The 6 VISION Components
The foundation of our program
Service is foundational to VISION trips. You will work alongside residents of the community you visit to address human, social and environmental needs. Your service may be tangible: building a home and seeing the finished product. Or your service may be intangible: tutoring a child without knowing the impact of your work. Each trip will incorporate both types of service.
Simplicity is a difficult component for many of us. We come to depend on conveniences or luxuries and have many choices about how we spend our time. Your group will decide together how to take with you only what you truly need. At your site, your choices may be limited by geography, money, transportation and safety. These limitations challenge our habits and help us examine the difference between needs and wants.
Spirituality is about your own faith, beliefs and convictions as well as the context for this program. VISION is directed from the Department of Campus Ministry. It springs from the Catholic tradition of social justice and the Gospel call to service. VISION welcomes students from a wide variety of faith perspectives to explore and share issues of faith. Nightly reflections offer the opportunity to share your own spirituality with others in the light of the day's experience.
Community is developed within the VISION team and in cooperative work at your site. Your team will create a group agreement, reflect together and grow as a community through shared work. You will also establish connections with other volunteers and residents at your site through work, play and learning experiences.
Cultural Exchange is a two-way street: sharing your culture with those you visit, and learning about theirs, too. Depending on your site, you may be invited to an Appalachian Jamboree, a Southern Gospel Church, a Native American pow-wow, or a local historical or cultural institution. You will share your cultural identity through story, song or example.
Justice Issues are the broader concerns of your work. Beyond direct service (e.g. serving a meal) you will learn about the causes of poverty, oppression, etc. and responses made to address these issues. Through presentations and educational opportunities, you will discover the political, economic, social, historical and religious issues behind your service work.
2014 VISION Trip Reflection
VISION: A Journey towards Hope and Confidence
By Jessica Chlebeck
This past Spring Break I was blessed to be able to go on a VISION trip to Kentucky with 8 other students here at St. Thomas. It was through this experience that I became a person who grew more confident in God’s plan, confidence in myself and hope in this world. I am so eternally grateful to God for putting me on this trip because this trip changed my life.
To read Jessica's full reflection click here - VISION reflection.