Our Marist Mission in action (Issue 12 2017)

Written on the 17 August 2017

"At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideas in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structure of society in order to create a civilisation of true justice and love." ~ Pope John Paul II.

Last week we celebrated the Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first and patron Saint, who taught us to never see a need without acting upon it. Although our society is becoming more secular, the opportunities for our Marist community to continue to be agents of change increase, and the values of the Gospel have never been more prevalent than they are today. Our Marian charism prompts us to be attentive to the calls of our time. We need to surpass religious and cultural borders and, like Mary, be figures of tender strength for all, especially the young and marginalised.

The Marist Association of Marcellin Champagnat
On Tuesday night, a gathering of the Adelaide Region was held at Sacred Heart College where new members of the Association were inducted and next year's Association National Assembly in Adelaide was discussed. The Marist Association has been established to nurture and shape Marist life into the future where laypeople and brothers will work collaboratively to keep Marcellin's vision alive and thriving. If you wish to learn more about the Association, please feel free to contact James Gill, Director of Marist Mission or visit the website http://www.maristassociation.org.au/

Walk a Mile in My Boots
Last Friday, a large contingent of students and staff from all three campuses took part in 'Walk a Mile in my Boots,' an initiative of the Hutt Street Centre in support of people facing homelessness. When you 'walk a mile' you become one of the many voices that say no one in our community should be without a safe, secure home. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students and many other school and corporate groups to walk in solidarity with the marginalised.

In true Marist Spirit, a generous amount of funds were raised to go towards Hutt Street Centre. Thank you to those students and their families for donating and getting students to the College for the bus to depart for the city at 6am. It was a great turn out of young enthusiastic participants all round, a credit to their families and the College!

Comments from our Year 9 School Leaders on 'Walk a Mile in My Boots':
"It was great how many people came; I heard it was the biggest 'Walk a Mile in My Boots' they have had so far." - Zach Bates.
"It was amazing to see homeless people being so grateful for what we were doing; they were thanking us." - Ruben Gear.
"I enjoyed walking knowing it was for a good cause." - Alex Gietowski.
"It was eye opening to see what homeless people go through each day; their daily struggles." - Mathew Higgins.
"We saw both the Premier and the Shadow Premier there; it is really good that they were part of it." - Daniel Moore.
"The walk was great and made me see the amount of work that we are doing to help the homeless and really see the good in people." - Xavier Robins.
"It was an eye opener to feel how cold it would be outside in this weather, homeless." - Theo Sprumont.

St Vincent De Pauls Brighton Annual Badge Day Appeal
Concluding 'Walk a Mile in My Boots' a group of Senior School students participated in the fundraising effort for the Brighton Vinnie's Badge Day appeal. The recently opened Brighton Vinnies Shop attracts many customers and their pastoral team do incredibly important work in our community to support those who are homeless, ill and marginalised.

We have developed a close relationship with the Brighton store since its official opening and blessing at the beginning of the year. We encourage our community to support them where possible.

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This week, our entire community celebrates the Feast of the Assumption, a Holy day of Obligation for Catholics and a Feast of particular significance for Marists.

The Gospel tells of Mary 'running with haste' to the hill country to share the Good News with her cousin Elizabeth that she will bear a child. The message for us as Marists and Catholics to be inspired by Mary's willingness to serve others; to share the Good News and be ministers to those in need.

Mass was celebrated on Tuesday at the Middle School campus. It was a celebration of the special place Mary has in the life of the Church. On this day we join in the happiness of Mary, knowing that we too can share God's glory with her.

Our Mass provided an opportunity for all of us - Marist Brothers, Passionist and Mercy Sisters, staff and students in a Marist College community - to renew our commitment as religious brothers and sisters, and as educators and students within the Marist tradition, respectively.

Our Mass also provided an opportunity for all of us to help others in our community. We showed our love for others through donations to the Hutt Street Centre. As a gesture of solidarity with those who attended the 'Walk a Mile in My Boots' annual event at Victoria Racecourse in the Parklands last Friday, we too were to 'Walk a Mile'. Unfortunately, due to Tuesday's wet weather, we have postponed this walk until later in the term.

Thank you to all those families who donated money, food, toiletries, socks and underwear that we will give to the Hutt Street Centre, who support the homeless in Adelaide. If you would like to make a donation you can leave these at the front office.

May we know God's will for us and, like Mary, say 'yes' to what he wants for us. What God wants for us is to love Him and to love each other.

On Wednesday, Mass was celebrated at the Senior School by Fr Peter Sheedy and we were blessed with the presence of our Marist Brothers. Fr Peter in his homily encouraged us to see the simplicity within Mary. Like any mother, she would've been demanding, at times impatient, but most of all, loving. He also said that the affection God had for Mary is the same for us all. The 2017 Immersion Team did a wonderful job in facilitating the ministry of the Mass.

Remar Gold Retreat
On Thursday 10 August, the Year 12 Gold Remar Caravel ventured to Melbourne and then Phillip Island for their final interstate camp.

On the Thursday evening, students teamed up with Brother Doug Walsh and completed some service work with the homeless on the streets of Melbourne's CBD. Students handed out food and personal items along with warm clothes. But more than this, students spent time talking with these people to better understand their individual circumstances.

Friday saw the group travel down to Phillip Island where the students spent the remainder of the weekend. Workshops and group sessions were provided to students in a range of areas from life post-school to opportunities to get involved with local communities such as Marist Youth Ministry.

Overall I'd like to thank the group for their exemplary behaviour and attitude throughout the entire weekend, and year for that matter! I'd also like to thank Adriana Cvorkov for journeying with us. Her support was greatly appreciated and the students loved having her with us.

Below are a few comments from students in response to the question, "What was your favourite session from the camp and why?":
"I liked the workshop about homelessness because it showed me a new perspective on the issue" - Paulina Malycha.
"I loved the individual choice workshops as it allowed me to choose what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to develop" - Ellen Traeger.

Journey to Emmaus
The Journey to Emmaus program brings together the students from our five parish partnerships schools: Stella Maris, St Teresa's Brighton, St Bernadette's, St Martin De Porres and Christ the King. It is run by two Youth Ministers, Dylan Barnes and Holly Roberts, who engage the students in prayer, faith, community service, developing friendship and having fun.

Sacred Heart College was the host for this second Journey to Emmaus. Our Year 7 Marist Captains, with the addition of Baiden Mellors and Corban Hays, were joined by Marymount College girls to each look after 10 Year 5 students across the different schools. 

These young men worked really well with the Marymount girls to make the Year 5 students feel welcome. The boys stepped up during recess and lunch to play games with these younger students and many of them took on leadership very proactively, letting the teacher with them know they felt completely comfortable taking the lead. At lunch they actively looked for ways to help out with distributing lunches (as did the girls) and were always looking for ways to provide assistance. Towards the end some of the boys even joined in with the singing and actions of the songs.

A number of staff from our visiting schools made a point of thanking me for the boys. They were true to the spirit of Marcellin Champagnat who said, "To raise children, we must love them and love them equally." Our boys made all of their charges feel loved and I am confident that these young students will now look forward to calling Sacred Heart College their own in the near future.

James Gill
Director of Marist Mission
Tamara Smith
Coordinator of Marist Mission



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