Vinnies News Weekly

September Week 04


Celebration of the Life of St Vincent de Paul

On Sunday 29th September, close to 900 people came together at the St Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate St Vincent de Paul’s Feast Day. St Vincent ,a man who dedicated his life to tend to the needs of others.The theme of the Mass was “Living God’s Prayer.” It was beautiful Mass filled with music, prayer, a celebration of the life of St vVncent de Paul and a challenging homily shared by Fr Neil Darragh.

The Congregation @ St Patrick's Cathedral to celebrate the Feast Day of St Vincent de Paul
The Congregation @ St Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate the Feast Day of St Vincent de Paul Mass
Celebrant Fr Neil Darragh share a most poignant and challenging Gospel message
Celebrant Fr Neil Darragh shared a most poignant and challenging Gospel message
Vinnies leaders preparing for the entrance procession

The youth presented a theatrical animation of the Prayers of the Faithful where people were moved to tears. The youth sought to bring the prayers of the people to life with soliloquies based on real life experiences of those they have worked alongside. The night was also filled with the most exquisite music prepared by the Mother of Divine Mercy Youth Choir and also a classical number by the Malietoa -Brown trio.

One of the animators Lucia Tavite who brought the Prayer of the Faithful to life
One of the youth animators Lucia Tavite who brought the Prayers of the Faithful to life.


Precious time shared with one another

Over the last five weeks, Vinnies from both De La Salle and Sancta Maria College volunteered at the Vinnies After-School programme at Montecelia Emergency Housing. This programme has been a welcomed initiative by Monte Cecilia establishment. Monte Cecelia Emergency Housing is a facility offers a range of housing services that supports low income families to find affordable and appropriate housing as well as preparing them to sustain their own home.The key goals of the after school programme are to create connections between the young people, provide positive socialisation and also grow awareness around the growing problem of homelessness.

Sancta Maria Vinnies leading an activity with the children.
Sancta Maria Vinnies leading an activity with the children.

The staff, the parents and especially the children look forward to the student volunteers that come through each week.

The Vinnies student volunteers likewise have benefited alot from spending time with these families. Like the children they anticipate these visits each week. The Vinnies staff are very grateful to the Management of Montececelia Trust and parents of this community who have welcomed uthe Vinnies collective in with open arms.

The hope is to expand this programme in the upcoming year to 2-3 days a week and integrate a homework support component for the older students.

PUSHING PAST THE OBSTACLES – Being with those who are homeless.

It has been moving to look back and see the leadership of the Rosmini Vinnies this year. In early March the Kingsland Office was apporoached by Rosmini students wanting to set up a Vinnies group. It has been an uphill climb for these young men however today there group continues to flourish with around forty members.

Giordano and Layton from Rosmini dropping the Vinnies weekly bulk hotmeals off to the City Mission Drop in Centre
Giordano and Layton from Rosmini dropping the Vinnies weekly bulk hotmeals off to the City Mission Drop in Centre

These young men continue to push the barrier and during the night of their scheduled service project which was the preparation of 200 hotmeals for the City Mission drop-in Centre and the serving of meals at the James Liston Hostel. Although the odds were stacked against them with their internal assessments, upcoming exams, sports commitments, problems with transport and also the anxiety of entering into the reality of deeply marginalised people, this did not deter them. These young men understood the importance of their work in the community and turned up. There was an acknowledgement of this on the night  by everyone as they served meals and connected in with the residents of James Liston emergency housing.

Rosmini College Students sharing a meal with residents in a local Emergency Housing Centre
Rosmini College Students sharing a meal with residents in a local Emergency Housing Centre
Vinnies News Weekly

September Week 03


Marist and St Peter’s College host a funday 

There was no shortage of energy and positivity in the air as everyone came together for a day filled with face painting, dancing, sports and food. There were squeals of delight as the students were being chased around by wee children with hands covered in paint. It was a delightful event.

Sharing a meal of hot dogs, fruit and juice
Sharing treats of fresh baked cakes, sandwiches, savories, fruit, sweets and hot dogs !

Many of the caregivers who attended with the children were grateful to the hosts as they took the children off their hands for a couple of hours. It was a fulfilling day for both the hosts and those who came along.

Marist staff member Karen Pinto getting her face painted by the kids
Marist staff member Karen Pinto getting her face painted by the kids

LORD, IN YOU I HAVE HOPE – Domine in te speravi.

McAuley High School opens new classroom blocks.

Today’s celebration of the opening of the new Mercy and Moera classroom blocks was a true reflection of these words. The students and staff of McAuley High school exemplified the hope and faith in God. We wish to honour and thank the McAuley staff and students for making a difference in the community and for future generations.

Bishop Pat Dunn formally blesses the new buildings
Bishop Pat Dunn formally blesses the new buildings

The kaikaranga and the haka group were amazing. Bishop Pat Dunn shared a beautiful liturgy and officially opened the buildings. A special congratulations to Principal Anne Miles on being the recipient of the Bishops Award.


Volunteering at the emergency housing residence.

Relationships sustain us especially in the midst of hardship and difficulty. No matter what happens we are always children of God who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. This reality was lived out tonight with our Carmel College sisters and the whanau at James Liston Hostel.

Carmel Vinnies preparing the vegetables for dinner


St Anne’s Primary School  Manurewa make a difference to their local food bank.

In support of their commitment to Social Justice Week the staff and the students of St Anne’s School held a special assembly to promote the values of Social Justice. The youth team from St Vincent de Paul were invited along to speak about the work they do in support of others.


As an act of solidarity, these students had spent the week collecting non-perishable foodto donate to the local SVdP food-bank. This was such a timely donation as the local food bank was bare due to an unfortunate burglary earlier on in the week that totally wiped out all their supplies. The local Vincentians were rather moved with the generous act of kindness and could not believe the timing of it all.

(Right) Principal of St Annes School with (Left) Vinnies youth team Peter and Pelasio with the food collection.
(Right) Principal of St Annes School with (Left) Vinnies youth team Peter and Pelasio with the food collection.

Members of the Vinnies youth team were quite moved by the generosity and the enthusiasm of the students “The smiles, laughs and singing of the students was absolutely beautiful…and sitting in the auditorium with the students for the rest of the assembly was a precious time,”commented one of the Vinnies Youth team.

The Society wish to thank students, staff, the headmaster and especially Mrs Maria Speechlay of St Anne’s School for coordinating the wonderful assembly and food drive.


St Peter’s College Vinnies Mass 

Bishop Patrick Dunn celebrating Mass and Commissioning the Vinnies leadership of St Peters College

It was moving to see the Vinnies leaders of St Peter’s College during their Vinnies Mass as they presented the symbol of ‘The Helping Hands’ to the members of their Vinnies Group. These symbolize their call to serve and connect with one another, for we are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ. A Special thank you to Bishop Patrick Dunn for celebrating the Mass and blessing the Vinnies in their mission.

Bishop Pat Dunn with St Peter’s Vinnies leaders


St Peter’s College Assembly during Social Justice Week.
Human DignityEvery single person is created in the image of God. Therefore they are invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. The dignity of the person grants them inalienable rights – political, legal, social, and economic rights.

As part of Social Justice Week 2014, the Vinnies Youth team were invited to give a presentation at St Peter’s college about NZ’s current Prison System.

One of the  Vinnies Youth Team shared her experience of working as a volunteer in Auckland Prison’s for over 10 years. She shared different findings on the psychological development of many of the youths who end up in prison. This information was backed by the findings of JustSpeak an organisation who are dedicated to changing the criminal justice system.

Some of content discussed were the high rates of incarceration and also some of the background stories of those who are ending up in New Zealand Prisons.
The students found the session thought provoking and challenging, but ultimately hopeful that they would strive to better understand the reality, and break down the stereotypes of those who are stigmatised.


Tertiary Vinnies Volunteer training induction.

Homelessness stills continues to be a big problem in Auckland and throughout New Zealand. There are different forms of homelessness ranging from those in emergency housing, those living in over crowded situations, those sofa surfing and those sleeping in less desirable places, in vehicles, under bridges, on park benches on our streets.


The Society of St Vincent de Paul commends agencies like Auckland City Mission, James Liston Hostel , Montececilia Housing Trust, Lifewise, Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge amongst many others that work in care of these people.
There are many ways you can help and support those who are homeless including volunteering. If you want to know more info message us and we will send you more information.

We currently run a volunteer programme to support the services of Auckland City Mission, James liston hostel and various other homeless support services .

Please contact (09) 815 6122 Kingsland Office or Email


Montecelia Emergency Housing After School Programme.

Another great afternoon was well spent with the children and families of Monte Cecilia Emergency Housing. The Society is very are humbled by how the staff and families of Montececlia Emergency Housing  accomodate the Vinnies each week and their genuine enthusiasm to take part in the After-School programme.


Every time the Vinnies team arrive at their place, they are always ready to engage with positive energy and they are always generous with their gifts and talents. The team have especially enjoyed their passion and love of music and art

The team believes that the more time spent together will  only enhance the relationship between the two collectives and build more trust and accountability and a sense of community.


Serving Meals and building Relationships @ James Liston Hostel

The Carmel College dedicated their time  to serve and connect in with the residents at James Liston Hostel. Having learnt much about the reality of emergency housing centres throughout the term, it was deeply moving to see the young women genuinely connect with utmost respect and compassion like these residents were their own family members.

Students of Carmel College connecting in with the residents of an emergency housing centre in Auckland


Training and Induction time

The  Marist and St Peter’s College students as part of their induction to working with at-risk children, attended a session that explained the background as to why children end up in ‘fostercare.’

They learnt about ‘safe practice’ and the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of working with children.They also learnt about what trauma does to a child’s brain and what type behavior could helpful to de-escalate volatile situations. Most students found the session very interesting and somewhat overwhelming at times. Some spent time discussing at length things they weren’t aware of  before such as the the power dynamic between a child and a young adult and how to ensure that everyone was safe. In the upcoming week , these 2 schools will be hosting a funday for around 60 foster children.

St Peter’s College Vinnies during their training session of ‘Working with Vulnerable Children’.



Vinnies News Weekly

September Week 02


Come and celebrate with Us.

Date : Sunday 28th September 2014 at 7pm @ St Patricks’ Cathedral.

Celebrant : Fr Neil Darragh

Catechesis: Margaret Mayce OP, a sister of St Dominic sharing her work at the United Nations.

Living God's Prayer


The Tertiary Vinnies cooks spent a good part of a day cooking up bulk soup for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House as their nursed their children under going medical treatment at the Starship Hospital in Auckland City. The Society of St Vincent de Paul have been providing this service for the last 3 years and it has been well received by the families and the staff

Tertiary Vinnies preparing the pumpkin soup
Tertiary Vinnies preparing the pumpkin soup

The Ronald McDonald House Trust provides accommodation for families who come from outside of Auckland seeking medical assistance for their children. This allows parents and family members to stay near and support their hospitalised child.

Today the Vinnies met some of the family members, listened to stories and prayed for some of the children t undergoing chemo, surgery and other treatment in hope of better health.

Tertiary Vinnies having a 'Souper' time at the Ronald McDonald House
Tertiary Vinnies having a ‘Souper’ time at the Ronald McDonald House

Catholic Social Teaching: Principal of Solidarity: We are one Family.
We are one human family. Our responsibilities to each other transcend race and creed, We need to be aware of what is going on with each other, in our communities and the world around us.


A Vinnie shares about their time at the Ronald McDonald House.

“Today I met a lovely matua at the Ronald McDonald House dining room. He told me he and members of his whanau had spent the last 5 months camping out at the Ronald McDonald house and nearby motels supporting their granddaughter at Starship.

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We sat together as he shared his poignant story about how his granddaughter was on her last bout of chemo and there was nothing more that could be done ….”she’s upstairs watching TV like any normal kid full of energy”.. As he spoke he eyes glazed with tears …”it doesnt make sense…she’s so young.” As I reached over a touched his shoulder. ..he looked up.and smiled and said ” Today this place reminds me of the marae…its comforting. …so much hustle and bustle..lovely to have these young people here…smiling..and working and cooking ..for us…they lift us …they lift us all…so lovely. ..”

Today was a special day for us all. It was a joy working with each with a common purpose but we never envisioned what God had install for us all….God surpasses all…


 Assist a School Programme

Today the Vinnies Youth Team met with the Baradene Leaders of 2014. Our Vinnies Youth team really appreciate the leaders taking this time to meet up to discuss their current projects, as well as map out the programme for the remainder of the year.
This wonderful leadership team are currently leading their team in creating In-class learning activitiy kits for a school with students with intellectual and physical disabilities in Samoa. These kits will prove to be invaluable to the students as they will come complete with materials and directions.Given that this school does not have ample resourcing, these kits would make a world of a difference. Thank you Baradene for your commitment and leadership.

Baradene Vinnies Leaders map out the remainder of 2014


On Saturday, members of the Society of  St Vincent de Paul walked in solidarity alongside members of  the Auckland Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and parishioners and staff from various Catholic parishes including the St Patrick’s Cathedral up Queen Street to Aotea Square. It was a walk organised by the Child Poverty Action Group to address the the growing statistics of child poverty and the injustices faced by many families who continue to live beneath the poverty line.

The march against child poverty concluding at Aotea Square
The march against child poverty concluding at Aotea Square


Catholic Social Teaching : Preferential Protection for the Vulnerable

The Vinnies after-school programme continues to grow in its relationship with the families of Monte Cecilia Emergency Housing.this week we welcomed new children whose families have recently become part of this community. The Vinnies leaders from De La Salle College led team challenges, dance battles and magic mazes which entertained the children for the rest of the afternoon. The Society of St Vincent seek to develop this programme over the next while to include educational support for the intermediate and secondary students that reside there.

Children at the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust tackling the 'Mystery Maze'
Children at the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust tackling the ‘Mystery Maze’

Our Catholic tradition instructs us to put the needs of the vulnerable first. The good of society as a whole requires it.

MAKING ENDS MEET The Principal Universal Destination of Goods

In New Zealand today, there is a widening gap between the rich and poor. So wide that 280,000 kids go hungry each night.
As part of the unpacking of the theme ‘Poverty and Social Exclusion’ this term, the Vinnies from Carmel College drafted up weekly budgets from case studies based on real life cases sourced from the Kingsland Vinnies Advocacy databank.

Students of Carmel College are given specific scenarios and are tasked with budgeting weekly expenses
Students of Carmel College are given specific scenarios and are tasked with budgeting weekly expenses

Many of the students that were given incomes on the lower scale of the market value and Work and Income  benefits struggled to ‘make ends meet’ especially in light of high private rental costs, the 8 month waiting list to become eligible for a housing New Zealand house and other increasing costs on essentials including medicine, food and power. Some students were forced to make their family budgets go without birthday gifts, phones and uniforms. It was hard for the students to comprehend just how little money some of the families had to budget. Many came away with more in-depth understanding of the realities of  families.whom live beneath the poverty line. Over the next few weeks these Carmel College students will be discussing and mapping different ideas of how they can make a difference.


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