Growing the Society in Sutherland

The group surrounds a cut out of Pope Francis at a Welcome Friend orientation session led by Suzanne Schmitz.

Mouna Roche, the family educator at St Patricks School in Sutherland has been very active in engaging new members in the St Patrick’s parish and school in Sutherland. She has been working closely with Chris Watson, President of the Sutherland Conference, recruiting and mentoring parents and teachers from the school to join with Sutherland Conference to assist those in need in their local community. “It is so rewarding because the parents and teachers are passionate, generous and keen to work for social justice,” said Mouna.

The role of the family educator is to nurture strong and meaningful relationships between parishes, parents and schools and to explore new models of supporting the spiritual, social and educational formation of families. There are family educators in the Catholic parish schools throughout the Sydney Archdiocese and Mouna believes that many more Conferences could be developed or started in this way.

There is also a growing the student membership in St Patrick’s school Mini Vinnies Conference. In August the Mini Vinnies group organised what they think is the most exciting event of the year– the Recycled Project Runway 2016. It was a celebration of sustainability through recycling and a call to social justice to end their Vinnies Winter Appeal. All year the students had collected donations of clothes which culminated in a fashion show where they modelled their recycled clothing. They also had market stalls with men’s, women’s, kids’ and babywear on offer at the best prices in town!

“The kids wanted to show everyone that it’s cool and trendy to wear recycled clothes,” says Mouna. “The other messages they were giving is that we can all help the environment by reducing waste, giving to those in need and raising funds for the good work of the Society.

“It was an outstanding success with a 1970s theme and music. Everyone had a fantastic time and significant funds were raised to support the Vinnies Winter Appeal.”

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