Youth from all over Auckland gathered to share in voice and fellowship at the annual World Youth Day Auckland Experience. It was a chance for all the catholic youths in Auckland to come together in song and praise as one big community. Filled with singing and walking and also food provided by the Vinnies catering team, the day was filled with high emotion and a special kind of journey for each individual to deepen their faith in both God and with those around them.
Project: Young Adults
This week we had the chance to catch up with our Young Adults to join in prayer an serving together. We were also able to plan and set up different projects that they will be able to carry out throughout the year with the help of our Youth Team as well. It was the joining of old and new members, being able to share past experiences and words of encouragement for our newer members.
This week we were able to hold an induction at the Auckland City Mission for new and yearning volunteers. It was chance for these young adults to step forward and take action in helping the staff at Auckland city Mission on the weekends. This was all thanks to the organisation by the City Mission Manager Helen Robinson along with the help of Andrew George and Yvonne Purcell. More induction days are being planned for more people to help out later on in the year.
Honoring our Tangata Whenua
On Friday the Youth Team had a very special visit from one of the Rangatira (Leader) of the Ngati Whatua, Tarati Blair-Hunt. The visit was accompanied by a warm liturgy and waiata. Tarati who resides on the paepae of Orakei Marae, shared about the history of her people and he personal jouney. The Kingsland whanau were quite moved by what they learnt of story of the of of the people Ngati Whatua, the struggle, the injustice and what they suffered at the hands of the New Zealand Government. It was a poignant and sacred time spent together. We hope that we will have more gatherings like this, to not only build a closer relationships but also to honor our tangata whenua and also find ways to work more closely in Central Auckland area.
On Tuesday night, a team of Young Adults set out to the Ronald McDonald House in Grafton to prepare dinner for over 100 people who’s children are currently in Starship Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House aims at supporting and strengthening Kiwi families throughout their children’s medical journeys, ensuring they are better placed to cope and help their children heal. Having our Youth Team go in and prepare not only dinner but dessert as well is a huge work load and is greatly appreciated by the families who have a tonne of other things on their plate. It was hard work but all worth at the end of the days as it was filled with laughter and smiles from our volunteers.
The Liston Hostel in Freeman’s Bay has for decades been providing emergency housing for individuals needing accommodation support. Started as a project by the laity of four separate churches including the Catholic Church. Today James Liston Hostel continues to support those who come off the streets and also those needing emergency housing. The Society of St Vincent de Paul though the years have had a good working relationship with the management of the James Liston Hostel.
Earlier this year their were a few meetings between the Kingsland Centre and the James Liston Hostel to find different ways to work closer together. One of the needs brought up was the need for Church services for the residents to start up again at the Hostel. Given that the hostel was founded by faith organisations and named after Bishop James Liston it seemed like the right thing to do.
After much planning, The Mother of Divine Mercy Youth Group led by Susana Fiu was invited to lead the very first prayer service on Sunday 2nd July. This group led song and led prayer. The residents and the management of James Liston were most delighted and moved by the liturgy as they also enjoyed a morning tea that followed straight after.
The hope is that these Sunday prayer services will continue every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. The Society of St Vincent de Paul will work to organize other groups of volunteers to roster on to assist with these Sunday Prayer Services.
Travelling Pots hits the North Shore
On Tuesday, 4th June around 15 Vinnies from both Carmel and Rosmini College gathered at the Carmel College Techroom after school for a big casserole cook up. They wasted no time chopping up meat and vegetables and in an hour an a half they had filled up two 30 litre pots with casserole. These pots were than carefully transported to the Auckland City Mission through peak traffic to be served at the Auckland City Mission drop in for dinner.
The CEO of the Auckland City Mission Chris Farelly unloaded the pots with the help of his volunteers and staff at the Auckland City Mission and sent his more sincere thank you to the students and staff and also the other important organizers of this donation.
Throughout this week, the youth team along with some of our Ignite Team (University Vinnies Mentors) had the opportunity to catch up with some of our Secondary Schools for whats now called “Coffee Catch-ups”. A better way to understand and engage with our young leaders was to take them out into a more social environment where they are able to engage in discussions around their year so far and what they hope to achieve as a group and as a leader. So far, the feedback from these sessions have proven successful as they enforce a means of support and better communication between our young leaders and youth team. Although coffee is not always on the menu, the depth of discussions is always present in these catch-ups. One of our Ignites, Lupesina Koro had this to say about her catch-up:
The St Mary’s College catch-up was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience and allowed for me, a former St Mary’s student, to connect in with the current leaders and offer ways in which I could help facilitate service projects because I had experienced in high school. They are really important because they provide a platform for the leaders to breathe, relax and be confident in knowing that they have a strong support system who will help them carry out their vision for the Young Vinnies in St Mary’s College, even if it means compromising and changing some initial plans. The catchups are an awesome learning experience for me, teaching me how to become a better mentor in how I approach different situations and how I can better myself in helping the St Mary’s College Vinnies leaders. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to just have a chat with the leaders and help out in any way I can.
On the lst day of the school week, Baradene College had ask the youth team to come in and run a session on “Connecting In”. To build a closer knitted group and to strengthen the relationships of their Vinnies group, the Youth Team took the Baradene girls through different levels throughout the day with a big emphasis on how the level of connection determines how we feel and treat each other. Now with a clear sense on where the girls want to head and what they want to gain for the rest of the year, its easy to see that they left the retreat with stronger bonds and closer relations.
Prisons and Auckland City Mission
On the weekend, a meeting was held at the Auckland City Mission to discuss new and exciting service opportunities for new and keen volunteers as well as looking at the current progress of projects that we have at the moment. With the ongoing support of Helen Robinson, the General Manager of the Auckland City Mission, the team were able to map out a way in which they can include more volunteers by planning info nights in both the West and Central region while also discussing an induction day for those who are interested in serving. Helen was also joined by Andrew George, a long serving member at the Auckland City mission as well as Eta Ahio and Yvonne Purcell. While this was happening, two volunteers, Felicity and Lisa, had been serving tea and coffee out in the front to those who are less fortunate. A meeting for many more to come with big plans and exciting opportunities.