Tu Kahikatea Awards 2019
Each year, the local Diocese and Auckland Catholic Youth Ministry present the Tu Kahikatea Awards. This award is named after the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference statement – Tu Kahikatea: Standing Tall.As such, the Tu Kahikatea awards recognise the gift that youth bring to their families, schools, parish, as well as the wider community around them. It is also about recognising and affirming them for their outstanding contribution to those in need. A number of youth were called forward to receive a gift and blessing, some of whom were involved with Vinnies Youth Auckland over the past few years.
Vinnies Youth Recipients of Tu Kahikatea Award 2019:
- Chris Tenisio
- Lemalie Aukuso
- Theresa Filipo
- Daniel Pavihi
- Ivona Tamiano
- Fiva Laufili
Each Award indicates the Tu Kahikatea component for which the young person is being recognised. The eight areas components are:
- · Advocacy
- · Justice and Service
- · Catechesis
- · Leadership Development
- · Community Life
- · Pastoral Care
- · Evangelisation
- · Prayer and Worship
The mass was celebrated by Monsignor Bernard Kiely, who led a poignant message about servanthood and leading with a compassionate spirit. Regardless of the component each awardee contributed towards for the Tu Kahikatea award, they were acknowledged for leading the way for compassion within the Catholic church. Families and friends were present to support their loved ones as they celebrated this significant event.
Final School Visits 2019
As the academic year draws to a close, the Youth Team have been wrapping up the schools programme. Recently they had the privilege of connecting in with the Vinnies of St Mary’s and De La Salle College to give thanks for a year of service. These schools have carried the charism if St Vincent de Paul with humility and love. De La Salle Vinnies in particular were recognised for their faithful service at the South Auckland Foodbank. It was here that they attended each week without fail to cook bulk meals for local families. As the exam season unfolds, the Society of St Vincent de Paul wish to give thanks for the care that the youth have put into their year of service.
The Vincentian Way
If asked to consider the three main characteristics of their lived spirituality, many Vincentians would probably say that they were compassion, friendship and prayer. The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Auckland are fortunate to have Vincentians such as Claire Murphy, as well as Gerald & Heather Hart who for many years have empathized emotionally with people who suffer as a result of material or spiritual poverty. They have led the way for the youth of today through deeds of mercy and action for justice. As in days of old with the Daughters of Charity, these same Vincentians have fostered numerous friendships through a sense of mutual respect and care. This, in a sense has become the lived experience of their prayer: to encounter and assist the same Christ in the poor. Auckland Vinnies Youth are grateful for these elders who have provided governance, funded, supported and helped sustain the Vinnies youth programme over the last 25 + years. The Auckland Vinnies youth team and young adult members are very grateful and moved by their commitment and servant leadership.
Working Together to Support the Community
The Society of St Vincent de Paul are grateful for partnerships with organisations such as KiwiHarvest who help to ensure that families don’t go without food in their home. To date KiwiHarvest have been responsible for redistributing 3,200,000 kilos of quality food which would otherwise be discarded as waste. Their assistance is significant as they seek to reduce the negative impacts of food waste within Aotearoa whilst also providing nutrient rich sources of food for those in need. The food is sourced from a number of growers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retail food businesses; which is then added to foodparcels destined for a home.
The Christmas Appeal Begins!
Recently the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Auckland launched the annual Christmas ‘Feed a Family’ Appeal for those in need. This appeal is particularly for the families that we have journeyed alongside throughout the year. The team have already begun sorting and getting to work on the database of names which have been compiled.
Last year, the Vinnies centre was inundated with requests for food by families and individuals, from those living alone and/or in emergency housing facilities. We are hopeful that through the generous donations of the ‘Feed a Family’ appeal we will be better equipped to support those who seek our assistance. We give thanks for the generous donors and volunteers who are making this Christmas appeal happen.
Happy Birthday Robert!
The Gundry Foodbank wishes to give thanks for Robert, who recently celebrated his 73rd birthday! Robert has been of invaluable service to the Society of St Vincent de Paul beginning his journey in 2004 and serving faithfully for over 15 years. He was an active volunteer in the Kingsland opshop and assisting with the pick up and logistics of goods for families; now having a hand in ensuring the foodbank at Gundry runs smoothly. The Society of St Vincent de Paul thanks Robert for his long service and wish him good health on the journey ahead.
Volunteering in varying ministries within Vinnies Youth has brought forth new ways understanding, of valuing one another, as well as a nurturing of love and respect. Whether in prisons, hospitals or with those who have no place to call home; a number of volunteers have made a pledge to committ to something larger than themselves – by committing to give back in whatever way they can. Each week, volunteers at the prison lead a minstry of the word: providing first and foremost a space for those who are incarcerated to connect and pray together. Those who volunteer in the hospitals provide care for patients attending Sunday mass, making the time to take patients back and from their room. The true gift of this encounter are the conversations and healing that unfold. Lastly, the Auckland City Mission host a weekly cook-up for women who lack a home in the Auckland CBD. The women involved enjoy a hot and scrumptious food together; trading stories and laughter into the evening. Each of these ministries in turn have brought various community together, and so the Society of St Vincent de Paul wish to acknowledge the countless hours contributed towards the betterment of others.