Bringing the Community Together
Building upon the relationships from previous years, a number of ministries have continued to flourish. These include services to the homeless, those who are incarcerated, the elderly and those in care at the hospital. Each weekend, Vinnies and Vincentians come together to serve and build a sense of community.
Auckland City Mission Drop-In Volunteers
On a Saturday and Sunday, the Vinnies serve tea, coffee and meals to those residing at Auckland City Mission. This venue is a haven for those sleeping it rough, or seeking repsite from the cold weather outside. The Vinnies work to develop face to face connections and provide an opportunity for growth.
On Sundays, a group of Vinnies Youth have the opportunity to visit those incarcerated within Mt Eden Prison. The group lead a Liturgy of the Word in up to two prison wings at a time, as well as some conversation and waita (songs).
Once a fortnight a number of Vinnies also visit Wesley Rest Home Hospital in Mount Eden to connect in with our elders. Those who attend lead the music for residents and engage in conversation. The residents are fond of music and enjoy meeting new faces and connecting in.
Before Mass on Sunday, Vinnies also have the opportunity to guide patients at Auckland Hospital to and from their rooms. Though the journey is short the conversations which take in the corridor provide a sense of positivity that is well receieved by all. The simple act of being able to attend the Mass is significant for those that go as they seek to recover and rehabilitate themselves.
St Pauls Homelessness Retreat 2018
On Holy Thursday to Good Friday, the young men from St Pauls College embarked on their annual homelessness retreat. They fought the cold and built cardboard housing so as to immerse themselves in the reality faced by many throughout Auckland City. The projected number of homeless within a 3km radius of the Sky Tower at the time was 240. This only accounts for those sleeping it rough or residing within emergency housing conditions. Throughout the night they learnt a number of empathy tools, and what it takes to make the ground your house.
In the morning, sore and stiff, the students proceeded to walk to notable locations where the homeless reside. These spaces included James Liston Hostel and Auckland City Mission – an emergency housing centre and support centre respectively. While visiting the students engaged in conversation with the community present, honoring the stories shared with a heartfelt song and college haka. The experience of this retreat provided a profound impact amongst the students, causing a significant shift in mentality and a longing to do more service so as to alleviate this harsh social reality.
Samoa and Tonga Appeal
In light of the Cyclone Gita aftermath, youth from across Auckland banded together to pack and ship resources to the islands of Samoa and Tonga. These resources included boxes of clothing, blankets and items to help families get back on their feet. All proceeds were donated from across Auckland, with many schools conducting the appeal amongst their own communities.