Servite Principal Silvana Vicoli and St Kieran’s Principal, Mr Daine Burnett welcome students, teachers and guests to the launch of the Caritas Australia Project Compassion campaign, held in person at Servite College Tuart Hill and online, Tuesday 28 February. Photo: Servite College/Caritas Australia.
Perth Catholics have this year been invited to think about the great yes that Mary spoke when the angel told her she was to become the mother of Jesus as part of Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign.
This year, Caritas Australia’s launch of Project Compassion for Western Australian schools was hosted by Servite College and conducted online, on Tuesday 28 February.
Some 150 students and teachers were present at the College and more than 2,000 students connected online. Student leaders from Servite College and St Kieran Primary School lead the launch program, providing instructions for each session.
Caritas Australia Community Engagement Animator WA/SA, Deacon Paul Reid speaks at the launch of Project Compassion, held in person and online at Servite College, Tuesday 28 February. Photo: Servite College/Caritas Australia.
The liturgical service was opened by Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, supported by Servite Friars Provincial Delegate Fr Peter Porteous.
Welcoming those in attendance for the occasion – in person and online - was Servite Principal Ms Silvana Vicoli and St Kieran’s Principal, Mr Daine Burnett, followed by CEWA Director of Religious Education, Deacon Mark Powell who encouraged schools to make Lent a true time prayer fasting and thanksgiving.
Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson also spoke at the occasion, highlighting the Project Compassion story of 16-year-old Nepalese girl Laxmi, who lives in one of the most remote communities in Nepal.
After losing her father at a young age, Laxmi was vulnerable to falling further into extreme poverty.
Servite College students collaborate and discuss their own ideas, focusing on Catholic social teaching during the launch of the Caritas Australia Project Compassion campaign, held in person at Servite College Tuart Hill and online, Tuesday 28 February. Photo: Servite College/Caritas Australia.
With the generosity of its supporters, Caritas Australia through its partner Caritas Nepal, enabled Laxmi to join a child’s club, became a leader in her school and is now a mentor to other girls in her village.
Community Engagement Animator WA/SA for Caritas Australia, Deacon Paul Reid, said that the occasion was uniquely special in that it enabled a connection with students and teachers from 68 schools across the four Western Australia dioceses and share with them the stories of Project Compassion.
“Each year we have new stories to share – this year we have stories from Nepal, Australia, Zimbabwe and Vietnam,” Deacon Paul said.
“We work hard to bring insightful stories of communities where donations have changed their lives through the work of Caritas and Project Compassion, thanks to our schools, parishes and individual donations,” he said.
Servite College Deputy Principal Ministry Monica Maxwell said the theme for Project Compassion 2023 is inspirational and the launch program was designed to be as interactive as possible.
CEWA Director of Religious Education, Deacon Mark Powell encouraged schools to make Lent a true time prayer fasting and thanksgiving. Photo: Servite College/Caritas Australia.
“In that Mary freely accepted God’s invitation to take up a unique place in the history of our faith, students can also look to her as to how to live their faith,” Ms Maxwell said.
“The prayer Mary shared with her cousin Elizabeth says, “all generations will call me blessed”. Her yes is for all future generations, especially the youth of today,” she said.
Deacon Paul continued by saying that students were also given the opportunity to reflect and decide how the theme can be enacted within their own school environments - through events, class discussions and activities.
“On the day students were invited to produce a number of items within their own groups, with a focus on Catholic Social Teaching,” Deacon Paul explained.
“They produced their own action plans which they shared with us and these were then compiled by Caritas to share across the network of schools, demonstrating what they are doing, and intend to do, during this season of Lent,” Deacon Paul explained.
Those present at Servite College for the launch shared in a Shrove Tuesday morning tea of pancakes at the conclusion of the launch.