Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry

Alternative Spring Break

March 16-22, 2014

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip is the longest running service-immersion program at Canisius. Campus Ministry has offered this unique alternative to a traditional spring break for 23 years. In the spring of 2013, 27 Canisius students and staff members traveled to sites in rural Appalachia, Erie, Buffalo and Detroit.

This year, ASB participants will be traveling throughout Appalachia, Buffalo and Erie to spend one week doing a variety of service work including home repair and construction, tutoring refugees, assisting in after school programs, learning about Appalachian culture, working with the elderly and trail construction. 

ASB is based on four cornerstones: solidarity, simplicity, spirituality, and social justice. ASB participants will go through a variety of pre and post–trip meetings to learn more about the regions in which they will be working. On-site accommodations and food will be simple. Reflection and prayer will be part of the daily routine during the preparation process and trip.

Alternative Spring Break 2014 Site Descriptions

Harpers Ferry is located by the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in the states of West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. The participants will be staying in a historic volunteer house and working for the National Parks Service in Harpers Ferry. While there, they will have the opportunity to learn more about the National Parks Service and the history behind Harpers Ferry. The service focuses on heavy labor for park upkeep and renovations. Projects will include landscape restoration, which would include, but not limited to; modern fence removal, historic fence construction, trail maintenance, brush clearing, trash/illegal dumping pick-ups, etc. 


BENEDICTINE COMMUNITY, Erie, PA                 

Students will work with the Benedictine sisters in a variety of ministries throughout the inner city and within the monastery itself.  Volunteer opportunities include education centers for adults and children, a community center for disabled adults, after school programs for underprivileged children, a children’s art house, soup kitchens, a food bank, and endless opportunities to help the sisters at the Mount. Participants will stay at the monastery and experience the sisters’ daily life of prayer and service.  Evenings will be spent reflecting with the sisters on the experiences of the day.



Discover a new side to the City of Good Neighbors! Students will serve at Journey’s End Refugee Services (located in the Tri-Main building) working with refugees teaching English and possibly doing apartment set-ups. Participants will also expand their Buffalo knowledge by visiting the unique Buffalo sites like checking out the historic Broadway Market, sniffing flowers at the Botanical Gardens and sipping coffee at locally owned Sweetness 7. Participants will be staying at Camp Pioneer in Angola, NY.



Come to the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky and learn about coal, coal mining and the history of Appalachia - one of America's most fascinating and misunderstood regions.  Appalachia is home to the headwater streams that provide major cities with drinking water - and some of the world's richest and most diverse forests.  These mountains contain the coal which provides 40 percent of America's electricity.  You will see a mountaintop removal coal mine, where coal companies are blasting the tops off the mountains.  Based in historic Harlan, Kentucky, this service-immersion experience is designed to promote a better understanding of Appalachia - one that confronts the stereotypes. Hiking, old-time mountain music, documentary films, mountain views, service work, planting trees on an old strip mine and helping low-income Appalachians weatherize their homes are some of the activities are students will participate in.


Several spots are still available at Harpers Ferry, Erie Benedictine Community and BuffaLOVE. If you are interested, please fill out an application and talk to Sarah. Applications are available in the main office and can be downloaded here.

Contact Sarah Signorino for more information at or 716-888-2424.