Bloggers


ABIs through a Lenten Lens

ABIs through a Lenten Lens

March 31st, 2014

by jarnason

In reflecting on my immersion experiences as a participant and leader, I have found parallels between the ABI program pillars of simplicity, faith, justice, and community and my own understanding of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving during the Lenten season. While the ABI pillar of simplicity has many varied and equally valid interpretations, the simplicity and […]


Almsgiving on an ABI

Almsgiving on an ABI

March 31st, 2014

by jarnason

Testimonial given by Matthew Bayens, Student Leader, during Stories of Solidarity at Soup and Substance on March 28, 2014 In the season of Lent we focus on three pillars: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I will be discussing almsgiving as the fruition of the other two. If prayer and fasting lead us closer to God, then […]


The Other CIA

The Other CIA

March 21st, 2014

by jarnason

Written by: Jen Kelso, Student Leader My first encounter with the phrase “Contemplative in Action” was during my junior year of high school, when, on a trip to New Orleans through our community service office, I met an enthusiastic tour guide named Jocelyn who introduced herself to us as “a member of the CIA.” Although […]


Community Redefined: Lessons from an Intentional Community

Community Redefined: Lessons from an Intentional Community

February 21st, 2014

by jarnason

Written by: Molly O’ Brien, Student Leader At different points in my ABI experience, each of the pillars has spoken to me in some way. At times, a pillar I had only thought about arbitrarily before hit me in a new and unexpected way. Other times, something I thought would be more impactful was actually […]


This guy got into a van filled with strangers, you won’t believe what happens next.

This guy got into a van filled with strangers, you won’t believe what happens next.

February 18th, 2014

by jarnason

  Written by Jason Downer, Staff Leader We had clearly been off the main road for a while.  It was pitch black so I had no idea what our surroundings looked like.  All I knew was that it was spring break, I was in West Virginia, and with a group of people I barely knew.  […]


Faces Not Places

Faces Not Places

February 17th, 2014

by jarnason

Written by Evan Peterson, Student Leader As I’m preparing to be jettisoned from the Windy City to Peace Springs, WV, I realize that what I’m looking forward most is not to see the scenic West Virginian Mountains. I’m not looking forward to the lengthy road trip to Appalachia, laden with copious amounts of trail mix, […]


Simplicity: Rooted in Love

Simplicity: Rooted in Love

February 12th, 2014

by jarnason

Written by Emily Cybulla, Student Leader Simplicity is one of the four ABI program pillars that my immersion group discussed prior to our week-long stay with a non-profit organization called Appalachia Science in the Public Interest (A-SPI). But I do not think that I truly knew what living simply looked like until spending time with […]


Entering a Home: What Separates a Service Trip from an ABI

February 11th, 2014

by jarnason

Written by Matthew “Smitty” Smith, Student Leader The concept of home is universal. As a species, human beings rely on the idea as a symbol of comfort, understanding, and constancy. “There’s no place like home.” “Home, sweet home.” Those phrases and countless others demonstrate our desire for a single location, a place that we know […]


Being an ABI Leader: Learning From Past Experiences

Being an ABI Leader: Learning From Past Experiences

February 4th, 2014

by jarnason

Written by: Tracey Riley, Student Leader One of the main reasons I wanted to be an ABI Leader my senior year was because of my experiences as a participant on my other international ABIs. I gained so much from going to El Salvador last May and going to Jamaica this past winter break. These experiences […]


To Challenge and Be Challenged.

To Challenge and Be Challenged.

January 28th, 2014

by jarnason

Written by: Michelle Peters, Student Leader As a student at a Jesuit University, I am constantly challenged by my peers, professors, and mentors to strive for the more by seeking knowledge in the service of humanity and uncovering the authentic role of my “extraordinary life.” As a person of faith, I found a quick and […]