Border Immersion

Notre Dame Inspired Leadership Alumni

May 20 - 24, 2024


Join alumni of the Notre Dame Inspired Leadership Initiative for a week of reflection, service, and fellowship in San Juan, Texas. Rooted in the values of kinship and accompaniment, this immersion experience will explore the reality of migration along the U.S.-Mexico border. From volunteering alongside Sr. Norma Pimentel at the Humanitarian Respite Center to exploring the rich arts, culture, and history of the Rio Grande Valley, this week will reconnect you with your ILI community, reinvigorate your mind, and refresh your spirit. Additionally, fellows can continue their immersion by journeying to Casa Monarca in Monterrey, Mexico with ILI alumnus Luis Zavala.

Trip Details

Group Type

Private, 20-45 participants


5 days, 4 nights




As low as




What's Included

Verso Immersion Director
Airport/hotel transfers (if arriving/departing at designated time)
Transportation on private motorcoach
Accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, including taxes (single rooms available on a limited basis)
Meals as indicated on itinerary
Tickets for included activities: Visit to Quinta Mazatlan
Verso pilgrimage booklets and pilgrim kits
Pack & Prep Meeting for all pilgrims to review itinerary, activities, logistical arrangements, and spiritual preparations
Gratuities for immersion director, guide(s), driver(s), hotel staff, and meals


May 20
Day 1 - Arrival (D)
  • Arrive to McAllen airport by 5 p.m. and transfer to hotel (flights not included in package)
  • Welcome dinner and keynote address by local bishop- Bishop Danile Flores, or Bishop Mario Aviles
  • Overnight in San Juan
  • Meal included: Dinner
May 21
Day 2 - Orientation (B, L, D)
  • Morning mass and tour of Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, led by Rector, Fr. Jorge Gomez
  • Session #1 – Hopes and expectations for the week
  • Orientation at the Humanitarian Respite Center and service through dinner
  • Overnight in San Juan
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
May 22
Day 3 - Service (B)
  • Return to the Humanitarian Respite Center
  • Session #2 – Meeting and talk by Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
  • Serve lunch and throughout the afternoon at the Respite Center
  • Before dinner, optional visit to the most comprehensive collection of stained glass in the U.S. at the Gelman Stained Glass Museum
  • Optional Dinner (pay on your own) by cohort
  • Overnight in San Juan
  • Meals included: Breakfast
May 23
Day 4 - Exploration (B, L, D)
  • Visit La Lomita Chapel and discover its historical and present-day relevance along the U.S. – Mexico border
  • Travel to the World Birding Center at Quinta Mazatlan to explore the native gardens and birds in these sanctuaries
  • Session #3 – Talk on immigration law over lunch
  • Afternoon optional activities
    • Try your hand at creating a work of art with a workshop at McAllen Stained Glass
    • Explore the International Museum of Art & Science
  • Session #4 – Closing reflections with takeaway from the week
  • Evening BBQ at a local ranch
  • Overnight in San Juan
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
May 24
Departure (B)
  • Transfer to airport and depart (flights not included in package)
  • Meal included: Breakfast
(extension)May 24
San Juan - Monterrey (B)
  • Transfer to Monterrey, Mexico
  • Check into hotel
  • Overnight in Monterrey Meal included: Breakfast
(extension)May 25
Monterrey (B)
  • Service & visits in Monterrey arranged by Casa Monarca & ILI alumnus Luis Zavala
  • Overnight in Monterrey
  • Meal included: Breakfast
(extension)May 26
Monterrey (B)
  • Service & visits in Monterrey arranged by Casa Monarca & ILI alumnus Luis Zavala
  • Overnight in Monterrey
  • Meal included: Breakfast
(extension)May 27
Departure (B)
  • Transfer to airport and depart (flights not included)
  • Meal included: Breakfast


As low as


Package Cost (without savings)


Trip Savings

Early bird (Register by December 20, 2023)
Save $200/person

Optional Add-ons

Single room supplement (limited availability)
Gelman Stained Glass Museum (May 22)
McAllen Stained Glass Workshop (May 23)
International Museum of Art & Science (May 23)
Monterrey, Mexico Extension (May 24-27)
Extension single room supplement
Travel protection
Travel protection price is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International.

“As low as” price includes savings for early bird.
Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms and does not include airfare.
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

*Travel protection price is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International.

Rates assume a minimum of 20 full-paying participants.

Registration is open to ILI alumni and current fellows and a spouse, partner or guest who is at least 21 years in age.


  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Optional activities: Gelman Stained Glass Museum, Stained Glass Workshop, or International Museum of Art & Science
  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Any personal purchases
  • Any meals not indicated on itinerary, as well as beverages at meals
  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Recommended travel protection with Cancel for Any Reason coverage
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Designated Arrival and Departures Times

  • Arrival information
    • Arrive by: May 20, 2024
    • Arrival time: Before 5:00 p.m.
    • Arrival airport: McAllen International Airport (MFE)
    • Arrival transfer: Fellows will be transferred in groups according to arrival time from the airport to the Renewal Center.
  • Departure information
    • Depart on: May 24, 2024
    • Departure time: Anytime on May 24
    • Departure airport: McAllen International Airport (MFE)
    • Departure transfer: Fellows departing on May 24 will be transferred to the airport in groups according to departure time.
  • Extension departure information
    • If you have elected to add on the Extension package, please arrange your departing flight plan according to the following information.
      • Depart on: May 27, 2024
      • Departure time: Any time on May 27
      • Departure airport: General Mariano Escobedo Monterrey International Airport (MTY)
      • Departure transfer: Pilgrims departing on May 27 will be transferred in one group to the airport.


Want to arrive or depart outside of the designated times?

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Need to book a private transfer? Contact us at or call us at (574) 383-9396.


Want help arranging your flights?

Monterrey, Mexico Extension
May 24-27, 2022 (4 days / 3 nights)

Price: $XXX/person in double occupancy room
Rates assume a minimum of 4 full-paying pilgrims; pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms.

Single room supplement: $XXX/person
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited. 

Standard Accommodations: 

Curious how this extension will affect your flight arrangements?

  • Please see the Flight Information section above for more information about flight arrangements.

Staying late? Post-stay options


Deposit due upon registration – $500/person
Final balance due 120 days prior to departure – Final balance

Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted to Verso Ministries in written form and received via email or mail. Any refunds, as applicable, will be processed based on the date stamp of email or mail received. Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims and fees will be charged per person per booking.

Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds are subject to cancellation fees at the rates listed here.

  • Within 2 weeks of deposit: Free Cancellation*
  • 91 days or more from departure: Deposit is retained
  • 90-61 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 60-31 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 30 days or less prior to departure: 100% of trip cost is non-refundable

*Free cancellation (if deposit is made more than 180 days prior to departure)

Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, tickets, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed here. All group flight airline tickets, optional excursions, trip options, pre/post extensions, private transfers, and additional hotel nights are non-refundable 100 days or less prior to departure unless otherwise noted.


The sooner you register for the pilgrimage, the better! Not only does registering early guarantee you a spot on the pilgrimage before the departure fills up, but you don’t want to miss out on available discounts, including the early bird savings (see “Trip Savings” in the Pricing section above more details). Also, there is no risk for 14-days after you register should you then have to cancel (must register 180 days or more prior to departure). So let’s say you register for a pilgrimage, but then realize you can no longer attend, as long as you cancel your pilgrimage within 14-days of registering and registered more than 180s days prior to the departure, then we will fully refund your deposit no questions asked. Just send us a written confirmation of your cancellation and we will take care of the rest. Plus, the sooner you register the sooner your journey begins. Register today!

There is no risk! Your deposit will be fully refunded as long as you cancel within 14-days of registering and you have registered more than 180 days or more prior to departure. With no risk, why wait? Get registered today!

Registration closes when the immersion reaches the maximum number of participants. If the trip is filled when you register, you will be added to our waiting list, and contacted in the event that space becomes available. Don’t miss your chance, register now and begin your journey.

We recommend that all travelers consider purchasing travel protection. We partner with Travel Insured International (TII) to offer travel protection.

According to TII, travel protection helps protect you and those you are traveling with from unforeseen emergencies, which always seem to happen at the worst possible time. In the event of emergencies, both before and during your travels, as well other circumstances, like travel delay, lost baggage, missed connection(s), and much more, travel protection can help.

Upon registration you will receive a travel protection quotation from TII. If you have any questions regarding your quotation, please call TII. If you need an updated or new quotation, please contact us at or call us at 574-383-9396. We are happy to help!

Optional activities can be selected either while registering or from within your Portal following registration.

Including other optional add-ons with your pilgrimage can really add to your experience, whether it is the optional extension or arranging an extra night stay beforehand so you are rested when the immersion begins. If you would to add on any optional arrangements, as listed above, please email us at or call us at 574-383-9396.

A pilgrimage, at its simplest, is a trip of faith. Which means a pilgrimage can be anything from a walk around your city to an encounter of Jesus in the Holy Land. For Catholics, it’s a trip of faith that people have been taking for hundreds or even thousands of years, many times in the same exact places you can visit today. It’s an opportunity to experience the spots God has made his presence known most in time and space, whether that’s where Jesus walked, where Mary appeared, or where the saints have lived and worked.

At Verso, we believe in crafting pilgrimages & immersion experiences that offer you a view of God’s world and his work in it that you can’t get anywhere else. We believe everything from the holy sites, to the meals, to the encounters you have with others on the journey are ways God can speak to you, which means we’re intentional about it all. We also believe a pilgrimage isn’t just the days you travel, it’s how you prepare from the moment you sign up, to the days and weeks after you arrive home. Which means it’s our intention to shepherd you through the entire process — before, during, and after — so you can have the best, most transformative experience possible. We’re not just travel experts, we’re experts in Catholic pilgrimage.

We know from experience that preparing for a journey is just as important as the journey itself. Our goal is to make sure you’re physically, logistically, intellectually, and spiritually ready for your immersion experience. You’ll receive essential emails that will walk you through the process and give you ways to prepare your mind and heart for what you’ll encounter. A pre-trip webinar will make sure you are in touch with the Verso leader of the trip, can get trip-specific info, and can ask questions. We’ll send you an immersion kit that contains a comprehensive booklet for your trip along with some Verso swag (such as a bag, pen, and sticker) that you can bring along with you on your journey. And of course, we’re always available by phone or email if you have any questions or special needs.

Have a Question?



Activity Level

This trip’s activity level is easy. It’s recommended that travelers be in good health to enjoy this itinerary and be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include half or full-day itineraries with 1-3 hours of leisurely walking per day on smooth or slightly inclined terrain. The pace is more relaxed, with opportunities to rest throughout the day.

This trip’s activity level is moderate. Travelers must be in good health and be in good physical condition to enjoy this itinerary. Travelers must be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries of 3-5 hours of walking at a normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and hills. The pace is faster and more demanding, with some breaks throughout the day.

This trip’s activity level is difficult. Travelers must be in good health and physically fit to enjoy this itinerary. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries with up to 5-7 hours of walking at normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and steep hills. The pace is vigorous and demanding, with little down time each day.

Accommodation Level

For the duration of your trip, enjoy a range of lodging accommodations — from quaint guesthouses to simple-styled hotels. Discover a newfound appreciation for each of these locations which often have a unique character of their own. With your private bathroom and sleeping quarters, these locations will provide you with a clean, comfortable, and cozy place to settle into during your journey.

Venues at this level will provide you with the best accommodations at a reasonable cost. Not only will you have access to modern amenities and services, but special care is taken to ensure hotels are located in close proximity to the area’s local attractions. Expect your stay at this level to provide you with an added feeling of comfortability and convenience as you experience your pilgrimage.

Your stay at the premium level will ensure that your travel involves the opportunity to experience some of the most unique and luxurious stays that a destination has to offer. You’ll find that traveling at this level will afford you the opportunity to optimize your experience at each spot. From fine dining to scenic views, anticipate that your pilgrimage will provide you with breathtaking experiences no other location could provide.

How will I know what my stay will be like?
Each of our pilgrimage locations come with their own unique accommodations. From simple to luxurious, you can know that the care and satisfaction of each pilgrim is our greatest priority. While specific amenities will vary, we are sure that each of these handpicked locations will leave you rested, rejuvenated, and ready for each day.