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Visiting places and talking with people in those places helps to broaden our understanding of how we are all connected as brothers and sisters in Christ and how we can stand in solidarity with one another. By witnessing firsthand some of the challenges that face these brothers and sisters of ours, we become more committed to bringing attention to their lives and their voices.
From time to time, Incarnation offers immersion trips to places in our region, our country, or internationally. Though service may be a part of these trips, our goal is not to go and do for others, but rather to immerse ourselves in a reality different than our own and to spend time sharing our lives and our stories with one another. Ultimately, this can lead to a deeper connection to one another and a firmer conviction to work for a more just world that moves us closer to God’s vision for God’s people.
Below are three current immersion trip offerings. Watch the bulletin and listen to Parish Family Business to learn more about what’s happening in this area. Contact the Coordinator of Justice & Charity in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or ideas.
Border Immersion Trip – El Paso, Texas
In the spring of 2013, a group of five Incarnation parishioners traveled to El Paso, Texas, to learn more about the realities of immigration and life on the border. We were hosted by the School Sisters of St. Francis and the Columban Fathers. By spending a week learning about the complexities of the US immigration system and the many factors that contribute to the desire and need to migrate, the group became much more knowledgable about this issue, as well as much more able to empathize with the challenges that immigrants–especially those from Latin America–face.
In visiting places like a farmworkers’ center, professors at the UTEP, Border Patrol, the store for a woman’s craft cooperative located in Juarez, youth detention centers, the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, shelters for immigrants, and a chaplain from an adult detention center, as well as spending time in the colonia neighborhoods and talking directly with immigrants, the group came to better see that now is the time for humane, just, and comprehensive immigration reform that upholds the dignity and worth of all people, everywhere. We look forward to sending another parish group to El Paso in early 2014.
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Our parish community tries to send a delegation to Pandiassou, Haiti, each year to strengthen our twinning partnership with the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Incarnation. Check out the Haiti page to the left to learn more about this relationship. We anticipate that our next parish group will travel to Haiti in November/December 2013. (Haiti photo credits: Linda Hexter)
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Eco-Pilgrimage to Appalachia/Eastern Kentucky
Interfaith prayer service at a mountaintop removal site
From September 12-14, Incarnation parishioners have the opportunity to travel to the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky to learn more about environmental stewardship and environmental issues of concern to the people of this area. We will work with the Catholic Committee of Appalachia for this trip. Our group will learn more about the culture, economy, environment, poverty, and other aspects of the region. We plan to visit places such as a mountaintop removal site, a fracking site, a panel of local people who want to share about their lives/stories, the Christian Appalachian Project, and others. Cost for accommodations/travel/breakfasts is $150 per person, and space is limited for the trip! If you have questions or would like to go, please contact Dianne Gagliano (964.1939, email@example.com) or Carl Stacy (973.3759, firstname.lastname@example.org).