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Reflections and activities: St Vincent de Paul's mission

Michele Frankeni  |  10 September 2018

different coloured feet - depositphotosRead People with a mission for others in the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


  • What are the traditional ways that Vinnies helps people?
  • How are Michelle and Reg broadening Vinnies’ reach?
  • Why, according to Michelle, are young people becoming involved in Vinnies? What is it about the work of Vinnies that appeals?
  • Why is Reg so keen to help Vinnies?
  • Why do you think he chose that particular path?  


Start the class with an easy mood-booster. Ask them to turn to a neighbour and tell him or her something good that has happened to them. Try: One good thing in my life is . . .  or Something good that happened is . . . Ask them to be creative with their good thing but if they can’t think of anything let them know it could be as simple as something they liked for dinner the previous night.

Vinnies' projects: Reg’s work with migrants came out of a discussion about ways to involve more people in Vinnies. Have your own brainstorm session. Is there something in your school, community or wider community that needs attention? What could you do to help?

  • If you need to raise funds, think of some ways to do that. Talent quest, film nights, food stalls, bring a can drives, are some examples.
  • If you want to highlight an issue, then draft press releases for school bulletins or local media.
  • Perhaps you can fill a practical need as Reg did or you can join your local Vinnies group and find ways to volunteer there.  

For younger students

Teachers read or summarise the article People with a mission for others. Talk with students about the work Vinnies does to help others. As well as providing practical help, Vinnies also works to make sure everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Talk with your students about the phrase ‘walking in someone else’s shoes’ and how this is asking students to think about how others are feeling. Ask your students to trace their shoes on a piece of paper and then cut them out. Let them try each other’s cut-outs. Are some too big, too small?

Talk with them about various scenarios and how they might have felt if they were the person concerned. It might be something that has happened to them, such as being new to a class or struggling with a subject or it might be a news item or TV program where they can identify with the problems the other person is having. The idea is to get the students to 'walk in another's shoes' for a while and build empathy.


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