The Port Ministries Service Trip Application (Spring '18 - Chicago)

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PORT MINISTRIES Service Immersion Program


Port Ministries Service Immersion program seeks to expose retreatants to the beauty and challenge of life in Chicago’s Back of the Yards (BOTY). Through prayer, reflection, direct and indirect service, and visits to our BOTY partner organizations, our service immersion provides the opportunity to broaden one’s awareness surrounding social justice concerns, deepen one’s spirituality, and understand our organization’s mission.


Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Charism, The Port Ministries acknowledges the call to live the Gospel through full-hearted service to men, women, and children in need. Our aim is to provide programs and service that address the fundamental needs of the body, mind and spirit. Our goal is not only to respond to the basic needs of food, healthcare, and education, but also address the root problems of poverty, hunger and despair. By empowering children and families with the necessary spiritual counseling, training and support, The Port Ministries aids in providing the community the opportunity to improve their economic situation and enhance their lives.

We hope that by allowing retreatants to participate in indirect and direct service, and visiting our partner organizations, they will be able to enter into The Port’s spirituality. We give retreatants ample time to reflect on their service experiences and educational facilitations in our chapel so that their experiences in the Back of the Yards might nurture their spirituality. We facilitate prayer, peace circles, and reflections in order to do this.

Direct Service:

When we refer to “direct service” we mean to describe service that involves direct contact with residents of the Back of the Yards. Direct service at The Port Ministries involves serving food on the bread truck, aiding our clinic, tutoring young folks, and helping out with open gym.

Indirect Service:

Indirect service to The Port Ministries is just as impactful as direct service. We rely on groups to contribute to indirect service so that we can run our programs. Indirect service to the Port Ministries involves executing much needed projects around the campus such as improving our space to better serve the community (painting, organizing, cleaning, etc.), and/or help with our communications (mailings, making phone calls, hanging flyers, etc). 

Partnering Organizations:

Part of our Service Immersion program includes visiting other area outreach organizations in the Back of the Yards. The Back of the Yards comprises many vibrant ministries that work for justice. Groups visit, learn from, and often times serve these organizations throughout their Service Immersion week at the Port. These organizations include: Casa Catalina, The Plant, Su Casa Catholic Worker, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, and San Miguel School.

Additional Resrouces on the Port Ministries:


Trip Details:

  • Departure - The group will be leaving Viterbo University the morning of Sunday, January 7, 2018.
  • Return - The group will leave Chicago the afternoon of Friday, January 12, 2018 and be back to Viterbo in the evening. (Times TBD)
  • COST: $50 Deposit Required -  (*Thanks to SGA, this trip is greatly subsidizied, but Campus Ministry recognizes that it may still be difficult to pay, please speak with Emilio Alvarez, Director of Campus Ministry to inquire about scholarships.) 



Please fill out the application below:

Deadline to Apply: As soon as possible!

Contact Emilio Alvarez at for any questions or concerns.


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