Jesuit Mission


Our Ignatian Service Program facilitates opportunities for our students and colleagues to serve the needs of others in our immediate community and beyond.
In line with our mission we invite the whole of the Prep to purposefully encounter the world around us in the names, faces, and experiences of our fellow sisters and brothers thus encountering the Lord. For Christ tells us that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,” and that whatever we do for the least of His people, we do for Him. Our call to discipleship requires an active response to the needs of others and a full recognition of God’s presence in all people, places, and things.

Service Requirements

Ignatian Service is an integral part of our curriculum. Our students will graduate having immersed themselves in what it means to be a man for and with others. During their four years they will complete a minimum 75 hours.
  • 5 hours for Freshman
  • 10 hours for Sophomores
  • 20 hours for Juniors
  • 40 hours for Senior

Contact Information

Ms. Katie Longto

List of 8 items.

  • Romero Center: Camden, NJ June 3-8, 2024

    The Romero Center is an urban, service-learning, immersion experience rooted in the Catholic faith tradition. It offers a point of access to the lives of the people of Camden, NJ, and its surrounding communities. St. Joseph’s Prep will be paired with other Jesuit and Catholic high schools to serve the Camden community.
    Students will spend the week at the Romero Center in Camden where they will work with multiple organizations that serve the poor and marginalized in the local communities.
    This trip is open to all rising seniors.
  • Sacred Heart Parish: Richmond, VA June 4-10, 2024

    Sacred Heart Parish and Community Center are  Jesuit ministries serving a diverse population, including recent immigrants to the Richmond area.  We will spend a week working to help support their ministry and working around the church, parish and community center.  Daily meals are provided and shared with parish families.  Our main project will be to help the parish prepare for their annual festival.
    This trip is open to all rising seniors.
  • Brady Faith Center, Syracuse, NY June 8-June 14, 2024

    This trip is run by Brady Faith Center in Syracuse, NY.  The participants in this trip will engage in prayer, service, and reflection on the root causes of injustice. They will also encounter local leaders who are using creative solutions to combat poverty and injustice.  Students will serve in a variety of locations, such as working with children from low-income housing, working on urban farms and community gardens, serving the hungry, creating community art, working with the elderly, and completing minor home repairs. On Thursday we will conclude our trip with a visit at LeMoyne College, a Jesuit College in Syracuse, NY.
    This trip is open to rising seniors.
  • Wheeling Appalachian Institute: Wheeling, WV June 16-21, 2024

    Through this trip in Wheeling, WV and the Eastern Ohio Valley, students are given the opportunity to learn about the History and culture of Appalachia, its people, its economic parameters, and its coal industry. While on the trip, the students will discuss current issues facing Appalachia in this time of transition away from fossil fuels, and will see firsthand some of the local environmental impacts of our coal industry as well as the environmental and social impacts of our current natural gas boom.  Students will serve community members directly at charitable organizations and indirectly with service in their many urban farms and gardens.
    This trip is open to all rising seniors.
  • Del Camino Border Ministries: Brownsville, TX/Reynosa, Mexico July 6-13, 2024

    Background: In October 2020, the Jesuit provincial, Fr. Tom Greene, S.J., was visiting Brownsville, TX. He took a trip into a migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico and he was struck by the tremendous needs.  At the time there was not a Jesuit presence in the Rio Grande Valley.  This is one of the poorest counties in the country. And the migrant needs are tremendous on both sides of the border. Fr. Brian Strassburger and Fr. Louie Hotop were ordained in Spring 2021 and were missioned to the border; they have been very inviting of parish and school immersion trips to come and see their work, to join them on both sides of the border and to share the story with their home communities.  
    Students will travel via airplane to Brownsville, TX  to learn of the realities of immigration.  We will be staying in Brownsville, TX and will also have the chance to spend time across the border in Reynosa, Mexico.  The group will work with agencies such as the Humanitarian Respite Center, Team Brownsville and more.  Students will also have the opportunity to attend mass in both Texas and Mexico.  
    This trip is open to rising seniors and will require an application to attend. Passport is mandatory.  
  • St. Michael Mission: St. Michaels, AZ (Navajo Nation) July 6-13, 2024

    The students will live together in accommodations provided by the religious men and women who work at St. Michael Mission and Indian School in St. Michaels, AZ, approximately 25 miles northwest of Gallup, NM.  The work for the week will consist of running a Wilderness Camp for the children in the area on Mission coordinated by the parish staff. Students will spend the week working and understanding more about the culture and history of America’s native peoples. In the evenings, the students will have an opportunity to reflect and interact with the local community. 

    This trip is open to all rising seniors.
  • Bethlehem Farm, Alderson, WV July 7-13, 2024

    “Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service in the local community and the teaching of sustainable practices. We invite volunteers to join us in living the Gospel cornerstones of service, prayer, simplicity and community.

    During a week at the Farm, you and your group will:
    • serve alongside peers with our neighbors through home repair
    • have fun & build relationships with people you just met
    • dig deeper into your spirituality and the meaning of life

    Most importantly, we encounter God in one another. And we figure out what it means to truly live our faith – whatever our faith looks like.”

    Learn more:
    This trip is open to all rising seniors.
  • McKenna Center: Washington, DC August 4-9, 2024

    Founded by Father Horace McKenna, SJ, the McKenna Center is a soup kitchen and drop-in center for homeless men in Washington, DC. It is located in the basement of the historic St. Aloysius Church, located on the campus of Gonzaga College High school. Students will stay at the Center and will serve meals and visit with guests who utilize the McKenna Center.   Students will also have a chance to meet with local non-profit agencies in DC to learn more about the complex issues of housing and homelessness.  
    This trip is open to all rising seniors.

Service Opportunities for Staff and Students

The Mission and Ministry Office provides our students with meaningful service experiences that will help them to see the face of Christ in themselves and in those whom they serve. There is a great deal of service to be done in the Philadelphia area, and our goal is to encourage our community to press forward safely for the good of others. For current programs, go to the Resource Board.

Opportunities to volunteer
  • Tutoring school-aged children
  • Reading club with school-aged children
  • Senior citizen assistance and maintaining connections
  • Prep talent sharing: Prep students share, teach, model their gifts and abilities with our local community, (Art, Technology, Music, Carpentry, Athletics, etc.)
Community Partners
  • The Gesu School
  • Caring for Friends
  • Sanctuary Farm
  • Martha's Community Farm (Catholic Social Services)
  • Bethesda Project
  • SSJ Neighborhood Center
  • Cradles to Crayons
  • PAR-Recycleworks
  • Senator Shareef Street
  • Councilman Malcom Kenyatta
  • State Rep Joanna McClinton
Toiletry giveaway
  • Items donated by Prep families
  • Students prepare special care packages for homeless shelters
School supply giveaway
  • Items donated by Prep families
  • Prep students prepare backpacks to give to school-aged children

Our Program's Goals

Cura Personalis

This fundamental Ignatian value is at the forefront of our program. Though the material need of others is great, we understand that people’s needs extend far beyond basic necessities. While providing food, shelter and other resources we should also seek to minister to the human heart, serving people’s spirit by acknowledging their blessed humanity and dignity. Furthermore we realize that these encounters allow for an exchange where oftentimes we receive more than we give. Engaging in service gives our students and members of our community an opportunity to be formed by an experience--to be served by the Son of Man in others.

Cura Urbi

St. Joseph’s Prep finds itself amidst a community that is abundant in need but more abundant in grace. With that in mind, our program seeks ways in which we can be in solidarity with the people of Philadelphia. Regular community outreach coupled with the opportunity for service immersion trips will give our students and the school community the ability to see the need wherever they go and respond generously.

A Face to the Faceless

To serve is to be present to the needs of the person in front of you, wherever you find them. Some types of service lend themselves specifically to the poor and marginalized--people who our students and members of our community may not encounter outside of the periphery of their everyday lives. We hope that during these experiences participants recognize themselves in those that are in much greater need than they, and are moved to see them as individuals rather than a population.

Summer 2022 Immersion Trips

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