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Seton Hall University
Students painting a house

Releasing the DOVEs

What is Releasing the Doves?

Releasing the Doves is an opportunity for Seton Hall students to leave the comforts of South Orange and experience poverty through simple living and service. The Division of Volunteer Efforts runs international mission trips to El Salvador and Haiti, and domestic trips to West Virginia and Philly, for students who feel called to participate in this solidarity.

Releasing the Doves Goals

On these missions Dove instills the importance of the ‘ministry of presence’ to understand the universality of love and suffering. The mission is to build relationships and compassion through our solidarity with the people who struggle most. The focus of these trips is to learn about and understand poverty and injustice.


All Dove trips are rooted in prayer and reflection. Daily mass is celebrated by the team’s priest chaplain. While reflection and prayer are rooted in the Catholic tradition, students of all faiths are welcome and encouraged to participate.


Students walking up steps in El SalvadorEl Salvador
During a week-long immersion experience, selected students travel to San Miguel or El Mozote, El Salvador, to serve for a week in local nursing homes, orphanages, schools, and soup kitchens to learn about the experience of those in developing countries.

Kids playing in HaitiHaiti
During a week-long immersion experience, selected students serve in Hinch, Haiti where they live and work at the Maison Fortuné orphanage. Students also have the opportunity to work at the Missionaries of Charity Hospital. 

Mural of Jesus in Philadelphia.On these weekend trips in northern Philadelphia, students spend their time volunteering at the restaurant-style Saint Francis Inn soup kitchen. Students wait and clean tables for these patrons in an effort not only to feed them, but to provide them with the dignity that all people deserve.

West Virginia
Students building houses in West VirginiaThis has students traveling twelve hours to Wayne County in the Appalachian region of West Virginia. The people of this area are living in a ‘forgotten America’. Their coal mines have been shut down and with nowhere to work they are living in conditions and in an economy comparable to third world countries. The people of Wayne County have very little, and their land has been passed down through generations.  On this mission students are taught to help build and repair houses on this land so that the people do not have to leave it. The main focus however is to build relationships with these families, and learn about the cause of such poverty in the region.

If you are interested in assisting the students with the cost of these trips, or any of our other projects, please send a check to the following address:

Division of Volunteer Efforts
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

Please make checks payable to “DOVE” and include “RELEASING THE DOVES” in the memo line. If you have questions, please contact us by phone (973) 761-9702 or by email [email protected].