WelCom November 2019
Anne D’Souza writes that every year since 1992, a Vinnies Mass has been held by our Archdiocese secondary schools in Wellington, Hutt Valley and Kapi-Mana, to celebrate the good works of St Vincent de Paul.
This year, the 27th Mass was celebrated on 25 August at St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt, attended by 180 including young Vinnies, Vincentians, parents and teachers. As part of the celebrations, the Vinnies each received a badge for their ongoing commitment to service and outreach to those in dire need in their local communities.
Wellington District Council SVDP President John Kennedy-Good gave a presentation on the works of the Society and congratulated the Vinnies. He said, ‘It is a great pleasure to welcome you all here this afternoon to celebrate Mass together and to acknowledge with thanks your enthusiasm, your commitment and your energy in seeking to help those in need and your faith that informs all your actions.’
Quoting Pope Francis he said: ‘Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle!…but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes…Make a ruckus! Cast out the fears that paralyse you…Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life!…Combine all this with your faith and your actions will help change the world for the better.’
Fr Thomas Rouse, a Columbian priest from Lower Hutt, enlightened the Vinnies with his homily. ‘What is my motivation for doing what I do as a person, as a Christian or as a member of St Vincent de Paul? In today’s Gospel, Jesus is saying it is not enough to simply say we had supper with Jesus and listened to his teachings. It is not a matter of what we do but why we do it. Sit and spend time with those who are the last or the least and discover in your hearts why it is you make this sacrifice and you will come to know what it means to truly know Jesus and where he is to be found. So, if your motivation or reason for doing what you do is to simply do good for those who are the neglected ones of our world then you are surely on the path to salvation.’
Vinnies leaders from each school presented inspirational speeches and the Young Vinnies received their badges. The Vinnies met all the District Council Presidents and past National President Liz Chiappini.
Thanks to Principal Simon Stack for hosting the Vinnies Mass and for the support of teachers Johnny Boon, Adam Cooper Jenny O’Brien, Jacob Harris and Emma (music teacher).
Next year, St Catherine’s College, Kilbirnie, will host the 2020 Vinnies Mass at the local St Patrick’s Church.