THE JOURNEY OF LOAVES AND FISHES – Thanksgiving Ceremony
Recently the Vinnies executives of the Auckland Secondary Schools and Young Adult Conferences, parents and teachers gathered at the McLaurin Chapel Auckland University to give thanks for the Gift and the service journey of 2015.
Their was a special liturgy to celebrate their service journey with the communities they had engaged with and also the transformation they had undergone. During the ceremony they were all presented with SVdP leadership awards and given a special Vincentian annointing and blessing by President Claire Murphy to signify their being sent out after a full year of service and formation with the Society.
The Chairperson Vinnes Youth Exec Lupesina Koro shared an inspirational reflection on how the journey was like the parable of the loaves and fishes.
She spoke of how the task at the beginning was overwhelming, the need was great and how they found it challenging. However with the right support, by putting their trust in God, offering up of what they had, by perservering and working together, they were able to totally blow it out of the water! She also shared of how she received and learnt so much through the year.
The Area Council Vincentian President Claire Murphy thanked the leaders and expressed how so very proud and moved they were by what was achieved, their compassion for others.
THANK YOU MCAULEY HIGH SCHOOL
Recently a special day in the 2015 was marked, in which the Youth Team had the privilege to visit McAuley High School one last time this year and thank the Vinnies for their service works. We were also blessed to have Frank Heffernan (Vinnies National Vice President) to attend and pass on some words of wisdom and gratitude. The projects initiated by McAuley High School Vinnies included food appeals for families, weekly Visits to the local elderly home as well as support for the Recreate Programme. The Society of St Vincent de Paul are deeply moved by their charism and willingness to serve others. We wish these young women all the best in the many years to come.
TO LOVE AND SERVE
“Never in my life have I gone to work and stopped calling it a job, until I came to St Peter’s College… The memories, friendships and spirit forged here I will never forget”. – Kieran Fouhy, Headmaster of St Peter’s College.
Recently the Vinnies of St Peter’s College honored the journey of Kieran, in particular his long and devoted service to those the Society of St Vincent de Paul seek to assist. A mass was held to celebrate, with Vinnies of the college both past and present in attendance. Since the inception of the Vinnies Youth Programme within Auckland, Kieran has been a steadfast supporter and role model for love and service to the community. The impact of his service works span numerous generations. We thank Kieran for all he has done, and pray blessings upon him as he takes on the role as principal of St Paul’s College in 2016.
LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS
In thanksgiving for all these young men of De La Salle College have done in service to their fellow brother and sister, the Youth Team passed on a token of appreciation in the form of certificates. These awards acknowledge the countless hours spent in projects including afterschool programmes for the local housing trust, immersion retreats to understand homelessness, and food appeals. For all that they have and continue to contribute to the lives of others, we extend our utmost gratitude.
PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE
Recently, Anthony from the Otahuhu St Vinnies Centre called in to collect the proceeds of a food drive that was held in the final weeks of term three at McAuley High School. These generous donations of non-perishable food items willl go a long way to assisting families within the local community.
Thank you to all those wonderful staff and students who supported this action.
FAITH IS OUR COMPASS
In recognition of service to those the Society of St Vincent de Paul seek to assist, the youth team alongside John Smith (South Area Council President) presented Sancta Maria College Vinnies with certificates of appreciation. There were smiles all around as the students looked back on the many experiences they had whilst among the community. The Society are most thankful for the many hours spent preparing food and clothing appeals, local svdp shop assistance and afterschool care programmes for the local housing trust.
REMEMBER THOSE IN PRISON AS YOUR OWN
Pictured above are some of the volunteers from across the Auckland Diocese who attended a recent Prison Ministry Meeting. The meeting was most fruitful, as the group welcomed Teingoa who shared a part of his journey and the life the led him into spending 12 years in incarceration. This team of volunteers will be leading Sunday services as well as leading other programmes in Serco Men’s Prison in Wiri.
THANK YOU ST PAUL’S COLLEGE
The Youth Team had the privilege to recognize the many service works of St Paul’s College that were initiated throughout 2015. These works included:
– Serving at the local emergency housing centre
– Visitation to families at the local refuge
– Immersion retreats to understand Homelessness
We thank these young men for all they have done in service to those in need.
OUR JOURNEY OF FAITH
“This year has been such an eye opening experience… I have learnt so much about myself and the people around me” – Year 13 Student, Marist College
During a final school visit, the Vinnies youth of Marist College looked back on their faith journey throughout 2015. They were especially thankful to have met so many new people along the way in their service works such as food & clothing appeals for families, picnics for children under care, assisting local SVdP Centres and serving at the local emergency housing centre.
LOOKING BACK ON THE JOURNEY
“…As part of the experience hearing so many stories and meeting so many people, it was so inspiring and awesome to be part of”. – St Mary’s College Student 2015
During a final school visit the Vinnies of St Mary’s College reflected on their 2015 journey of faith, highlighting the many events and experiences that impacted them along the way. The words shared reflected what they had written down on paper at the inception of the year – a true testament to their character as young women of Mercy and Service. With projects including food, stationery and clothing appeals, Cooking dinner for emergency housing centres as well as the Ronald McDonald House; the impact made this year is one to be remembered and cherished.
REFLECTING ON THE JOURNEY THUS FAR
“Just being there for the ones we serve… it’s something special. I’ve learnt so much and it’s all because I took that first step to get to know that person.” – St Dominic’s College Student 2015.
As the year draws to an end, the Vinnies of St Dominic’s College reflected on their faith journey. From stationary, food and clothing drives to rest home visitation and afterschool progammes at their local primary school; these young women have truly done their school proud.
IN CHRIST WE LIVE
Recently the youth team alongside West Area Council President Owen Knock had the opportunity to visit Liston College for the final time this year. It was moving to reflect on the journey of the collective. Many members of the community would like to forward their thanks for the countless hours spent collecting goods such as food for donation, as well as assisting in community opportunity shops.
WE ARE THANKFUL
Vincetian Peter Courtney thanked Sacred Heart College Vinnies on behalf of the Society of St Vincent de Paul for their commitment throughout 2015.We also wish to congratulate their staff, leaders and members for their efforts to make a difference in the lives of others. The journey has been enjoyable every step of the way, and so we wish them all the best with upcoming exams. To date, the students have taken part in numerous activities such as food and clothing appeals for families, as well as afterschool programmes for the local primary school.
GIVING THANKS – CARMEL COLLEGE
“Everyday is an opportunity to make it a good day” – Year 13 Carmel College student
As part of a recent visit to Carmel College, the youth team acknowledged the journey of 2015. The students all agreed that it was a journey likened to a rollercoaster with numerous ups and downs, but worthwhile all the same. These young women have dedicated themselves to several projects including weekly after school programmes at the De Paul House, toiletry collections for PARS, as well as numerous food and clothing collections for families in their local community.
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
Over the last month, the Vinnies of Carmel College have been putting together toiletry packs for the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society. The results of their collection are phenomenal, each pack containing a personalised message to those who will be recipients of them.
WE ARE GRATEFUL – ROSMINI COLLEGE
The Society of St Vincent de Paul thanked and honoured the members of the Rosmini College Vinnies Group for their contribution to the works of the Society through 2015. Each member was presented with a certificate and thanked by the North Auckland Area President Kevin Mulcahy. To date, the students have dedicated their time to numerous projects including:
- After school homework centres at the De Paul House
- Stationary drives for prison learning programmes
- Food and clothing appeals for family
LOVE AND SERVICE
“I am thankful for this journey, and so this award is for all those who have walked alongside me… we are all called” – Maurice K.
By recognition of His Holiness Pope Francis, the parishnours of St Patrick’s parish in Pukekohe witnessed a poignant mass to celebrate the good works of Maurice Kearney. Maurice has devoted over 45 years to the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and those the Society seeks to assist; for which he received a Benemerenti Medal. The medal is an honour awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for service to the Catholic Church. The Society congratulates him for his steadfast love and devotion for the community.
THANK YOU POLYNESIAN SHIPPING
For numerous years Polynesian Shipping , its management and staff have continued to faithfully and generously support the work of the work of St Vincent de Paul here in Auckland and overseas in the Pacific. Sponsoring cartage of school furniture, clothing and household affects to support communities in the Pacific. To date their sponsorship has exceeded well over $200,000. Recently the youth members of the Mother of Divine Mercy Youth sang and performed a dance to show their appreciation for the assistance given to their collective to support their Refuge in Samoa. The manager of Polynesian Shipping Mike Swann and his staff were thanked for their tremendous work and presented with a St Vincent de Paul Service Award by Vincentian Peter Courtney on behalf of the Society.