The International Encounter experience offers participants a chance to better recognize the global engagement of the Society of Jesus in areas of education and other ministries. It is also a chance to consider how the Jesuit commitment to “a faith that does justice” is at work in places beyond one’s campus. Additionally, the Encounter is an opportunity to be stretched intellectually and personally, by literally “encountering” people, cultures, languages, foods, and more.
ICP Encounter coordinators have long-term relationships with the people and locations to which participants travel. This provides an essential gift of being welcomed into local communities and to hear directly of the experience of people living in each locale. The purpose of the ICP Encounter is to be learners: to let those who live in these regions be the teachers, or the experts of their reality. Past locations have included the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nogales, AZ/Nogales, Mexico, Peru and Belize.
Preparation for Encounters include Zoom sessions with site coordinators, and online workshops about the areas, their people, and some of the major realities affecting the regions. During each Encounter, there are opportunities for reflection and processing the experience. Upon return, coordinators host another Zoom session to help further explore remaining questions and how the Encounter is influencing one’s work and personal life.
Listen to an ICP Encounter Coordinator (formerly Immersion Coordinator) and a recent ICP participant describe their Encounter experiences: