|Listen…Learn…Live - Ministry of Outreach Trip - 17 August 2015|
During the recent June holidays, five Year 11 students, Brianna Mancinelli, Caitlin Walls, Lily Covic, Sarah Crew and Tasmin Stewart, accompanied by Mrs Lina King, travelled to Saint Scholastica's College, a Good Samaritan school in Sydney, to participate in the Good Samaritan Education Ministry Outreach program. The girls were joined by 50 students and teachers from eight other Good Samarian Schools around Australia. The purpose of this trip was to live simply, be of service and embrace the Benedictine values, one of which is to “listen with the ear of the heart.”
Each girl volunteered at a selected homeless and outreach centre.
Tasmin Stewart: “I visited Parramatta Mission, or ‘Meals Plus’, which is a soup kitchen for the homeless. I met a refugee who spoke very little English, a woman who danced to ABBA with me, and a family of six whose mother was very strict about their manners. This experience has made me aware that I can do little things to help. I notice the homeless now, I drop my change into boxes and I do want to volunteer more. It was confronting and sad at times, but this immersion actually changed the way I think about people.”
Brianna Mancinelli: “My group travelled to St Mary’s Villa which has 99 elderly residents. We talked to the men and women and helped the staff with their daily activities such as Bingo, exercise, lawn bowls or walking the residents to the dining hall. It was an incredible experience meeting so many people, being able to listen to the amazing stories of their lives and helping out.”
Sarah Crew: “I visited a JCA centre, which is an organisation that provides confidence and skills to those marginalised in Australia. At the centre we were greeted by 40 smiling refugee children and we joined in activities such as crafts, sport, homework club and outdoor activities. I gained an incredible insight into the challenges that are faced by those marginalised in the Australian community and how a simple involvement can help to develop trust, empowerment and self-sufficiency.”
This was a unique experience for students and staff at Lourdes Hill College that has ignited a desire to make a positive difference in the world.