The Mercy Service Immersion Program allows our students to experience cultures, communities and needs outside of the comfort zone of our local community. The goal of the program is to serve and live in solidarity with the materially poor/marginalized for a short period of time, and to help students further their journey towards becoming “Women of Mercy.”
The Service Immersion Program will help to encourage students to be others-focused in the midst of an increasingly self-centered world and society. It will also help them to gain a better understanding of the struggle to survive that millions of people fight each day, to think about how they can help, and to appreciate the many blessings they’ve been granted in their own lives. In short, it will be positively life-changing!
To be a Woman of Mercy, means to recognize that there are places and people that have greater needs than ourselves and to stand in solidarity with them.
The 2017-2018 School Year
Dominican Republic: Students and faculty chaperones travel to the Dominican Republic with the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) program through Creighton University. The group spends a week learning about life in the DR through planned educational excursions and by working side-by-side with residents in a rural campo (or village). Since ILAC has an established presence in the DR, they know the specific needs of the community that the students live in. This is important because it helps to make the experience safe, but also allows the group to serve a real need of the community. Potential projects that the group could be working on include: building or repairing buildings, painting, digging latrines, teaching community members English, planting crops and playing with the children.
Rosebud, South Dakota: Students and faculty chaperones also travel to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota through Tree of Life Ministry. The group helps with projects ranging from repairing homes and community buildings, with special projects such as playgrounds, economic development, food distribution, clothing distribution, free hot meal site, community activities, child care, and assistance to tribal programs. Along with serving the Rosebud community, the group also gets to learn about cultural events that are presented by the Native Americans who live on the Reservations we serve. Subjects discussed include Sioux history, culture, poverty, health issues, social issues, Lakota/Dakota games, dancing, and regalia, among others.
Misericordia, Chicago: Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged. By serving society’s most vulnerable citizens, Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for them, yet cannot provide it at home. Through a spectrum of residential options on its 31-acre Chicago campus and in the community, and with a wide variety of programs, Misericordia currently serves more than 600 children and adults from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Twenty percent of our residents either come from poverty families or have no families and are wards of the State.
Omaha, Nebraska: Faculty/staff members plan service opportunities that they are personally passionate about, with the hope that they can introduce students to potentially new service experiences. The students and faculty/staff chaperones serve at locations throughout the Omaha Metro area for two days; concluding the second day with a shared meal back at school.