Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 04


St Mary's College Vinnies fundraise for upcoming cook-up at Ronald McDonald House
St Mary’s College Vinnies fundraise for upcoming cook-up at Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for many families who live far away from the Starship hospital.As part of their service to the local community St Mary’s Vinnies will be hosting a dinner party for these families. These young women have spent the past moth fundraising for this cook-up, and recently held a bulk baking sale. The fundraiser proved most succesful, with the students now looking towards the finalizing their menu.


The Vinnies of De La Salle College chose to focus on Homelessness this term. As part of this programme  the students participated in ‘learning sessions’ facilitated by the Vinnies staff. These workshops are crucial for their learning as it informs them about the the cause and effects of Homelessness and also better prepares them for their  service work in the community.

De La Salle College Vinnies meet regularly to plan upcoming events and pray together
De La Salle College Vinnies meet regularly to plan upcoming events and pray together


It is essential that Vinnies Youth Conferences have the opportunity to meet the adult members of the local  Vincentian conferences who have carried out the work to the local community for numerous years. The students of Liston College and St Dominic’s College had the opportunity to meet their local West Auckland Area Council President Owen Knock.  It was a great meeting, Owen shared of his experience and knowledge of issues faced by families in West Auckland and those he has had the opportunity to work with. He ended his talk in affirming these young women for their contribution to their local community as well as their continued r support of the work of the Society.

St Dominic's College Vinnies meet with Vincentian Owen Knock
St Dominic’s College Vinnies meet with Vincentian Owen Knock


Tertiary Mass hosted by Vinnies undergoing study at University
Tertiary Mass hosted by Vinnies undergoing study at University

Each month the Auckland Catholic Tertairy Chaplaincy host an evening Mass at St Patricks for Tertiary students. Yhese masses are always weel.attended by university students and young people. In the month of May the Tertiary Vinnies were given the opportunity to host the Tertiary Mass. This Mass was celebrated by Fr Bernie Thomas. It was a wonderful gathering attended by University students  hundreds of youth and the local parishioners of St Patrick’s Cathedral. The message of the homily was Grow in God’s Love.


Carmel College Vinnies assist at the local De Paul House
Carmel College Vinnies assist at the local De Paul House

Homework centres provide an invaluable support network to young people and their families. The staff of the De Paul house for many years have run a succesful homework centre for the children of their  resident families. They have taken a lot of care with creating their programme and the resourcing of it. The Vinnies of Carmel and Rosmini are rostered on on each week to help out in the delivery of this programme. This includes helping homework and building relationships with the children.

These opportunities are priceless for both the children and the Vinnies. It allows for positive socialization,  the building of self esteem, competency and relationships.Currently eight Catholic Secondary Schools volunteer in local afterschool programmes.Carmel College and Rosmini College:  currently volunteer at the De Paul House Homework centre, Sacred Heart College volunteer at St Pius X School,  Liston and St Dominic’s College: Henderson Primary, West Region. Each school group allocates a time each week to visit their respective areas once a week, and provide peer support to the younger students.

Rosmini College Vinnies assisting in an after school homework centre
Rosmini College Vinnies assisting in an after school homework centre

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Students and families spend an afternoon each week with fun and games
Students and families spend an afternoon each week with fun and games

As the school term draws to an end, the young men of De La Salle College Vinnies have continued to commit their time to lead children of their local community in an after-school programme. Strong friendships have been built through learning more about each other and have some fun at the same time. When asked what the highlight of their experiences so far has been, one student responded: “My highlight tonight was seeing how active the kids were and them enjoying the time with us”.


Vincentians gather for a Mass to celebrate the long service of Maurice Kearney
Vincentians gather for a Mass to celebrate the long service of Maurice Kearney

Members of South Auckland SVdP came together to celebrate Mass and also honour one of their fellow Vincentians for his journey of service. In recognition of over 46 years dedicated to serving the needs of the community, Maurice Kearney received a special Vincentian award. The gathering was enjoyed by all. It also provided an opportunity for the council to connect in with one another and also with the Vinnies leaders of De La Salle College, McAuley High School and Sancta Maria College. The Mass was followed by a South Area Council meeting, allowing each conference the opportunity to update one another on their respective activities.

Student Leaders stand in solidarity with Vincentian long service awardee - Maurice Kearney
Student Leaders stand in solidarity with Vincentian long service awardee – Maurice Kearney


Baradene College students pack bags of sugar to be added into family food parcels.
Baradene College students pack bags of sugar to be added into family food parcels.
St Mary's College Vinnies assisting in opshop
St Mary’s College Vinnies assisting in opshop
St Peter's College Vinnies pack items for the SVdP foodbank
St Peter’s College Vinnies pack items for the SVdP foodbank

Visitation to local Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Centres has become a popular important part of the Vinnies Youth Programme. This allows students of all ages to learn and help pack the SVdP food bank, prepare packs for Prisons and Rehabilitation Services (PARS), as well as assisting in the opshop that helps fund the services of the Society.

Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 02


A Reflection

Students prepare ingredients for the upcoming meal
Students prepare ingredients for the upcoming meal

When posed with new experiences, the unfamiliar and what is out of our comfort zone, we can choose to either persevere or to to walk away. For some of these students, prepping the food for the James Liston Shelter dinner was a whole new experience, let alone having dinner with a complete stranger and making conversation. It is especially hard when you are so conscious of yourself and your insecurities. Then there is that moment when you are sitting across from a person, with a story so big that poignantly and powerfully reminds you that life isn’t always easy.

Note: Student from Marist College will be rostered on to serve at James Liston Hostel for the rest of this school term.


-Rosmini College

Vincentian President Ralph Moore

Vincentian President Ralph Moore, one of the stalwarts of the St Vincent De Paul on the North Shore spoke to the Rosmini College students at a recent Vinnies meeting. He shared of the poverty and the struggles many of the local families endure and of the work he and his colleagues have faithfully carried out over the last 20 years on the Shore. This visit allowed the students to gain a deeper insight into the Vincentian story within their own local community.

These testimonies are valuable. They inform the students of their local reality and also teaches the youth members about the history and Charism of the St Vincent De Paul Society.

The Society on the North Shore are finding more ways of working closely with Rosmini and Carmel College. The Rosmini students now regularly volunteer at the Glenfield Vinnies shop. The staff are delighted to have these students helping out on site

Rosmini College Students merchandising, restocking and sorting goods for sale
Rosmini College Students merchandising, restocking and sorting goods for sale

FAITH AS OUR COMPASS – Sancta Maria College

Students of Sancta Maria College donate the proceeds of their blanket and clothing drive
Students of Sancta Maria College donate the proceeds of their blanket and clothing drive

With the high cost of housing and the myriad of other increasing costs, struggling families find it rather difficult during this season to make ends meet. As a response to this need, the students of Sancta Maria college have been collecting warm clothing and canned goods to in hope of making a difference to those who need a bit of support this winter.
The St Vincent De Paul President of South Auckland John Smith turned up to collect the donations. He was deeply grateful and moved with the generosity of these young men and women. The goods will go a long way in supporting people needing assistance in South Auckland



During a recent Auckland Vinnies Secondary Schools meeting around 50 Vinnies leaders from 13 different schools and Tertiary Institutes gathered to reflect on their service journey of 2015. This meeting also provided an opportunity to elect their council executives for the year. The purpose of the council executives is to provide students with the opportunity to chair their own meetings, and have their voice heard at  SVDP Area Council Meetings.

The night began with prayer, pizza and hot chocolate, followed by the Vincentian prayer. During the night there was also a presentation on all the  work the different Vinnies groups have embarked on this year.
The night ended with a poignant thanksgiving liturgy where each school were given an opportunity to give thanks and light a prayer candle in behalf of their collective.

Vinnies reflecting on the journey so far



Over the past few weeks Marist College have been coordinating a weekly food and warm clothing collection. As the chilly winter sets in, these donations will prove invaluable to families seeking this type of assistance. In the past few weeks President Owen Knock of the West Auckland St Vincent De Paul  has been collecting carloads of non perishable food to support West Auckland families.



Every Sunday without fail, parishioners from St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Benedict’s Parish donate food and household items to the St Vincent De Paul foodbasket. These food items are picked up every Monday morning by Vinnies Kingsland and are sorted into food parcels for families that come in seeking food assistance. The household items are either sold in the Ops hop to raise funds or given directly to families.

St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral

To date from January until May 2015 over 4000 individuals have received either food assistance or household support through our Kingsland Centre. This work would not be possible without the generous food and monetary donations of these congregations, our Central Auckland schools, Auckland Diocese fundraiser walk, our faithful donors & sponsors, and the proceeds of our local Op Shop.

St Benedict’s Cathedral


When faced with getting new resources, our natural tendency is to throw away the old and used without a second thought. Following a request from schools in Samoa for desks and stationary, Marshal Laing Primary donated a classrooms worth of good quality school desks. The cartage of these desks are now bound for school’s in Samoa.

Marshal Laing Primary School

Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 04


The students of St Pauls College Vinnies hosted a Homeless Sleepout to stand in solidarity with those who are homeless. During the program they built shelters, learnt about homelessness in New Zealand and reflected on Catholic Social teachings.

It was a bitterly cold night and many students were glad to see the morning.  As part of the program, the students also climbed to the summit of Mt Eden to pray and reflect on their journey and debrief their experience and learnings.

Students of St Paul’s College build their shelters out of cardboard and tarpaulins
Students were tasked to keep their candle flame alight during the chilly ascent up Mt Eden


The students of St Dominic’s and Liston College hosted a movie fundraiser to raise money to go towards a Funday for the families of a local caravan park.

In 2014 these schools were invited by the West Auckland Hub that supports the residents of Western Village Caravan Park to assist with their Christmas Funday. The students from these provided fun games, craft workshops,  Christmas gifts and even bulk vegetables and fruit for the families.

This year these students would like to host additional fundays as they see the good it provides for these families.

Students host movie night fundraiser for upcoming projects


Recently, a Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVDP) West Auckland Festival Meeting was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Glen Eden. The meeting began with a Mass celebrated in the church followed by a gathering in the Parish Hall. SVDP NZ National President Des Mulhern addressed the members and volunteers of the West Area, and shared about the importance of the local SVDP conferences. Present at this meeting were members of the SVDP Kingsland Youth Team, as well Vinnies leaders of Liston College and St Dominics College. This provided an opportunity to establish and build upon connections with their fellow vincentians.

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Students of both Liston and St Dominic’s College attended the West Area SVDP Meeting
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Students getting to know fellow Vincentians


Vinnies from St Peter’s College recently took part in an overnight retreat to connect with the reality faced by those who sleep it rough. This retreat was facilitated by both the Ignite Team and School Vinnies leaders. Each individual assisted in building a shelter made of whatever materials they could find. Sleeping throughout the night proved hard for some of the boys as the cold winter chill set in. This did not stop the students from seeing the night through. With the message of the Pentecost celebration, the Vinnies staff led the students up to the summit of Mt Eden for a time of prayer and reflection as they watched the sun rise.

Students work together to build shelters
Reflection on the experience whilst on the summit of Mt Eden


Baradene College Vinnies

Throughout May, the students of Baradene, Liston, St Dominic’s,  and St Mary’s College have been focusing on the cause and effects of social exclusion. They covered some interesting facts about the biological neural pathways of a human being, and how this also affects some of our decision making about who we socialize with and who we exclude. Armed with this new knowledge the students were encouraged to re-evaluate the way they related to others and challenged to try and include those they normally don’t. The students soon came to realize that until we remove the stereotypes that mask our vision, our understanding of service becomes distorted.

Liston College Vinnies
Sancta Maria College Vinnies
St Mary’s College Vinnies