Campus Ministry

Alternative Breaks

Campus Ministry is offering two opportunities to make a difference this spring break.  Join us to travel to Camden, New Jersey or to El Salvador and experience service and solidarity in a powerful way.  Recruitment for both trips begins in October 2013 with meetings and fundraising beginning in late October to early November.  Trips include spiritual reflection and sharing as part of the experience.  Cost per student will depend on amount of money the groups fundraise.  See below for more information about each trip. 

Alternative Spring Break: Camden                                                                                            March 8-13, 2014 

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Campus Ministry at Rivier University has partnered with DeSales ServiceWorks since spring of 2010.  ServiceWorks is coordinated by the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales who went to serve in Camden, NJ in 2009.  They have been welcoming groups since then who want to join them in service to the people of the city.

It's tempting to write off the city of Camden - 9 square miles of poverty and devastation, at least at first glance.  Often ranked as the poorest and most dangerous city in the country, the dropout rate is 70%, 42% of the population is addicted or recovering, 20% of homes are abandoned and vacant, 50% of the population is functionally illiterate, the current unemployment rate is 16.8%, and the average income for a family of four in North Camden (where we serve) is $15,000.

We'll be involved with home visitations, tutoring at Holy Name School, home rehab, serving meals at Cathedral Kitchen and Joseph House, making sandwiches, and cleaning up the local parks.

Opportunities also exist at the Heart of Camden Housing Project, The Center for Transformation, and the Greenhouse Project.

We will be housed at the former Holy Name Rectory at 522 State Street in Camden.  We will also be responsible for shopping for our food and preparing our meals each day.

This is a great opportunity to serve.  The real hope in Camden lies in the compassion of people who are committed to building relationship in the city.  Come be part of that.

To apply for the Camden trip, please email or drop off your responses to the following questions to Mary Jane Silvia at by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18.  A meeting will be scheduled after all applications are received. 

1. Name, year, best way to reach you (phone, email, etc.) 

2. Why do you want to go to Camden? (about 75 words) 

3. How have you been involved in church or service work? (about 75 words) 

4. Explain how working in one of the poorest cities in the country is a way to live what you believe. (about 75 words) 


Alternative Spring Break: El Salvador                                                                                       March 8-14, 2014 

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Come.  Serve.  Be changed. 

El Salvador is a country of about 7 million located in Central America.  Its people are still recovering from the civil war that ravaged the country in the 1980s and early 90s.  In addition to war, poverty and natural disasters have made a difficult life more challenging for the Salvadoran people.  Despite these hardships, they are a warm and welcoming people, ready to receive their guests with grace and laughter.

Together with Rivier's Office of Global Engagement, Campus Ministry will offer our first international Alternative Break trip to El Salvador during Spring Break 2014, partnering with Project FIAT International.  Participants will stay at Casa Voluntariada Santa Rafaela Maria, the Project FIAT volunteer house in the capital city of San Salvador.

The El Salvador group will experience powerful service and solidarity with the people of San Salvador and the surrounding mountain villages, working in schools, medical clinics, orphanages, and on building projects, among other service.  We will also experience Salvadoran culture through food, music, dance, and trips to local cultural and historic sites.  Shared prayer and reflection will help us process our experiences and we will leave with a sense of "what's next?"  Fundraising as a group will help offset the cost of the trip.

To sign up for the El Salvador trip, please visit the Office of Global Engagement to make your first deposit of $149.60 BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25.  Meetings and fundraising will begin shortly thereafter. 

For more information on this trip, please email  

For more information on Project FIAT's work in El Salvador, please visit  




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