Enter to Learn…Leave to Serve
The Mazenod College Service Programme F.O.O.L.S. (Focussed Only On Love and Service) emanates from the call of Jesus for us to be loving people. As Mazenod College is an Oblate College, we attempt to follow St Eugene de Mazenod’s example of standing with and serving the most abandoned in our community and beyond.
The F.O.O.L.S. Programme teaches students and staff that faith is not just a personal response to God’s love but is also a communal response to love one another as Jesus taught us.
The Objectives of the Programme are:
- To provide an opportunity of service in which the students can explore their own giftedness and discover ways in which they can share them with others.
- To provide an opportunity of service in which the students will make choices about areas of deep human need with which they will become involved.
- To provide an opportunity for which the students can meet persons with "special needs" and can learn from their perspectives.
- To provide an opportunity of service in which the students can discover the joy that comes with responding to others in need and to plant seeds for their life-long commitment to service.
- To provide an opportunity of service in which the students are challenged to broaden the sphere of their involvement.
- To provide an opportunity for reflection through writing and sharing with others. The students are encouraged to integrate their service experiences with their religious/spiritual formation.
Christian people throughout the centuries have sought to model their lives after the example of Jesus, who Himself was sent to bring Good News to the poor and needy (Luke 4:18). Since there are “all sorts of service to be done, but always the same Lord, working in all sorts of different ways in different people” (1 Corinthians 12:6), we would be remiss at Mazenod, if we were not to introduce our students to faith-in-action in the Catholic tradition. This tradition involves the two feet of Christian service: DIRECT SERVICE and SOCIAL ACTION. Direct service is helping people in their present circumstances. Social action is working to remove the causes of those difficulties through works of empowerment, advocacy, and consciousness-raising activities.
In 2009, the Mazenod Community has actively been involved in Blaze-Aid Bushfire Recovery with over 300 students and 4000 hours contributed to this valuable work of helping people re-build their lives after the February 7 bushfires. Mission Action Day became a key focus of our fundraising initiatives and during Term 1 a total of just under $75,000 was raised for those in need.
Service opportunities were also provided through Rosies Oblate Youth Mission’s outreach to the homeless in Melbourne. The Building Bridges Programme once again brought Jewish, Christian, Muslim students together in a community of understanding and mutual learning. A new Year 9 and 10 initiative has been to support the Monash Special Development School in the area of computers and technology. The students at Monash were also welcomed to the College Musical and this proved to be a wonderful experience for all involved and a genuine outreach to the students involved. St Vincent de Paul Collections of Food were gathered from every member of the school community and helped people in the Dandenong and Springvale areas of our community. We were once again involved in the MS Read-a-thon; Legacy and Daffodil Day. New initiatives are springing up in every year level of the school and 2010 will see a large commitment of time and resources to these programmes with them being seen as at the core of the educational experience at Mazenod.