Program Mission: The Blessed Edmund Rice Solidarity Initiative (BERSI) is a collection of travel-based educational service and immersion programs facilitated by Campus Ministry. Led by CM faculty and staff, each program offers students a profound opportunity to immerse themselves in a global community, build meaningful relationships with their fellow trip members and the people of their host community, while also reflecting on the role of faith and God in their life.
Enlivened by the spirit of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, each trip will cultivate a reflective faith-sharing community amongst students, and include elements of education and advocacy for peace, social justice, global awareness, and stewardship. The program empowers our students to put their faith-in-action, and to develop the sense of compassion and responsibility that is essential to stand in solidarity with those marginalized by poverty and injustice.
Each BERSI trip program has three mandatory components:1. Two pre-trip reflection meetings to prepare for the trip.2. The trip itself.3. Two post-trip meetings where students will create an Advocacy project to share with the CM community an aspect of their trip experience.
Each program will count towards 50% of a student's given outside-service requirement. (5 hours for Freshman, 7.5 hours for sophomores, and 10 hours for juniors. BERSI programs do not count towards a senior's Capstone Service Project).
Please complete the following application as soon as possible; BERSI program trips fill up quickly. Trip placement is a holistic, rolling process based upon application completion order, but with priority given to students who have not participated on a given trip, or to students in their last year of eligibility who have not participated on a trip. Please note that certain trips have age restrictions.
Once the application window closes, students and families will be notified via email if they are placed on a trip. Students will be required to submit a non-refundable $100.00 deposit online to secure their position on the trip, which will go towards the trip cost.
If a student's financial situation may prevent him from participating, please contact the Campus Ministry team to begin our financial aid process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Campus Ministry, at BERSI@catholicmemorial.org
Please refer to the 2018-2019 BERSI trip program descriptions below:
Enjoy the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and the pristine pastures of Wyoming. Participants will experience life in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks, touring sights such as Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Lake - a water filled crater over Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent – and the numerous herds of Buffalo roaming the land. Leaving the parks behind, the group will be immersed in Native American life and culture, while reflecting on the unique challenges that face Native American communities.