Community Service

St Kevin’s dedicates significant resources to helping our boys put their faith into practice. We believe that Christianity calls us to a life of service. Each of our Houses has a major Community Service project. Cusack helps with refugee tutoring at St Albans, Kenny at St Mary’s House of Welcome, McCarthy at Good Grub in Kew, Purton with youth in public housing in Richmond and Rahill helps the disadvantaged find self-expression in a community writers’ workshop. This year, Kearney has embarked upon a significant project tutoring students at St Joseph’s in Collingwood. We owe thanks to our partners in all these projects who create opportunities for our boys to serve. In addition, we challenge boys to reach beyond themselves in a wide range of projects, including Project Compassion and World Vision’s 40 hour famine.

Almost every Wednesday afternoon during the school year, our Year 10 boys scatter to the four winds. They spend time assisting in retirement facilities, special schools and a host of places where the boys can help. The time and energy we give to this program says to the boys that community service is not the icing on the cake. For a school in the Edmund Rice tradition, it actually is the cake. We hope the boys will start to imagine a way of life in which reaching out to others is one of the things you do as part of every week. We also hope our boys will be more than just doers: we’d like them to reflect deeply on life’s experiences. Our community service program engages them in week by week reflections which ask them to take care in telling their story, to do so with reverence both for themselves and the people they encounter. Here are just a few snippets from these reflections:

  • I have learned that we should assist others with our whole heart and not just a small portion of it.
  • One of my strengths that really comes to the surface in community service is my ability to learn both from my mistakes and from my experiences.
  • The warmth and love with which some of the older residents speak of their children is very comforting and gives a much more real understanding of how much my parents love me.
  • It has helped me appreciate the vocation of being a parent; bringing a human being into the world is a big thing.
  • One person who comes across as compassionate is the housekeeper/chef. She is always cheerful and always making jokes and bringing laughter to an unfortunately often dull environment.
  • I have now seen how people who have once been young and had a lot more possessions and power grow old and feel like they have lost everything.
  • I’d have to say that all the workers at community service strike me as compassionate. After returning to my placement week after week and seeing and understanding just how hard it is to help the clients, the mere fact that the staff at school work there everyday just surprises me.
  • It became very frustrating hearing the same thing over and over, always having to wear a smile.
  • Parents must share a special love and bond with their children and at community service, after working with young children, I have realised how much young children look up to and imitate parental figures. I have realised that being a father is a vocation that requires much love, forgiveness, compassion, care and an open heart and a life-long commitment.
  • I believe that one of my special strengths is listening to others. This works well with the elderly because they like to talk about their life story with people listening to what they have to say.
  • Community service has shown me there is a whole lifetime to experience stories and events.

The Community Service program is quite an accomplishment logistically and we have good reason to be grateful for the work of Anne Callahan who makes the whole thing work. We are always looking for new places to send boys on community service. If you can help, please call Anne on 9832 4987 or email callahana@stkevins.vic.edu.au.


Year 10 2015 Community Service