ST Peter Claver College at Riverview has embarked on a challenge to introduce a Marist youth ministry program to Year 10 students.
Remar is a faith, personal development and leadership skills program that began in Colombia, South America, in 1976.
It has been operating in Australia and New Zealand since 1990 based in 14 Catholic colleges in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia.
With no Queensland schools involved, St Peter Claver accepted an invitation to pilot the program this year.
Remar co-ordinator David Campbell said initially there was concern the program might not work within the college.
Mr Campbell said that, as a pilot school, he thought getting students to sign up was going to be a big challenge.
He said knowing the large time commitment required on a regular basis made him wonder whether any students would volunteer to become involved.
“Then the day came for the Remar Ministry Team to visit our school,” he said.
“The team, consisting of young people who had been part of Remar themselves for three years, and who had just left school, did their presentation, and much to my surprise, 70 Claver students said they would like to learn more.”
Mr Campbell said he was overwhelmed and his thoughts turned from: “Will we get any students?” to “We can’t possibly take that number”.
He said once students had signed up to the program they had to make a commitment to being part of an Embarkation Camp a few weeks later.
He said “dedication and sacrifice” – two words that encompassed the values by which the Remar Rowers (students) lived – were what was required from students.
Mr Campbell said the Embarkation Camp was a turning point for many, if not all of the students, with 25 of the 26 students at the camp, held at Burpengary, committing themselves to being part of the Remar journey for the year.
He said it brought everyone closer together.
“People made new friends, and the students opened up and shared their hopes about the year ahead with one another,” he said.
“An unspoken agreement was reached and a commitment was made that members of the group could tell each other things without worrying about being judged, then or in the future.
“The Red Rowers from Claver are living out the Remar motto and ‘Sailing away from mediocrity’.
“Remar is well and truly up and running at St Peter Claver College, and the students are embracing all the challenges and rewards that come their way, and loving it.”
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