Immersion Program 

Campus Ministry offers several immersion opportunities available to Saint Francis High School students who are current Juniors and Seniors. These trips are for the student who wants more out of their service opportunities. In most cases they will have an opportunity to live in or near the community they serve. They will do everything together in community. Each trip will have time set aside for prayer. Each day the group will have time for the participants to process the events experienced and information acquired. One or more Saint Francis High School faculty or staff persons will accompany each group.

The descriptions below are meant to help the students and their parents discern which immersion experience will best fit the needs of the student.

Trip Descriptions

SECOND SEMESTER -current Juniors and Seniors may apply

San Jose Plunge Sacred Heart Community Services in San Jose hosts us for this intense two day immersion experience. Students work in the pantry and/or clothing closet at SHCS, prepare a meal at Loaves and Fishes, and hear stories firsthand from men and women who have lived on the streets of San Jose.

Los Angeles Plunge  Students travel to East Los Angeles, California to be immersed in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Students learn about Homeboy Industries, the nation’s largest gang intervention, re-habilitation, and re-entry program in the world.  Students will work with the Guadalupe Housing Project preparing and serving meals to shelter residents, Homeboy Silk Screening and work with the children of the parish school through their afterschool program. 

New Orleans Immersion During this Easter break trip, students will help with the clean up and restoration of Hurricane Katrina damaged homes, working with local agencies dedicated to the rebuilding of the city of New Orleans. The immersion will also investigate the social justice issues Hurricane Katrina unmasked in the New Orleans area.

SUMMER Immersions–current Juniors may apply 

Appalachia Students will be working with the Saint Joseph Housing Repair Program which is an outreach of St. Joseph Parish in Clintwood Virginia. The people living in the community have been greatly impacted by the coal, gas and timber industries. There is extreme poverty and land and water devastation in the area. Saint Joseph's is one of several parishes in the area that has formed a ministerial association to meet some of the needs of the local residents. Students will stay at the Dorothy Baker House, which is on the church property. 

Chile Students will work to support the Holy Cross Fathers in their work with children in El Quisco and Santiago at Parroquia San Roque and Foundation Moreau: Homes for Children.  There will also be an opportunity for students to visit culturally significant locations in the Santiago area, including two Holy Cross schools.

El Salvador   Students will travel to San Salvador and be hosted by the faith-based, non-profit organization, Crispaz.  Students will hear about the experience of the poor and marginalized in urban and rural communities, and learn about the causes and effects of the country’s 12-year civil war which ended in 1992.  Students will gain a new awareness about globalization and its effects upon a developing nation and its citizens.

Holy Cross Five students from each of the five other Holy Cross School in the former Southwest Province will travel to the hosting school for this immersion. This will be an experience of service work and living in Christian community with students from four other Holy Cross High School. This is an opportunity that includes learning about the common values experienced by students in Holy Cross High Schools, combined with service to the local area where we are staying. This year’s trip is hosted by Holy Cross High School in San Antonio.

Brazil Students will work to support the Holy Cross Brothers in their work located in Campinas, Brazil (affiliated with Parõquia São José de Jaguaré and Colégio Notre Dame de Campinas). Students will work with a variety of organizations, including working at the two CECOIA community centers run by the Brothers of Holy Cross. Students will have the opportunity to connect with other Holy Cross students from the Colégio de Notre Dame as well as learn about the cultural, political, and economic realities that face Brazil.

Holy Cross Montreal Pilgrimage This time of prayer and reflection will be open to all Catholic junior students in Holy Cross schools throughout the United States. The primary focus of the Pilgrimage is on St. Joseph’s Oratory and the life of St. Brother André. Although students will have heard about his life and participated in school prayer services, seeing the Oratory in person and joining pilgrims from other countries deepens their knowledge and experience of this humble servant of God. 

Mississippi Students will become a part of the summer school offered by Sister Kay Burton in Jonestown in the Mississippi Delta.  Students will become teachers and coaches as they prepare classes and athletic activities for the children of this small town.  

Salinas Students will travel by van to Soledad Street in Salinas to work at Dorothy’s Place, a non-profit run by the Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra, an international community of lay workers dedicated to helping the poor and marginalized.  Students will help prepare meals and hospitality for homeless men and women, tutor and play with the children of migrant farm workers, and hear from local residents about the challenges facing their community.



Open to Juniors & Seniors

Winter Programs

  • NorCal Plunge – San Jose (held twice)
  • SoCal Plunge - Dolores Mission Immersion

Easter Break Program

  • New Orleans Immersion 

Open to Juniors Only

Summer Programs

  • Appalachia Immersion
  • Chile Immersion
  • El Salvador Immersion
  • Holy Cross Immersion
  • Brazil Immersion 
  • Holy Cross Montreal Pilgrimage 
  • Salinas Immersion
  • Mississippi Immersion

Each year, immersion trip applications are distributed at the Immersion Information Night held in October. Applications are due in November.

Language and Cultural Immersion 

Sponsored by the academic department, Saint Francis offers a Chinese language and culture immersion trip to Shenzhen, China each summer. More Information