"We go to a people not primarily to accomplish a task, but rather, to be with them, live with them, walk beside them, listen to them and share our faith with them. At the heart of our relationship is trust, respect and love..."

Spiritan General Chapter, Maynooth 1998

Service & Social Justice

At the heart of our ministry is the desire to serve those on the margins, the poorest of the poor. We cannot have charity without it being accompanied by social justice. Service meets the needs of the person right now. Social justice works for systemic changes that will transform the lives of today's people as well as future generations. Both are necessary! Explore where you can help make the world a better place. 

Spiritan Mission Experiences

One of the greatest ways that you can work for change through campus ministry is by going on one of our SMEs (Spiritan Mission Experiences). There are Thanksgiving break trips as well as Spring Break and summer trips. You can find all of our information for mission trips below. 

SME (Spiritan Mission Experiences)

You could be spending your Thanksgiving, Spring, or Summer break with us learning about a new culture, creating relationships with the people you are serving, and growing in relationship with your team.

In keeping with the Spiritan's ideals of "going to the poorest of the poor" in places no one else wants to go, Spritan Campus Ministry's Spiritan Mission Experiences (SME) introduce students to other cultures and the Spiritan way of life. SME's are faith-based community engagement opportunities that allow students to engage in service, cultural immersion and spiritual growth. Our trips are short-term experiences during Thanksgiving Break, Spring Break, and in the summer.
SMEs are an opportunity for people from a variety of backgrounds, faiths and majors to come together for a common mission of service and to learn and share our faith and stories with each other and the communities where we work. Please take some time to read the trip descriptions (see links below) to see where your gifts, talents and interests align best. Following your application, we will schedule an interview with SCM staff and you will be placed based on a variety of factors in order to ensure the best experience for everyone on each experience. For more information on the application process or about the experiences, please contact Brenda Merrick.

SME Locations

Explore the many locations that we travel to during our mission trips!

Rural Appalachian Experience - Mullens, West Virginia

This Spiritan mission trip allows students to learn about the current situation in the Southern Coalfields region of West Virginia by interacting with the community in many ways.

The annual trip to the southern coalfield region of West Virginia occurs during Thanksgiving Break. Don't worry! You will be home in time for Thanksgiving.

Participants spend 5 days partnering with the Rural Appalachia Improvement League (R.A.I.L) at the Mullens Opportunity Center and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Wyoming County.

Students work with local community members to help improve the town of Mullens and the surrounding areas through various community projects. They learn more about the people, local economy, and enviromental conditions of this southern West Virginian town. There will be many opportunities to listen to the stories of members of the community, which is an integral part of the experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to see another culture, which is nearly in our back yard.

Learn more and donate.

Eastern USA - Arlington, VA and Baltimore, MD

This SME allows students to engage in the inner city ministries of Spiritans in the United States. By learning and discussing issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food access, students begin to understand another side to Spiritan work and how they can engage in walking with those on the margins here at home. The Arlington/Baltimore trip takes place over Spring Break. 

We work with Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Baltimore and St. Edwards the Confessor/ St. Gregory the Great in Arlington!

This trip looks at two very different parishes and cultures which are geographically close to one another. First half of the week focuses on learning about the many ways OLQP puts faith into action in their rich commitment to social justice. The second half of the week, students get their hands dirty by assisting the Baltimore based parishes on much needed maintenance and labor intensive projects. Students also learn about the rich history of community-based social change.

Learn more and donate.

Midwest USA - Detroit, Michigan and Dayton, Ohio

This SME allows students to engage in the inner city ministries of Spiritans in the United States. By learning and discussing issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food access, students begin to understand another side to Spiritan work and how they can engage in walking with those on the margins here at home. The Detroit/Dayton trip takes place over Spring Break. 

First traveling to the Hyde Park/Kenwood community of Chicago, students stay at St. Ambrose Parish Here they focus on soup kitchens, and homeless shelters of inner-city Chicago. They also have the opportunity to engage in the vibrant multi-ethic Parish of St. Ambrose. The group moves mid-week to St. Benedict the Moor Parish  in Dayton, OH. Students work with the Parish elementary school on mentoring and additional parish maintenance projects.

Learn more and donate.

Houston, Texas

The city of Houston is the largest metropolis in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. It is a thriving multicultural city and home to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serving the 1.7 million Catholic, the fifth-largest in the United States. The archdiocese prides itself on worshiping in 14 different languages on a given Sunday and serves 146 multicultural parishes across 10 counties.

 The Houston, TX trip takes place over Spring Break. During the Spiritan Mission Experience, you will be exposed to the multicultural parish ministry work at St. Benedict the Abbott Catholic Community in South Houston. The parish community is led by two Vietnamese Spiritan priests ministering to the Hispanic and Black communities in the area.

You will get a chance to work in two food distribution centers. The Vietnamese American Community Center in North Houston serves the Vietnam Veteran families and its neighboring Black community. The other food distribution center is the Mamie George Community Center and serves the Hispanic community in the Ft. Bend County area.

Throughout the week the group will also collaborate with the Spiritan Office for Mission Advancement, the Rice University Catholic Center campus ministry and the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Children's Camp at a Spiritan Mission in the DR

During this summer trip, students run a day camp for children in barrio Villa Liberacion. While a prime focus of the trip is to run the day camp, a great deal of time is spent engaging in Dominican culture. Students and Dominican teens share food, music, and dance throughout the week. The group is able to take in the sights of San Juan de la Maguana and learn about the rich history of the area.

Our partner for this experience is the Spiritan Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) Parish. We work together with the Spiritan priest and teens of the parish youth group to facilitate the camp and create murals the brighten the parish center areas.

Students attending this SME are responsible for obtaining personal passports, immunizations and required clearances necessary for this trip.


Explore the many ways you could get involved in short-term service opportunities with Spiritan Campus Ministry.

The Duquesne conference of Society of St. Vincent de Paul is part of an organization bringing hope and compassion to those with various needs.

Begun in 1833 by young college students in Paris, France, the Society continues to fulfill the same goal of its founding members: to share and experience God's love through acts of service.

Our Ministry:

Our conference's main ministry is serving those experiencing homelessness and poverty in downtown Pittsburgh. We gather every Sunday night at 7:40 pm in Laval House and walk downtown to offer hot meals, clean clothes, toiletries, resources, and friendship to anyone in need. Along our route, we visit some long-time friends and make new ones. Sometimes, they share stories or concerns with us, and we listen and try to help as best we can. In ministering to their spiritual and personal needs and desires, we recognize our solidarity with them, affirming their dignity as human persons.

Join Us:

The Duquesne chapter is open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have a desire to serve the poor and vulnerable. ALL are welcome to join our service at 7:40 pm on Sunday nights at Laval House.

To maintain efficiency and safety of our organization, please Sign up for a particular Sunday (sign-ups are available up to one month in advance).


Donations are another invaluable way to support our organization. We graciously accept the following items:

  • Underwear (XL+)
  • Socks
  • Blankets
  • Travel-sized Toiletries
  • Deodorant
  • Dental Care
  • Snacks
  • Water

For further donation inquiries, please e-mail svdpduq@gmail.com OR simply place donations in the wicker basket inside Duquesne's Chapel.

For those who are unable to attend our Sunday night missions or who are simply interested in learning more about poverty and homelessness, follow us on Instagram: @duqsvdp. Here, you can find more information about our mission and gain a deeper awareness about the community we serve each week. You will also discover updates about upcoming events and meetings. These provide an outlet for students to express their individual thoughts, concerns, and feelings surrounding poverty and homelessness.


Sundays 7:40 pm - 9:00 pm

Laval House to Downtown Pittsburgh

* *Must sign up in advance!**

Email svdpduq@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

The Knights of Columbus are Catholic gentlemen committed to the exemplification of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism, and defense of the priesthood.The Order is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Knights are unequivocal in their loyalty to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth. They are firmly committed to the protection of human life, from conception until natural death, and to the preservation and defense of the family. It was on these bedrock principles that the Knights were founded over a century ago; they remain true to them today.

As a lay Catholic fraternity service organization, membership is open to all practical Catholic men of the age of eighteen and above, in communion with the Holy See. The term "practical Catholic" implies that a person accepts and abides by the commandments of God and the precepts and tenets of the Catholic Church. 

Meetings and Service

The Knights of Columbus do several annual service projects and activities throughout the year. Stay tuned for information about meeting times. Please contact koc@duq.edu for more information.

Social Justice

Service and social justice go hand in hand. Service gives in the moment to those who are in need in that moment. Social justice works to take down oppressive structures and work for systemic change.

Broaden, enhance, and enrich your faith during your time at Duquesne by getting involved with community engagement through Spiritan Campus Ministry. Rooted in Catholic social teaching and inspired by our Spiritan charism, our vision for community engagement is to minister to the marginalized in both our local and the greater global community, working toward social justice in all corners of the world.

Spiritan Campus Ministry is encouraged by our Spiritan tradition of ministry of the marginalized and liberation from the chains that bind. We promote the Spiritan idea of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in our engagement with the local and global community.

CEL is a student group that meets weekly on Thursdays at 9:00 pm in the Spiritan Campus Ministry Center, Towers to discuss important life and human dignity issues. In educating ourselves on all sides of an issue, we are able to make informed decisions and take responsible action. This action can be in the form of volunteering with organizations in the area, educating the campus community, or advocating for an issue that supports human dignity.

"I believe the Catholic moral tradition has something valuable to say in the face of the multiple threats to the sacredness of life today, and I am convinced that the Church is in a position to make a significant defense of life in a comprehensive and consistent manner."
~Cardinal Joseph Louis Bernardin

What is CEL?

CEL has a dual meaning. It represents the smallest unit of human life and stands for "consistent ethic of life." What is a consistent ethic of life? The concept is rooted in Catholic social teaching. The term itself was coined by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in the early 1980's as he worked to bring together American Catholics on life issues, from abortion to nuclear war. His understanding of the term "pro-life" included several critical issues. Then the head of the U.S. Bishops Conference Pro-Life Committee, Bernardin spoke out in defense of life from the moment of conception to anything that attacks one's human dignity and the ability to live a healthy life until one is naturally called home to God.

CEL's Philosophy

A CEL philosophy encourages and supports life in all of its stages - from conception to natural death, addressing issues of...

  • Stem cell research
  • Abortion
  • Poverty
  • Capital Punishment
  • Children's Issues
  • AIDS
  • War
  • Euthanasia
  • Human Trafficking

CEL's Goals and Vision

  • Raise awareness and provide EDUCATION on issues affecting humankind from conception to natural death
  • ADVOCACY: Work to promote positive action towards worldwide solidarity, compassion, with other organizations and departments
  • OUTREACH: We strive to work to in the community to enhance the quality of life on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Responsible Action

Spiritan Campus Ministry sponsors two annual advocacy experiences that promote dialogue with our elected officials in regard to current issues affecting the dignity of human life.

  • March for Life is held each January in Washington, D.C. March for Life is a gathering of pro-life groups from across the United States that work to change the decision of Roe V. Wade that was passed in 1973, legalizing abortion.
  • Advocacy for Life experience, also in Washington D.C., is an opportunity for small groups of students to research legislation affecting the protection of human life and the dignity of the human person and that is about to be voted on in Congress. Students prepare two-minute presentations for members of Congress, explaining why they should support or denounce the legislation. This experience is a testament to the power of a small group of citizens to effect change.
Our call is to care for each other and the earth. It is foundational to what it means to be human.  We are called to live out our faith in a relationship with all of God's creation.  Join us in finding ways to do our part each day even in the smallest of ways.  

Contact Linda Donovan at donovanl@duq.edu to learn more.