SENIOR students from two of Brisbane archdiocese’s schools are sharing their immersion experiences in a trial, which looks set to spread further afield.
The students from St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe, and Assisi College, Coomera, are being trained to give talks to local parishes through a new initiative of Catholic Mission’s Brisbane office.
Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Mission director David McGovern said the program was an extension of the annual Mission Ambassador Program.
“The program has now introduced school students as Mission ambassadors,” he said.
“After being trained by Catholic Mission staff, the students are assigned a parish and have an experienced speaker to accompany them on their first talk.
“The talks are part of the annual appeal campaign conducted by Catholic Mission which, this year, focuses on Rwanda and the appeal theme ‘Heal the Broken Hearted’.”
The trial began with St Patrick’s students visiting parishes in the North Eastern Deanery on the weekend of August 2 and 3.
St Patrick’s regularly sends students to India to witness first-hand the Christian Brothers’ missionary work.
Students from Assisi College took part in an immersion trip to Timor Leste last year, organised by Catholic Mission.
Mr McGovern said feedback on the initiative had been “overwhelmingly positive”.
“We had favourable comments from priests, parishioners and the mentors who went with the students,” he said.
“One of the objectives of the Student Mission Ambassador concept is so parishioners can see young people active in the Church.
“It also gives the students a chance to relive some of their experiences of having been overseas on immersion and realise that they can contribute to the universal work of the Church.”
Mr McGovern invited any school wanting to explore the potential for a partnership with Catholic Mission to contact him on (07) 3336 9239 during business hours.
The introduction of the Student Mission Ambassador Program came as Catholic Mission drew the curtain on another successful series of drama performances in local secondary schools.
The interactive drama production Village Space delivered a powerful reminder of the significant challenges faced by refugees.
With a focus on real-life stories in parts of Africa as well as immigration detention centres in Australia, the drama troupe performed before 1000 students in Catholic schools across Brisbane and outer regional areas during a two-week tour in July.
Village Space also reached outside Catholic schools to include Brisbane State High School.
In the past year more than 11,000 students, teachers and adults around Australia have taken part in the interactive production.