Winter Service Week Team in Wheeling, WV.