The inaugural St Vincent de Paul Society Schools Social Justice Day on February 23 has been hailed a success.

The society’s state liaison manager Carolyn Sauvage said the event was organised and run by Vinnies’ youth staff and state youth representative Kathleen Ferrero.

“The theme for the day was ‘It Always seems impossible until it’s done’, supported by ‘What is impossible with man, is possible with God’ (Luke 18:27),” Ms Sauvage said.

She said students were encouraged to look beyond their own schools’ efforts – “to start thinking that even though they think their personal contribution to social justice and helping others may be small, together we can achieve a great deal”.

Ms Sauvage said students from about a dozen schools attended including some from Mt Alvernia College, Kedron; Loreto College, Coorparoo; All Hallows’ School, Fortitude Valley; Marist College Ashgrove; Mt St Michael’s College, Ashgrove; Villanova College, Coorparoo; St Peter Claver College, Riverview; Our Lady’s College, Annerley; Clairvaux MacKillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt; and Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay.

She said as well as showcasing the works being done by high school students from within Brisbane archdiocese, students heard about activities that the St Vincent de Paul Society college conferences participated in.

“Students also shared some of the social justice activities their schools were engaging in such as St Peter Claver Soup Van and outreach, Marist Ashgrove’s barbecue outreach for homeless people at Kurilpa Park, toiletry packs for the hospitals and Villanova Easter Egg Drive to collect Easter eggs to distribute to families who would go without,” she said.

Ms Sauvage said speakers included Dominic Nolan, from the Australian Sugar Milling Council, who was involved with Vinnies while at school and has taken part in the CEO Sleepout; Blind Eye Ministries ministry co-ordinator Roby Curtis; and Brisbane archdiocese’s vocations director Fr Morgan Batt.

“Our St Vincent de Paul (Society) state youth chair Kathleen Ferrero was assisted in running the day by staff from (the society), Project Hatch, Catholic Mission, (Brisbane archdiocese’s) Youth and Children’s Ministry, NET (National Evangelisation Teams) Ministries, Edmund Rice Camps, Vocations Office and Blind Eye Ministries,” she said.

Ms Sauvage said it was the Queensland St Vincent de Paul Society’s first Schools Social Justice Day, and it would be planned as an annual event.


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