“Solidarity is learned through “contact” rather than through “concepts.” . . . When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.”
– Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former superior general of the Society of Jesus
MISSION AND MINISTRY | Since 2015, the Office of Mission and Ministry has sponsored an immersion experience in Latin America for faculty and staff members to help LMU employees develop a sense of solidarity with peoples living on the margins of society. The group spends a week learning about the economic, political, social, and ecological precariousness of our neighbors through direct contact and conversation with politicians, educators, including the staff of Latin American universities sponsored by the Jesuits, entrepreneurs, and founders of non-governmental organizations, as well as the victims of violence and oppression perpetrated by unjust systems and governments.
Ellen A. Ensher, professor of management in the College of Business Administration, participated in LMU’s trip to Nicaragua this past May. When asked why she decided to travel to Central America with her LMU colleagues, she replied:
My purpose in Nicaragua was to learn. I have spent my career teaching and creating other people’s learning experiences. This time I was the student along with 12 of my colleagues from various colleges and departments at LMU.
We were diverse in many respects, such as gender, race, discipline, religion, and age, but united in our love for LMU and our mission of social justice and developing men and women in service for others. So, the LMU Nicaragua 2017 immersion trip was a learning pilgrimage.
We went to learn what life is like for people in Nicaragua and to learn from people who are working to enact change and make life better not only for themselves but also for others, particularly the next generation.
You can read more about Professor Ensher’s experience.
LMU is now seeking nominees for participants in the next Nicaragua immersion trip, which will take place May 12-19, 2018. If you are a faculty or exempt staff member and interested in expanding your understanding of what it means to serve faith and promote justice, please contact John T. Sebastian, vice president for mission and ministry, at John.Sebastian@lmu.edu.