Campus ministry social explains opportunities for student involvement

By Noelle Westfall
February 11, 2010

Shannon Keough

Cabrini College’s Campus Ministry opens up a wide variety of opportunities for students to grow in their relationships with themselves, others and God. Through service opportunities, retreats and immersion experiences, Campus Ministry’s mission has impacted many Cabrini students.

“We do a lot,” Christa Angeloni, campus minister, said. “Throughout the school year is definitely when most of the programming is happening, but winter break we have the immersion trip to Ecuador, ‘Rostro de Cristo,’ which translates to ‘Face of Christ.’ The Appalachia immersion experience is over spring break. There is a trip to New York this spring break also.”

Campus Ministry’s New York trip goes into the city and follows the footsteps of Mother Cabrini. Students visit the two different locations where there are immigrant services, nursing and rehabilitation centers. When students go on this trip, Angeloni explained, they can get to know all about the Cabrini mission. Students can also stay in the convent with the sisters and get to know them by asking them questions about all the work they do.

There is also plenty of time to travel to sites in the “Big Apple” like Rockefeller Center and Times Square.

While all of their retreats are popular, the one in highest demand is the SEARCH retreat, involving about 30 people. This retreat is three days off campus and focuses on three different relationships: your relationship with yourself, with other people and with God.

Kristie Bergin, senior social work major and religious studies minor, has been involved in leading retreats for campus ministry as well as participating in them since freshman year.

“I really enjoyed being on SEARCH and I think everyone should go on it,” Bergin said. “It’s really taught me what it means to be a young Catholic adult in our church today and it’s deepened my relationship with God and I’m very grateful for it. I think everyone should come out to the Campus Ministry things. Even if they’re not super religious, that’s okay, I think everybody will feel comfortable.”

The experience in Ecuador is very different from SEARCH and the one in New York. Students immerse themselves in the life of a typical Ecuadorean. Students live together in a house and share the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning as well as learning from the people they meet.

They travel to area foundations such as hospitals and after-school programs to learn about governmental and economic issues the country faces. Most importantly they get to speak to the people of Ecuador and get to know them on a personal level.

Another fascinating type of retreat opportunity Campus Ministry offers is Project Appalachia, which takes students to the poverty-stricken region of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.

“I got involved with Project Appalachia through one of the days I was wandering past the Wolfington Center and Christa says, ‘Joe! I never see you at any of the retreats, why is that? What are you doing over spring break?'” Joe Kimpflen, senior history and political science major, said. “So I ended up going to Appalachia. The biggest impact that Appalachia had on my life is that it basically changed the focus of my studies and my major. I’m going to be focused on social service.”

The impact the experience in Appalachia has led Kimpflen to be the leader of the project this year.

Cabrini’s connection to social justice is a large part of what Campus Ministry encompasses through its focus on working alongside people of all cultures to expand students’ knowledge of the world around them.

“(Social justice) asks all of those difficult questions about what rights should these people have that they aren’t able to easily access,” Angeloni said, “But then it also ties into our faith. We believe these people are equal, but we’re born with so many more luxuries than they are. It asks a lot of challenging questions, but I think it makes us reflect on our faith and the human right to dignity.”

Students with questions about Cabrini’s Campus Ministry opportunities can e-mail Christa Angeloni at Check out Campus Ministry’s homepage with a list of services and events at

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Noelle Westfall

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