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 :


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.

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.

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
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.

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.

Team building activity
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.

Students working out a weekly expenses budget for a family of 2 adults and 2 dependants .
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. 

The Baradene staff leading by example
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.



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!


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.

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.

to Image


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.

Preparing for dinner servery.
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

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.



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