Encuentro Immersion

Encuentro: Immigration and the Catholic Educator’s Response 

Using Catholic teaching, tradition and scripture, the course provides Catholic educators with the opportunity to examine the current reality of immigration—nationally at the U.S.-Mexico border and globally across the world. This one-credit course, offered through Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development, includes four sessions on the Boston College campus and a five-day immersion experience in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

At a Glance

1 Credit
4 sessions at BC
5 day immersion

Encuentro Topics

In addition to traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in February, course participants meet on the Boston College campus on four Saturday mornings: January 28, February 11, March 11, and March 25, 2023, from 8:30am-noon. In these monthly sessions, educators are invited to examine:
  • The current political, social and economic factors influencing immigration;
  • Theories of immigrant inclusion and exclusion;
  • The journey of the migrant
  • The history of Catholic schools and immigration
  • The response of Catholic schools and communities

Course Information



The Encuentro Immersion is designed for elementary and secondary Catholic school educators, as well as for graduate students in theology, social work and education.

2022-2023 Dates

  • Course participants will meet on the Boston College campus on four Saturday mornings: January 28, February 11, March 11, and March 25, 2023, from 8:30am-noon.
  • The Encuentro Immersion will take place the week of February 19-24, 2023, which is the week of winter break for schools in Massachusetts. 


Costs / Certification

Total cost for the Encuentro Immersion is $1,500 per person, which includes:

  • all coursework materials:
  • roundtrip airfare to and from El Paso, Texas; 
  • food, lodging and transportation while at the U.S.-Mexico border



Registration is limited to 14 people. 



Contact Melodie Wyttenbach, Executive Director of the Roche Center, at wyttenba@bc.edu or Mike Warner, Graduate Assistant, at warnerml@bc.edu.

About the Facilitator: Melodie Wyttenbach, Ph.D.

Melodie Wyttenbach

Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach is director of the Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College. Melodie has served in various leadership roles, always in service to Catholic schools. Most recently she was a faculty member and academic director for the Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame, and prior to that, served in urban Catholic schools as president, principal, and teacher. Melodie presents nationally on topics such as Catholic School Governance and Effective Board Management, Strategic Planning, Development and Enrollment Management Strategies, and Making Schools Culturally Competent for New and Existing Latino Families. She has a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"The Bishops of the United States call upon the Catholic faithful to a conversion of minds and hearts, imploring us to communion and solidarity with diverse newcomers, and entreating us to find new and meaningful ways to welcome our immigrant sisters and brothers into our parishes, schools and communities." –USCCB website