ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT:
Tuesday 22 May 2012
In his letter to schools and parishes Father Joe Caddy, Director of CatholicCare’s Family week, urged us to reflect on the challenges facing families today. He asked for school communities “to reflect on the mission of the Church to support those who are struggling or suffering in any way”.
The Genazzano Social Justice Committee, the Mission Representatives and the St Vincent de Paul group sat down to work out how the College community could take up the challenge provided by Family Week.
Companionship is part of the Genazzano ethos, echoing the charism of the Faithful Companions of Jesus who founded the school and so the task of raising awareness of the struggle many families face at this time, is supported by the College vision. There are opportunities in a school community to do this and we decided to design a desktop for the College website that would remind us all, when we opened our computers that this was Family Week. Talia Contini, the Arts and Communication Prefect designed a great image that provided such a reminder. The Daily Bulletin always contains a prayer and for this week our College prayer suggested our need to support all families in whatever circumstances they experience.
As a more practical strategy, we decided to organise a blanket and warm clothes collection for our local St Vincent de Paul conference. As the different groups of students met to plan this action, the Mission Representatives, the Social Justice Representatives and the St Vincent de Paul group we were aware of the ties that bound us into the community, the family, of the school. The Genazzano students and staff responded generously to this appeal and we delivered a pile of bedding and clothes to the staff at the Vinnies Opportunity Shop in Collingwood. These items will assist some of the most vulnerable members of the Melbourne community stay warm during the coming winter months.
Genazzano is a P-12 College and for our younger students, we organised a Jump4Justice day, where the Prep -6 students collected sponsors for their skipping and were able to raise $944.40 over a couple of lunchtimes. We are really grateful for the generosity of our parents and grandparents who supported this appeal.
On 29 May the whole school will be involved in a Dress for A Cause Day. On days like this the students pay a gold coin and pay for the privilege of coming to school in casual clothes. Proceeds from the day will go to support Catholic Care whose values include the responsible use of resources.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the importance of the family. He said “Within the family, children develop their potentialities, discover their dignity and prepare to face their individual destiny.” In our experience of Family Week we have tried to help with the support all families need to achieve this. In our efforts we have reflected on the great gift our own families provide to all of us.
Genazzano Social Justice and Mission Group
Images courtesy of Genazzano FCJ College.