Welcome to Friends Across Borders (FAB)!
We work with individuals as well as groups such as universities, parishes, dioceses and other organizations who are interested in knowing about mission, having a cross-cultural immersion or service learning experience or to learn about specific world realities around education, health, justice and peace, pastoral care and sustainable development. The cost of the trips varies from continent to continent and from country to country. Because of the current safety concerns around the world, there are only a few places where children are allowed on these trips and, depending on the country, there will be a minimum age defined.
Once a person has inquired about our overseas trips he or she is required to fill out an application and or registration form, sign it, date it and send it with a registration fee of $200 per individual. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Trips for individuals are planned and posted between 6 months to one year in advance. Trips for groups of specific organizations are discussed and planned as soon as we receive their application. Click here to request information.
There is a three-step process for each Trip:
- Preparation (before)
- Immersion (during)
- Follow-Up (after)
What do we offer?
- A visit to one of the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in which Maryknoll Lay Missioners lives and works.
- Two guides accompanying the group, one of whom is a Returned Missioner that will travel with you from your home to the host country and the second a current Maryknoll Lay Missioner serving in the host country. You will be accompanied and guided during your entire immersion or service learning experience.
- Manager with previous mission experience who will guide you and your group in designing and planning the type of trip you or your group wants to experience.
- Two Orientation-Preparation conference calls and or meetings. This will depend on the proximity of the manager or one of the guides of the trip.
- Once you arrive you will be transported to accommodations (homestay, retreat houses, motels or hotels) according to what’s available in the country. After resting, you will have an onsite orientation regarding the country, city/town/village, culture and Maryknoll Lay Missioners.
- A Follow Up Conference Call or meeting and useful resources to continue applying new learnings and perspectives into your life, work and studies.
The structure of our trip will follow a rhythm including:
- Face to face interaction with local people (providing translation).
- Participation in local religious and cultural celebrations.
- Input from local “professionals”, missioners, sociologists, etc.
- Group prayer – simple ritual, mass and other liturgies.
- Group discussion – processing, reflection.
- Tourist activities and fun time.
- Down time.
Here are some of the basic principles and beliefs of Friends Across Borders cross-cultural immersion trips that help participants gain the most from their experience.
- We make our journey as a community. We have personal experiences but they are not “individual” experiences, they will be collective.
- The experience will impact each of us differently. We are different and we are on different journeys. We will respect everyone’s experience.
- This trip is not the beginning of your journey. Something along your life path drew you to say “yes” to this experience. We want to celebrate and honor this.
- We go to visit sacred ground and a graced people. You will experience poverty and situations perhaps unlike any you’ve experienced before. But life is a mystery and God is very much present in the situations and people we will encounter.
- The people and situations we will encounter are human, imperfect and limited, just like we are, just like our own culture is.
- Our primary commitment is to open our hearts, listen, and be compassionate. To deeply “feel with,” to allow yourselves to “see” as the people you visit see.
- We believe that God will accompany us on our journey so we can be confident and we can celebrate!
If you or your parish, community group or organization is interested in mission, service and cross-cultural immersion, CONTACT US!