Mission Trips

During breaks and over the summer, University Ministry offers students the opportunity to serve, learn, and grow through mission experiences. If you would like more information about participating in any of these opportunities, please contact Jessica Peek, Director of University Ministry, at jpeek@stfrancis.edu.


Fall Break  (Nazareth Farm, West Virginia):

Students are encouraged to spend their fall break participating in this experiential opportunity which truly embodies Franciscan living.

“Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community in rural West Virginia that transforms lives through a service-retreat experience. We are devoted to living out the Gospel message through the cornerstones of community, simplicity, prayer, and service. We serve alongside our neighbors to address substandard housing by providing home repair. We celebrate the richness of Appalachia and experience God by building relationships between our volunteers and the local community.”

In the past, USF students have been joined by other colleges such as: Creighton (NE), Aquinas (MI) and Notre Dame (IN).


INTERESTED? Seven students per year are able to join this trip, which costs approximately $275. University Ministry takes applications from August through September.


Winter Break (Philippines)

University of St. Francis students have the opportunity to join the Diocese of Joliet University Mission to Bacolod, Philippines. The primary goal of the mission is to build a house with the Gawad Kalinga organization. Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families, by first restoring the dignity of the poor. Students who attend also dialogue with local university students and spend time with families in the village.


INTERESTED? The trip usually leaves at the end of December or early in January and lasts around 10 days. Please contact Jessica Peek for more information.


Spring Break

Each spring break students are offered an alternative spring break trip; the purpose of which is to serve the chosen area, build community among students, and grow as an individual in faith. USF students have gone to Whole Kids Outreach in Missouri and to Biloxi, Mississippi to help with home repair/construction/demolition through Hope CDA – an agency helping residents, six years after Hurricane Katrina, to recover. Our place may change, but the purpose will always remain – to live lives of service.


INTERESTED? The trip costs approximately $250-$300. University Ministry takes names from December through February so that the group size, cost and arrangements can be finalized. Deposits are required by Feb. 1.



Summer Break (Bolivia)

The University Mission to Sucre, Bolivia began in 1995 through the efforts of Sr. Dolores Zemont, O.S.F., at the University of St. Francis. In 2001, it was expanded by the Diocese of Joliet’s Peace and Social Justice Ministry to include students from all three of the diocese’s Catholic universities: Benedictine University, Lewis University and the University of St. Francis. In partnership with the Diocese’s Peace and Justice office, students from the College of DuPage, Elmhurst College, Joliet Junior College and North Central College are also included in this mission opportunity. While in Sucre, students serve at several orphanages, day care centers, a hospital built by the diocese and two psychiatric centers.


INTERESTED? The Bolivia Mission generally occurs for 12-15 days in June. Please contact Jessica Peek for more information.