Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry

Service-Immersion Experiences

The purpose of Canisius College’s Service-Immersion experiences is to increase student awareness of the world. These trips encourage students to grow in solidarity with the people of the world, especially the poor. Students will challenge themselves to live simply, to value relationships that they make, to engage their faith and spirituality and to dig for the truth behind the injustices.

The Office of Campus Ministry organizes annual service trips to New York City, Appalachia, New Orleans and other urban areas, as well as Jamaica, India, Poland and El Salvador.

Domestic Service-Immersion Experiences:


Winter Service Week (WSW)

A service experience over Winter Break, Winter Service Week (WSW) is an opportunity for Canisius students to experience a week of service in the context of solidarity, spirituality, simplicity and social justice. Winter Service Week is based on this gospel notion and enables students to experience the variety of ongoing ministries present in an urban and rural setting.

WSW Sites:

  • New York City
  • St. Bernard's Project--Hurricane Sandy
  • Syracuse Northside CYO
  • Syracuse Cathedral Academy of Pompei
  • Erie Benedictines
  • Ndakinna Education Center
Alternative Spring Break (ASB)

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is one of Canisius' most popular and rewarding experiences. Campus Ministry has offered this unique community service alternative to traditional spring break activities for the past 22 years. In the spring of 2013, 27 Canisius students and staff traveled to sites in rural Appalachia, Buffalo, Erie and Detroit.

Contact Sarah Signorino at signoris@canisius.edu or 716-888-2424 for more information about Winter Service Week or Alternative Spring Break.

Alumni Service and Immersion Program to New Orleans

Our Alumni Service and Immersion Program to New Orleans is open to Canisius Alumni, Faculty/Staff and friends of the college. This popular program includes direct service to the poor and various cultural immersion experiences. Our group has been a mixed population of recent graduates to graduates from the 1960s.

Contact Joe Van Volkenburg at vanvolkj@canisius.edu or 716-888-2875 for more information about the Alumni Service and Immersion Program to New Orleans.

International Service-Immersion Experiences

Join Campus Ministry for 1-3 week service-immersion experiences to marginalized communities across the world.  We work with people who have suffered war, hunger, neglect, discrimination and poverty.  Each of our trips incorporates both service—meaning direct, hands-on work with people in need, and immersion –meaning learning opportunities that help us grasp the social, economic, political, religious and cultural contexts in which we work.  These are not vacations – they will challenge you to live simply, to ask hard questions about justice, to deepen your faith and to make relationships that will influence you for the rest of your life.  But they are also eye-opening, transformative opportunities that students cite as some of the richest experiences of their Canisius career.

To see a slide show of the 2013 trips, click here.

The 2014 powerpoint about the program is available here.

Contact Lu Firestone at firestol@canisius.edu or 716-888-2422 for more information about our international service-immersion experiences.