Jesuit Mission

Service

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
Click here for Service Hour Requirements

Immersion Trips

Summer 2022

List of 6 items.

  • Romero Center, Camden--June 6-11

    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 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
  • Wheeling University Appalachian Institute, June 12-18

    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 the coal industry as well as the environmental and social impacts of the current natural gas boom. Students will serve community members directly at charitable organizations and indirectly with service in their many urban farms and gardens. To learn more about the initiatives in the area, click here
     
    This trip is open to all rising seniors and juniors.
  • Ivanhoe Civic Center, June 12-18

    This is a return to a long-time service location for St. Joseph’s Prep.
     
    The students will live together in accommodations provided by the Ivanhoe Civic League. The students will perform light construction and brush clearing to help prepare for the annual Ivanhoe Festival. They will organize "Ivanhoe Fun Day" for the local children as well as assisting residents with odd jobs. They will also have an opportunity to participate in the day-to-day life of the people of Appalachia. Ivanhoe is approximately 60 miles southwest of Roanoke, just off Route 81, approximately 8 1/2 hours driving time from Philadelphia.
     
    This trip is open to all rising seniors and juniors.
  • Jesuit Border Initiative--June 19-25

    In October 2020, the Jesuit provincial, Fr. Tom Greene, S.J., was visiting Brownsville, Texas. He visited a migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico and was struck by the tremendous needs of the community. At the time there was not a Jesuit presence in the Rio Grande Valley. As one of the poorest counties in the country, 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 invited schools and parishes to come and see their work, to join them on both sides of the border and to share the story with their home communities. 
     
    For this trip, students will fly to Brownsville, Texas to learn of the realities of immigration by spending 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 attend mass in Texas and Mexico. To read more about Fr. Strassburger and Fr. Hotop and their work, click here
     
    This trip is open to rising seniors and will require an application to attend. Passport is mandatory. 
  • JusticeworX--June 20-25

    St. James parish is home to the Trenton JusticeworX program each summer. Participants will have daily opportunities to reflect on experiences, share with peers, and learn about ways in which they can live out the faith through service to others. Participants will engage in faith experiences during the course of the week at sites such as day care centers, housing rehabilitation sites, soup kitchens, food pantries, community gardening programs, and senior care centers. To find out more about the JusticeworX program, click here
     
    This trip is open to all rising sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  • Sacred Heart Parish and Community Center, June 21-27

    Sacred Heart Parish and Community Center are Jesuit ministries serving a diverse population, including recent immigrants to the Richmond area. We will support their ministry working to help support their ministry by working around the church, parish and community center. Our main project will be to help the parish prepare for their annual festival. To find out more about Sacred Heart in Richmond, click here
     
    This trip is open to all rising juniors and seniors.

Contact Information

Katie Longto
215-978-1968

Service Opportunities for Staff and Students

The Mission and Ministry Office works hard to provide 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.

Opportunities to volunteer
  • Tutoring school-aged children
  • Reading club with school-aged children
  • Senior citizen assistance and maintaining connections
  • Nursing home letter-writing
  • Prep talent sharing: Prep students share, teach, model their gifts and abilities to younger children, (Art, Technology, Music, Carpentry, Athletics, etc.)
Community Partners
  • Caring for Friends
  • Oak Street Health
  • Grands as Parents
  • Everything Must Change
  • Senator Shareef Street
  • Councilman Malcom Kenyatta
  • State Rep Joanna McClinton
On-site community relief events to serve surrounding communities
Food giveaway conducted by students, staff, and parents
  • Serving North Philadelphia families
  • Serving capacity for approximately 200 people
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. Joe’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.