At the heart of Catholic Teaching is the call to follow the command of Jesus and “love the Lord your God with heart,and with all your soul and with all your mind….and you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-41).
This love is made manifest in service of others, making a gift of ourselves for the good of the other. This service has an even added richness when it is given to those who can not repay. Each person is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26) and has innate dignity.
(Horizons of Hope) “The Catholic school community is grounded in the belief that each person is made in the image and likeness of God. The dignity of the person is the starting point for a vision for a just society – the Kingdom of God. From this vision, the Catholic school responds to a call to service, not just as a duty or obligation, but in a spirit of joyful loving that responds to the presence of God in each person encountered”.
The Dignity of the Human Person
God has imprinted his own image and likeness on human beings (cf. Gen 1:26), conferring on them an incomparable dignity … In effect beyond the rights which one acquires by one’s own work, there exist rights which do not correspond to any work performed, but which flow from one’s essential dignity as a person.
John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991,
With this in mind Nazareth College offers opportunities for students to put their faith into action, love their neighbour and be Missionaries of God’s love in the world. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of Outreach opportunities.
- Building Bridges: The Building Bridges in Schools Program assists secondary students of different faiths and values. The focus is in fostering trust, mutual understanding and respect. Students learn key skills of dialogue and share personal experiences of their lives which have shaped them. These qualities serve as foundations to negotiate and engage with each other’s differences and commonalities, and are important for leaders of our country into the future.
- Soup Kitchen: Each term students aged 16 and above are offered the opportunity to attend attend the Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen to help serve the men who attend the refuge.
- Nursing Home Visits: Offered a number of times each term for students to bring some of God’s love and joy to the people in the nursing home. Visits also take place as a part of the RE/Personal Development program for our VCAL students. Students may walk down or go in the College Bus if available.
- Blood Bank: Students who participate in a visit to the Blood Bank undergo a quick suitability interview and then donate 500ml of blood. This is then used to help a variety of people who require blood transfusions because of an ongoing illness (Cancer, Aids etc). Each blood donation saves three lives on average. Our students walk away with a feeling of having contributed to something special to those in need.
- Mini Vinnies: The St. Vincent de Paul conference (Mini Vinnies) puts their faith into action through acts of service, in line with the good works of St Vincent De Paul. The Conference members are commissioned at the Opening of the School Year Mass and students from all year levels, who want to strive to make a difference, are welcome to join. A President is appointed each year. Throughout the year, students have an opportunity to participate in several fundraising activities, raising awareness as well as much-needed funds to assist the poor and marginalised in our local and international community. They meet once a fortnight to plan their events, participate in Cluster mornings with our Primary schools and generally inspire the whole school community to get on board. Some of their works include the Mass for Social Justice Drive, the Winter Sleepout, a Christmas appeal and a winter appeal.
- House Charities: Each of the Houses has been allocated a Catholic charity and fundraising throughout the year goes towards these charities.
- Project Compassion: Each year during the season of Lent each homeroom supports Project Compassion as an act of Almsgiving during the season of Lent.
- VCAL Program: As a part of their Personal Development strand the VCAL students engage in a range of activities of service both within and outside the College. Some of these include working with SCOPE in the Balloon Football competition, programs at our feeder primary schools and different gardening and building projects around the College.
- Youth Ministry Reflection Days: Senior RE Youth Ministry Classes provide Reflection Days for our feeder parishes as part of their sacramental preparation program.
- Local Activities: The school also has a desire to respond to different issues of justice within our community and live out our call to service within our own community. At times there may be fund raising activities to respond to needs within our community.