Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 04

“Let our love not be mere words and talk but something real and active.”1 John 3:18

A reflection by Susan Brebner ( DRS Marist College)

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1 Corinthians 13 tells us that as Christians we are called to faithful, hopeful and loving.  What does that mean for the Marist girls involved in Vinnies? They are called to be faithful to their commitments, faithful to each other, faithful to the Gospel call to love their neighbour, as they do this they become faith-filled. I see girls who are hopeful, (and hope-filled) that they can make a difference, even if it is to one person, even if it is for this moment in time. They are hopeful that as a Catholic community we are working for the Common Good and all our small efforts combine to make a big difference.  And then there is love. I Corinthians 13 is used in weddings so often that we can forget it is a call to us all. Jesus tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.  That is the scary bit isn’t it? From my experience you learn to love yourself a bit more kindly when you learn to love your neighbour. When you see how your actions can be so meaningful to others, you learn to be more generous and to step out and take a risk. The Marist College staff put money together to buy duvets at a Briscoes sale. The reaction we got when we arrived at Kingsland was humbling, it was even more moving to hear that by 3 o’clock four families had already collected some new warm bedding and that one family had left in tears. As I went home to my warm house, my cosy bed and a fridge full of food I felt good, the weird thing is the more you give the more you open yourself to receiving.  “Let our love not be mere words and talk but something real and active” 1 John 3:18

 Sunday 29th June

Leading a retreat @ Tyburn Monastery

Tyburn Monastery Benedictine Retreat Centre
Tyburn Monastery Benedictine Retreat Centre

Delphina Soti and Helen Robinson were invited away by the Mangere Legion of Mary group to lead their weekend retreat Tyburn monastery.

Del wrote: “Getting invited to go away and run a retreat for the Legion Mary came as quite a surprise, given that the group were much older. I was quietly excited and daunted at the task that that lay ahead.  On arrival the communal spirit, humour and hospitality of the group eased us in quite gently. As the day unfolded I was struck by just how powerfully connected this group was to the Gospel  and  how poignantly simple their faith was. Nothing prepared me for the their devotion to prayer, the length and the sessions that went  late into the night and at the early hours of dawn. It transported me right back to my childhood sitting next to my grandparents as a 5 year old under a sheet pretending to be awake and struggling to sing along with them as they sung and prayed from dawn into the morning. I look back now and am grateful for the faith journey of my grandparents and the impact it has had on my life and then for groups like the Legion of Mary amongst many others that allow the expression of this type of faith to be lived out.

I came away from a weekend at the Tyburn Monastery invigorated and not quite sure of what just happened…am still sitting with it all..the fellowship,the connections, the truth telling, the beauty and humility, the music and laughter,the sharing of meals the praying and praying and praying  and the celebration of Mass. The Legion of Mary from Mangere are quite an extraordinary group of faith-filled and faithful people. Thank you for the opportunity for the Vinnies family and Legion family to come together we are very honoured. We look forward to how the journey will unfold. Ia viia le Atua

 

Saturday 28th June

Young Adult Vinnies – Prepare meals for Emergency food centres in Auckland

Those who are labelled “vulnerable” have alot to teach us. When we choose to engage, we get enlightened about our our blindspots and vulnerabilities and what really is important. It is always a good reminder tin terms of our own personal and spiritual growth. Today tertiary Vinnies came together to cook some meals. They are beginning to understand that it is not so much the work they do in making the meals that matters but the connection with the people that counts. The meals are only a vehicle to connect with others. What the “vulnerable people” have to offer is priceless. Their open declaration of their vulnerabilities, their grace and truth telling is startling and so “Gospel” At the end of every encounter the Vinnies youth realise they still have so much more to learn and so much growing to do in terms of their own faith journeys.
We wish to acknowledge Jennifer Angela-Marie Navarro Martinez and the Vinnies  tertiary team for their work and the management of James Liston Hostel for use of their facilities

 

Tertiary and Parish Vinnies come together to prepare 100+ meals
Preparing the spuds for the mash.

 

Meals packed ready to be distributed
160 Meals  and desserts packed ready to be dropped off to the City Mission.
The Young Adult Vinnies team ready to cook up a storm
The Young Adult Vinnies team with Head cook Jen

Friday 27th June

Sancta Maria College – Theme: “Homelessness”

With this harsh cold weather and sky rocketing power bills to heat houses, blankets and warm clothing have been in high demand for families. Sancta Maria College decided they wanted to help out and launched an appeal for good quality warm clothing and blankets. This warm clothing and blankets will be distributed to families seeking this assistance.

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SVdP Kingsland Centre – Baradene College Alumini

It was lovely to have members of the Baradene Vinnies Alumni drop in for a meeting at the Kingsland  centre today. Over the past few uears these young women have traveled to Samoa on service trips to volunteer at the  Fiamalamalama School for young people with Intellectual disabilities. These talented and passionate young women drew up session plans for the students and delivered wonderful art, music , craft and dance sessions. These lessons were thoroughly enjoyed by the students and staff. Chloe Rose and Elle Plank who have recently arrived from Samoa  have launched an appeal for resources and are proposing some amazing ideas to support the developmental needs of this school. They plan to send these resources over in the next few weeks.

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Baradene College Old Girls come together to speak of their experiences in the islands. L-R Jola Lynch, Elle Plank , Chloe-Rose Barakat Devine
Students of Fiamalamalama school on sport day
Students of Fiamalamalama school on sport day

SVdP Kingsland Centre & Polynesian Shipping Ltd. – Clothing for Samoa

The shipment of clothing has finally arrived. This young women’s group are sorting all the clothing to go out to distribute around 50 families in the villages who have sought assistance for clothing. It is so awesome to receive the photos and see how appreciative and excited everyone is. Thank you again Polynesian Shipping for your kindness and generosity in sponsoring the cartage and also the wonderful people who donated clothing. Your love and commitment really makes a difference.

Laying out boxes of clothing ready for distribution
Laying out boxes of clothing ready for distribution
Clothing are distributed across villages in Samoa
Clothing are distributed across villages in Samoa

De La Salle College – Theme: “Vulnerability”

Today the students of De La Salle College spent  some time learning about  “vulnerability ” The team led them in activity called “Unpack the reality” The young men were astounded by what they discovered and how so many different lives are actually impacted by the poverty cycle and that one can never assume they know the face of poverty.

Vinnies Youth Team lead an activity to unpack the charism of St Vincent de Paul
Vinnies Youth Team lead an activity to unpack the charism of St Vincent de Paul Society

Thursday 26th June

Sancta Maria College – Servant Leadership Retreat.

“Until we remove the stereotypes that mask our vision, our understanding of Service becomes distorted”. It has been an insightful experience to step back and witness the students of Sancta Maria College grow in awareness of what Servant Leadership means. The students that attended participated well and the youth team were quite impressed during the feedback sessions where the students expressed their depth of understanding and also their deep sense of call.

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30 Students from Sancta Maria College come together to learn more about Servant Leadership
Icebreakers with the crew
Icebreakers with the crew

Tuesday 24th June 2014

Helping young people in schools

It makes all the difference to young students in schools that attend schools that don’t have a budget for new educational resources and school furniture. Over the last few years , resources and school furniture has been highly sought after by schools in the Pacific region. Over time we have received generous donations of refurbished furniture as well as quality educational resources. These resources have made a significant difference to the students of these school in the Pacific.

We wish to thank the staff and students Marshal Laing School in Mt Roskill for your awesome donations of good quality used school desks and chairs.  We would also like to especially  thank Mike Swan, the management and staff of  Polynesian Shipping for sponsoring the cartage of these items. This work in support of people would be impossible without you. Thank you for your commitment to these young people.

A special acknowledgement also  Kevin Krigg and Rock for all the hard yards you put in to haul and pack all the furniture and also to Mark and Suzanna for all your coordination to get the furniture overseas. 

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Packing away desks for distribution overseas

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Baradene College – Theme: “Homelessness”

It is such a privilege to sit in solidarity with those who are in the midst of finding their feet once more. But who is truly finding their feet? – By immersing ourselves in the reality, we come to realise that the issue ultimately lies in our tendency to judge and place stereotypes upon the “vulnerable”. There is no “us” and there is no “them”, only “we”.. and we are all seeking the a place belonging to ground our feet. Having the opportunity to come in week by week to serve at emergency housing centers in Auckland has been nothing short of the Gospel being lived out in its truth. We are so blessed to have the young people and the whanau at James Liston walk this journey together. Nothing but aroha for you all.

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The students of Baradene College serve a hearty burger meal for dinner

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Monday 23rd June 2014

Marist College Vinnies – Theme: Poverty

Another collection of over 1000 items of clothing and food from Marist College today to support families during Winter.

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.
We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.”
.- Pope Francis (World Youth Day 2013)

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Marist College Vinnies put together a can drive to help feed families over the winter season
Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 03

Sunday 22nd June 2014

Liston College Theme: Vulnerability

This morning the Kingsland Team were out buying in bulk all the items to go into the care packages for one of the emergency housing facilities for men out in West Auckland these items included bulk shaving cream, toothpaste, wash cloths etc. Earlier in the term the students worked on budgets as well as dialogue some of the greater need in their community. From the sessions they understood that homelessness and also poverty was a big issue for thousands of people throughout Auckland . These students wanted to connect with a local collective who supported men with emergency housing and resources. In the weeks that followed they held a fundraiser to collect arounf $300 to purchase 30 care packs for the residents of a local emergency housing for men.Thank you to the generosity of Liston College Vinnies who fundraised the money to make it all possible.

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SVdP Kingsland Team purchasing bulk food for the foodbank and toiletries for the carepacks for the residents of emergency housing.

Friday 20th June 2014

Auckland Vinnies School Executive Monthly Council Meeting.

Tonight the Vinnies Execs from 13 Colleges and members of the Ignite Tertiary Vinnies met at Liston Hall for their monthly Council meeting. Damaris Kingdon from the Edmund Rice Collective spoke about advocacy and its importance in our Society. The importance of asking the “WHY?” and challenging the system and promoted the upcoming Advocacy in Aotearoa Forum for young adults. She also affirmed the leaders for their work in the community and expressed how encouraged and proud she was of what they do. We are excited to be working alongside Damaris Kingdon.Several exec leaders will be attending the Forum 17th- 18th July @ St Peters College Hall, Auckland .

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Edmund Rice National Network Coordinator discussed the notion of Advocacy with Vinnies Leaders

Peter Charles Irving (Vinnies Community support volunteer) also shared his testimony and encouraged everyone with his story of hope. The leaders were quite moved by what he had to share about his life struggles and living on the streets and especially the passion he has for the Vinnies youth and the difference they are making in Society.

The Youth team spent the rest of the evening facilitating groups to unpack the last 5 months of work that has been carried out by the schools and also reflecting the their group journeys and their own personal story of challenge, growth and transformation.

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AVSSC leaders discuss their progress in incorporating the theme “Vulnerability” this term.

The leaders shared how they were quite affected, the breaking down of stereotypes of homelessness and poverty, they spoke of the obvious shift in their understanding of the reality, the shift in their compassion, how they felt more.connected to the real people as genuine relationships were formed. They also shared their vulnerabilities and the many challenges they had to endure and overcome as leaders.

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AVSSC leaders discuss their progress in incorporating the theme “Homelessness” this term.

Thursday 19th June 2014

Marist College Staff 

WARM BLANKETS FOR FAMILIES
The Kingsland Vinnies Centre put out an appeal for warm blankets as the number of  families coming for assistance had increased over the weeks and the centre was not been able to meet the demand. Many of these families had been struggling with the cold and had come into the centre seeking warm blankets. After launching an appeal on facebook for warm blankets over the past week, the centre volunteers were delighted when staff members of Marist College who had seen the appeal online turned up with numerous brand new blankets. They had rallied up the staff and got together just over $400.00 to purchase new blankets to give away to families. We wish to thank Susan Brebner, Anne and the staff of Marist College for this generous donation and also the management of Briscoes Mt Albert for their most generous discounts.

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Staff of Marist College drop off numerous duvets to SVdP Kingsland Center to distribute to familes.

SVdP Kingsland Center 

It was great to have the Auckland Vinnies Chief Peter Corutney  at the Kingsland center today..we all just LOVE this guy!
Some of our staff (centre ) Peter Irving and (Right) Sam Mano couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.
 

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SVdP Kingsland staff following a meeting

St Peter’s College – Theme: “Homelessness”

These young men are fine examples of “commitment to those we seek to assist” because although they are busy with their School Production this week, they still managed to find the time to be able to serve tonight for residents at a local emergency housing hostel. Pushed for time, they allowed the opportunity to reconnect themselves with the residents, complete dinner service and share their presence.  Blessings St Peters College Vinnies.

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St Peter’s College students serve dinner to residents of emergency housing centers

 

Opening of new Vinnies Center in Glenfield

The North Shore Area Council have a brand new addition to their Vinnies  retail shops. They have just opened a new store in Glenfield on 75 Ellice Road. This is a welcomed addition to the work of the Vinnies on the North Shore. It is a wonderful spacious and professional looking shop. It has a welcoming feel, a great layout and supberb variety of quality goods on sale. The Shop manager Wanda Lis is rapt about the new store but has admitted that they had to work really hard to get it up and running. The opening of the store was held on the Wendesday 18th of June and this was celebrated by Fr Benedict from the St Thomas Moore Parish. A crowd of around 50 people gathered to celebrate the opening of the new store including a couple of Vinnies from Carmel College who went along to help out with the hospitality. We wish congratulate the board , the management and volunteers of this wonderful new initiative.

Glenfield Vinnies Store: 

Location: 75 Ellice Road Glenfield

Opening Hours: 9.30 -4:00 pm   Monday  -Saturday

 

The new Vinnies shop in Glenfield
The new Vinnies shop on 75 Ellice Road Glenfield

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Carmel College Vinnies at the new SVdP center in Glen Field

Wednesday 18th June 2014

Sacred Heart College – Theme: “Homelessness”

As the unpacking of the theme “Homelessness” continues, it has been nothing less than amazing to see the students of Sacred Heart College come together once more. Two of the messages that were evident in today’s meeting is that “The greatest gifts are our ears, and our time”… a message that these young men have exhibited time and time again. Thank you for your drive and compassion!

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An SVdP volunteer gives his testimony to students at Sacred Heart College

Tuesday 17th June 2014

St Peters College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Tonight the gentlemen at St Peters found themselves in their element once more, as they serve a hot meal at the local emergency housing center. The team of three made light work of helping prepare and clean up after the meal… but not without plenty of laughing and smiling along the way.

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Students are briefed before serving residents
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Preparing dinner for 35 people

Monday 16th June 2014

Society of St Vincent de Paul Kingsland Staff

Around 20 adult volunteers commit hours and hours of their time each week to ensure the Vinnies Kingsland centre work runs smoothly. Today we held a Kingsland Centre Team training at the James Liston hall. We were really moved by their willingness to give a whole day to be with each other learning more and developing skills to enhance their work and their relating to others. Without this team the work and service Vinnies provide would impossible. THANK YOU and May God bless you.
Thank you also to the fabulous staff at St Patrick’s Cathedral for allowing us to use your space and all you do in support of our team.

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Prayer focus during training session
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The Kingsland Center staff taking part in a training session
Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 02

Friday 13th June 2014

Sancta Maria College – Theme: “Homelessness”

It was great to have the young women and men of Sancta Maria College come out tonight all the way from Botany and Howick to serve up dinner for those in emergency housing center. Although it was their first time visiting, the way they connected with the residents was a true testament to their compassion and positive attitude towards upholding the dignity of others. Well done Sancta Maria College.  A special thank you also to the wonderful staff of  Sancta Maria Ben Gorman for organising the students to come out. 

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Students of Sancta Maria College prepare to serve meal to residents
The students  during their debrief with the  one of the James Liston team leaders .
The students during their debrief with the one of the James Liston team leaders .

Upcoming Advocacy Training Event.

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The Edmund Rice Collective are hosting a training event. Advocacy in Aotearoa is a chance to get connected with others that want to make a positive difference for marginalised peoples and our planet.
Learn from active and respected organisations, both young and old, to hear inspiring stories of hope and to learn some practical skills along the way. Advocacy in Aotearoa is not aligned with any political party and is open to dialogue from any perspective.

Keynote Speakers include:

Phil Glendenning is an international advocate on Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples and on behalf of the Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Australia.

Sue Bradford has spent her entire life advocating for those caught in cycles of poverty from both inside and outside the walls of government.

Workshops include:

Janfrie Wakim and Mike O’Brien from the Child Poverty Action Group NZ (CPAG) will be sharing the story of CPAG and what they have learned in 20 years of advocating for the children of New Zealand.

Mike O’Brien is an Associate Professor at the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland and has previously been the Head of the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Massey University.

And many more. Click this link for more information   https://www.facebook.com/advocacyinaotearoa

Hosted by the Edmund Rice Network, we are committed to being ‘Present, Compassionate and Liberating’ in all that we do. It is our privilege to bring together such an amazing group of people.

Society of St Vincent de Paul Kingsland Center 

Supporting families.

Thank you for the food and monetary support you give to Vinnies everyweek to help families. It really makes a difference.
Around 30 families were assisted from Vinnies Kingsland centre this week with bulk food parcels and warm bedding and clothing because of you. Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you also to the volunteers that faithfully turn up each week to serve customers and attend to families coming through for help.

 

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Janet Swan, one of our fabulous Vinnies volunteers!

St Paul’s College – Theme: “Vulnerability”

“Service through creating connection and breaking down stereotypes” – It was such a blessing to see the St Paul’s Vinnies in action today especially as they welcomed the many new junior members to their group. As part of the theme “Vulnerability”, each St Paul’s team leader facilitated a session to discuss with the students the many stereotypes that we place on those who are “vulnerable” and how this marginalizes people and does not uphold ones dignity .Great to see these fine young leaders in the zone.

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Student Leaders facilitate discussion around the theme of “Vulnerability”

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Thursday 12th June 2014

Sacred Heart College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Many  thanks to the Sacred Heart College Vinnies for their time tonight in the cold winter weather to give to those at the JLH Emergency Housing in Auckland City. It is always a humbling experience to be in the presence of these young men in service of the residents and bringing warmth through connection, lending a helping hand and sharing their love and personalities. 

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Sacred Heart College students washing up

 

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Student prepares a scrumptious load of garlic bread

Sancta Maria College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Today the Vinnies Youth team visited the  Sancta Maria College Vinnies group. They spent the lunch break with around 60 students unpacking the theme of “Homelessness”. The Sancta Maria group will be taking what they have learnt and shaping projects to address this theme as this term unfolds. These young men and women are currently running a school wide appeal to  collect blankets and warm clothing for the winter season. All the donations collected will be distributed to the South Auckland and Central Auckland SVdP groups to allocate to families needing this support. In addition to this, senior studetns will be rostered to help out at the JLH emergency housing facility to prepare and serve meals.

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Vinnies Youth Team leader Sam Mano facilitates the  session on”Homelessness”
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Director of Religious Studies Ben groman  with Sancta Maria College Vinnies Leaders

Wednesday 11th June 2014

Marist College – Theme: “Poverty”

The SVdP staff were overwhelmed and moved by the generosity of the Marist College students as they rolled out their can drives. The impact they have made on families through the provision of non- perishable foods and clothing is considerable. These students have committed to collecting food and clothing for the term. So far they have collected well over 4,000 items. These items have been re-distributed to the different SVdP group throughout Auckland to assist their work with families.

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Marist College Vinnies presenting their gifts of food and clothing

 

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Mrs Susan Brebner (left) and Ms Karen Pinto (Right) pictured  with Marist College students following the packing of food and clothing into the van

Tuesday 10th June 2014

Sacred Heart College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Since the beginning of this term, the Vinnies of Sacred Heart College have been regularly visiting an emergency housing center in Auckland. It has been an insightful and rewarding experience for all. Seeking to connect with others they faithfully come straight from school and start helping to prepare the meal. Person to person contact is central to the charism of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. It is the belief of the Society that poverty can be eradicated when people build genuine caring relationships with one another.
We are grateful to these students for their brotherhood and service tonight.

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Sacred Heart College students serve up chicken and coconut rice to residents of emergency housing

Monday 9th June

Marist College -Theme:  Poverty 

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Marist College Students pack non perishable items, ready for pick up

On Monday the Vinnies team got called out urgently to Marist College to pick up a vanload of food. For the last few weeks these young Marist women have been on a big mission to provide food for families..We hear they even donned capes and ran around the school promoting their food drive . So far they have collected close to 4,000 items of food to go towards families feeling pinch of winter and also the struggle to make ends meet.

 

 Sunday 8th June –

Kingsland Centre Volunteers- Working with Refugees

Vinnies working alongside families seeking refuge in New Zealand

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Every year people seek asylum and refuge here in NZ. One of our staff spent the day with one of these families..Here is an account of his day (not real names used)
Saturday 9th June 9am-1pm
Today I took Jay’s family out to Piha for the day. This family came from a land locked country. They had never seen salt water or sand. Watching Jay’s experiencing new sensations was pure joy. He particularly wanted to stand in the sea. One of the highlights was when his mother joined him in the shallows for a photo and was struck by a wave that left them knee deep in the water shoes socks, jeans and all. The look on their faces was priceless! I could not by laugh at their surprise.
We spent the next 3 hours at Piha walking, talking and collecting shells. When the boys spotted the freshwater stream and Gerry tasted the water whilst I snuck up on the both of them and introduced them to water fights. For the next half hour the entire family and I were chasing each other about the beach in fits of laughter. At the moment I thought to myself..how I often the take the most simplest things for granted.
At the mothers request I took them shopping at St Lukes mall where we had lunch. After lunch I left them to wander whilst I jetted down to the camera place to get one of the photos printed and framed as a momento of their day. I framed the photo that I felt was the highlight of their day. When I gave to the mother she was very moved and grateful.I had planned to take them to other sights like One Tree Hill but could tell they were feeling pretty tired so we drove out to Mission Bay. They were fascinated by the difference of this beach in comparison to Piha. Having come from a landloacked country, they asked if we could drive to Rangitoto or Waiheke. I spent time explaining the concept of islands not being connected to land mass.
Our day ended with my dropping them off to their temple…What a day …what a gift of a day…one of my favorite little bits during the day was when little Gerry asked if he could call me ‘uncle’ ..I was quite honoured.

 

Vinnies Young Adults host Tertiary Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on the night of Pentecost.

The theme of tonight’s Mass was ‘We are one body”. It was a beautiful Mass, consisting of a wonderful homily and a poignant reading from James K Baxter. Around 1000 people gatheredfrom across Auckland came together to share in the Eucharist.  It was moving to see everyone together. We are most grateful to everyone who contributed to making this mass the beautiful celebration it was.

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Vinnies from across Auckland share in the Eucharist
Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 01

The Society of St Vincent de Paul support the Justice and Peace Commission in their mission to alleviate poverty.

Next month the Justice and Peace Commission of Auckland  will be hosting a forum on Inequality  on Tuesday 15th July @ 7pm at the Vermont Centre.  It would be a good opportunity to find out more about the effects of inequality on children and families.

Speakers include:
Dr Russell Wills – Children’s Commissioner NZ
Dr Susan St John – Child Poverty Action Group
Dr Lance O’Sullivan – New Zealander of the Year and GP
Darryl Evans – Mangere Budgeting Services Trust

For more information contact : www.catholicjusticeauckland.org.nz

Forum

Friday 6th June 2014

Grace Ministries – To lead worship for upcoming Vinnies Young Adults Mass on Pentecost Sunday.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Auckland are very fortunate to have the support of a very talented and prayerful group of musicians who go by the name of Grace Worship Ministries. There are sixteen members in this group, the lead coordinator of the group is Auimatagi Joe Moeono-Kolio, lead vocalist Fiona Holani- Liava’a  and team leader Geoff Siale Thomas. This group of musicians have spent hours preparing for the upcoming Young Adults Mass that is to be hosted by the Tertiary Vinnies on Pentecost Sunday. We are very grateful for their ministry of service and look forward to their music on the night.

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Members of the Grace Worship Ministry team leading worship at the St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Mary’s College -Theme: Vulnerability

It was wonderful to see the young women of St Mary’s College today as they tackle the theme of “Vulnerability”, their chosen theme for this term.  It was interesting to hear their thoughts and how they felt during the interactive activity  which sought to break down stereotypes of “vulnerability” They  were asked  put together profiles of people from  from bags of  personal items that were given out by the team.  

This term the proceeds of their collections and service work will be going to support the work of the Mercy Hospice. We look forward to their initiatives and how the rest of the term will unfold.

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St Mary’s students feeding back their findings to the rest of the Vinnies group

 

St Paul’s  Massey Parish  Young Adult’s – Theme:  Homelessness

Check out our Vinnie’s Master Chefs!

Tonight they watched a thought provoking presentation on the social issue of “Homelessness” they embarked on a little service project of cooking desserts to give away . As part of their mission in these upcoming  months, they are connecting with a local emergency housing provider for vulnerable men. The cooked desserts are a gift during their initial meeting. They hope to build a relationship with the manager and also these residents and get a better understanding of the reality these men have to put up with and what they could possibly do to help. They understand that it is privilege to meet these people and in order to advocate for anyone,  they need to commit long term to building relationships and trust. We are really proud of this crew for their compassion and dedication to living out the Gospel but also their culinary skills to use. The special dessert tonight consisted of a yummy fruity carrot cake trifle with custard! 

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(Left) Mike Tuala youth leader taking the team through the different steps of layering the trifle
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St Paul’s youth master-chefs with their offering of fruit and custard trifle.

McAuley High School – Theme: Vulnerability

“At the heart of the Gospel is building relationship and genuinely connecting and caring for one another. Our people need much more than charity ..we all need each other.”.These young women of McAuley High School have really taken this on board. We are grateful to this fabulous team of McAuley students for their commitment to their whanau at a local rest home. McAuley High school have had a historical relationship with this elderly home for over 10 years. Over the years they have continued to send their students over to spend time with the residents. As much as the students enjoy visiting , the residents likewise  anticipate the arrival of these ladies each week to hang out , share stories and spend time. These students are thankful for the opportunity to visit as they have found this big fabulous treasure trove of friendships. One student commented that she feels like she receives so much from the visits.

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Stories and frienships

 

McAuley Vinnies on their way to visit.
McAuley Vinnies on their way to visit.

Tertiary Young Adult Vinnies – Theme: Vulnerability

Last Friday a group of ex- Sacred Heart and Liston College students made their way down to James Liston Hostel to carry out their service work. Three times a week different Vinnies groups are  rostered on to help out at the James Liston Emergency Housing centre in Freemans Bay. The staff and management have commented on the difference it has made to their workplace and the residents. The positive energy that these young people bring is quite contagious and over time the residents are finding themselves engaging with these young people more frequently. The regularity of the different  teams coming in normalises the conversations and the contact. The staff of James Liston are grateful for the teams coming and enjoy [banter and positive vibe they bring.

The tertiary team  pictured with Lisyon Heostel team leader (centre ) ready to cook  up a storm
The Tertiary Vinnies team pictured with Liston Hostel team leader (centre ) ready to cook up a storm
Preparing the chicken roast
Preparing the chicken roast

Thursday 5th June 2014

Marist College Servant Leadership Retreat

Today at the Marist Vinnies servant leadership retreat the Vinnies team  unpacked the Pentecost , the parable of the Good Samaritan, the histories of 3 significant people including Jeanne Marie Chavoin and Dame Whena Cooper. As they discussed the significance of these stories, they were given a chance to reflect on their journey of service in the past months and find some of the parallels of their stories with those of the ‘greats.’ It was moving to them speak of their sense of call, how they struggled with the injustices of their current reality and how they tried to make sense of it all.  We are very proud of these  young women and their passion for justice  for all and for the Gospel to be lived out in our Society.

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Team building activity
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Group presentations on their journey thus far

 

Liston College -Theme: Poverty

Together with the Vinnies of Liston College, the Vinnies youth team unpacked the theme of “Poverty”. In this session they discussed how particularly hard it is for many families to make ends meet on their current incomes. In light of  the new budget that has just been introduced by the current government, families will continue to suffer.These  Liston Vinnies  were really impacted after learning more about the reality faced by families in New Zealand.They spent time reflecting and discussing what needed to change.

Dire as the situation is for many of these families, there is  hope in groups like these.   Seeking to do something practical that is within their reach to assist some of these families. These young men have recently completed a can drive and aided over 30 families with a weeks worth of food. This is a welcomed start, we look forward to the next session which about understanding and mobilising Systemic change.

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Students working out a weekly expenses budget for a family of 2 adults and 2 dependants .
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Boris Baptist one of the Liston Vinnies leaders addressing the group.

 

Baradene College – Theme: Homelessness

We are excited because of the gift and calibre of students coming through engaging with the injustices of our Society and seeking to make a difference. We give thanks to Ms McGeever and the Vinnies of Baradene College for their hearts of service in living out the call to engage with the people of JLH Emergency Housing tonight! From learning about the realities of those who experience homelessness, the different types of homelessness exists and the percentage of those who still remain homeless in NZ …to dialoguing their discomfort with it all and engaging in a practical service to break down barriers and stereotypes and changing their own mindsets. .we are very grateful to these young women. Thank you for helping prepare dinner, serving and taking the opportunity to engage, learn and receive what is important to in order to make a real difference.We are thankful for the connection you had with the residents as they shared stories of themselves and the different walks of life. We are humbled by another opportunity to be part of such a life giving ministry. 

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The Baradene staff leading by example
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Service with a smile

Wednesday 4th June 2014

McAuley High School Theme: Vulnerability

McAuley High School continues to faithfully live out their mercy values in their work with the local community.This term they are focusing on the theme of “Vulnerability” They have already started their visitations to the local rest home where they connect with the residents, listen to life stories and share in song. This group have a beautiful spirit of servanthood and care. We are moved by the way they honour the dignity of the people visit. This year they have a huge group of passionate young women ready to live out the Gospel. They continue to work in support of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities alongside Recreate and are also rearing to prepare bulk hotmeals to take down to the City Mission. Thank you to the awesome Leaders and also the supportive staff for all your work. May God bless you all.

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Sacred Heart College -Theme: Homelessness.

As part of the theme “Homelessness”, the Sacred Heart College Vinnies came together to learn what it means to be without a home… and how the definition is often distorted by the media around us. We thank the students for allowing the i14 team to facilitate the session. Looking forward to seeing what you all have in store as the term continues!

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Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Tertiary Young Adult Vinnies : Hotmeals Project

The tertiary and school Vinnies continue to cook weekly  bulk meals for those who sleep rough in the vicinity of Auckland City each night. On Monday a  special request came in for chicken nibble chop suey so the team cooked up a storm on Tuesday afternoon and sent these meals out. We wish to thank the tertiary Vinnies for mucking in and making it happen.

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Pelasio Iaseto loading the hotmeals ready for delivery.

 

Kingsland Vinnies Center Staff : Clothing for families

Tuesday’s Vinnies staff Work of Mercy -” Clothing the cold”. Today the Kingsland  staff spent the first half of the day preparing 140 boxes of clothing for dispatch to families needing clothing assistance. The Society of St Vincent de Paul  wish to convey their thanks to all those who continue to donate good quality to our centre.

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Baradene College – Theme: Homelessness

Service Activity: Serving meals at the local emergency housing center

It was such a lovely beginning to the week after the long weekend to have students and staff from Baradene College Vinnies help prepare and serve a meal a the local emergency housing center.One of the residents remarked,”.. that It was a meal worthy of being served to the Queen on her birthday!” The residents loved the positive energy and laughter the students brought with the. It was an enjoyable night for all, and the students left feeling privileged for having met and spent time with the residents. Thank you to the students and also to Mrs Everitt for bringing the crew over.

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Preparing for dinner servery.
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So many pots to scrub.

 

St Paul’s College – Theme: Vulnerability

It was good to meet up with some of the leadership team of St Paul;s College today to reflect on the last term and the journey they had embarked on with the theme of ‘Homelessness’. They reflected on their personal transformation and that of their group, the awareness gained in the breaking of down of stereotypes and the new friendships forged. They spoke of how the overnight retreat really helped their group unpack the theme and also build a real sense of team amongst their Year 12 participants. The Vinnies staff also tool this time to affirm them of the awesome work and noticeable growth of their team

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St Paul’s College Vinnies leadership team planning their upcoming presentation.

Today they worked on planning their session on “Vulnerability” to present to their larger Vinnies group.The Vinnies staff are  very proud of the leadership , the servant-hood and the spirit in which these young carry out their mission to those they seek to walk alongside.