An In Depth Look

Urban Immersion Retreat

The Urban Immersion Retreat for high school and college students is a workshop retreat typically conducted as a weekend (Friday evening through Sunday) experience; longer experiences are offered during breaks in the academic year. Groups of up to 20 students reside in an urban setting as a community accompanied by at least one facilitator from the cooperating high school or college.

The retreat serves as a tool to be introduced to and explore issues of justice and the reality of oppression. Through partnerships with local agencies, retreat participants are able to get to know people, to challenge stereotypes, to confront fears, to break down barriers that "protect" us from the unknown, the different

A Unique Educational Experience

Daily communal prayers, meal preparation, recreational and educational sessions are designed to reflect on and extend the work and observations conducted at ministry sites. The program directors have an established relationship with many of the social agencies that will be used as the sites for the field experiences (e.g., The Chicago Food Depository, Su Casa, The Port, San Miguel Schools, Chicago Youth Centers, St. Martin DePorres) and continue to develop relationships with other ministries.

A common goal of the retreat is for the participants to continue in prayer, reflection, and action when they return to their home institution under the leadership of the facilitator(s) who shared in the experience.

Typical Schedule



4:30            Group Arrival

4:45            Introduction/Orientation

Social Justice Definition

5:15            Supper Prep

6:00            Supper

6:30            Supper Clean

7:00            Reflection—The story we know about homelessness

7:30            Depart

8:15            Cornerstone

10:00            Depart

11:15            Debrief/Reflection

11:45            Bed / Lights Out



7:30            Wake

8:00            Breakfast Prep

8:20            Breakfast (Bagels)

8:45            Breakfast Clean

9:15            Depart

10:00            Port Ministries Mantle

Lunch on the Run (PB&J)

1:30            Depart

2:30            St. Martin DePorres House of Hope

4:30            Depart

5:15            Reflection

6:00            Supper Prep

6:45            Supper (Tostadas)

7:30            Supper Clean

8:00            Evening Activity

10:00            Bed/ Lights Out



6:30            Wake

7:00            Breakfast Prep

Prepare Space

8:00            Breakfast (French Toast)

8:30            Breakfast Clean

Prepare Space

9:30            Depart

10:00            Worship Service

11:45            Return to Darst Center

12:00            Lunch

12:45            Closing Reflection/Sending Forth

2:00            Group Departs


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