Faith in Action
One of the Essential Elements of Catholic Education at Vancouver College is to stand in solidarity with those marginalized by poverty and injustice. With this mission in mind, the student outreach program was organized to place faith in action and make it a reality in our school community.
The Religious Education Department requires students at all grade levels to accomplish a "service project" as part of their completion of the course each year. In this way, students are challenged from the start to "get involved" in the world both near and far and "make a difference" for others. We hope in some small way to challenge the prevailing ethos of materialism and selfishness encouraged by business and political life today.
In addition, several school-wide initiatives take place each year to raise funds and encourage awareness that assists a number of local and international charities and organizations including Covenant House, Missions of Charity, and Doors Open.
We are excited to announce that in the 2019-2020 school year, we will offer three Faith in Action Trips:
Brownsville (November 16-23 2019)
South Bronx (March 8-16, 2020)
Peru (March 7-18, 2020)
22 Senior School students traveled to the South Bronx for 8 days, volunteering with students from three different schools in the area. Our boys spent their time at an elementary/middle school and in an afterschool program where they assisted in the classroom and with various athletic activities. The team also spent time at All Hallows, the first Christian Brothers school in North America! Through working with students in the South Bronx, our team explored the challenges these schools are facing, and formed deep connections with all they worked with.
"Twelve students and three teachers embarked on a journey of service to Peru over spring break. The experience was immersive and focused on culture, spirituality, and advocacy. The team built two homes for families in need, painted numerous other homes, and volunteered at a school. It was an extremely successful trip and its impact will stay with the people we helped as well as with the faith in action team for years to come."
- Jacob Gravelle, VC'19
With your support through fundraising, the team not only built homes for locals, but also were able to donate funds to send one local teenager to college two years sooner than he had originally budgeted for, where he hopes to study to become an engineer.
Click here for more photos and updates from their trip!
Brownsville, Texas 2018
In 2018 during Spring Break, the Faith In Action team of 12 students and 3 teachers traveled to Brownsville, Texas. The purpose of the trip was to serve the community at the Middle School and to learn more about social justice issues related to immigrants. Participants served in the Guadalupe Regional Middle School (Co-ed, Grades 6-8, 78 students), helped with the immigration centers, worked with a local parish and community, and also participated in the community garden program. Through hard work in solidarity with the poor, in sharing responsibilities in the local communities, in celebrating mass, and in daily reflection, students deepened their understanding of people in need and grew spiritually.
The Pilgrims in Perú 2017 travelled to Lima, Peru March 17th to 21st , 2017. This marked the first time Vancouver College participated in this unique service trip. Pilgrims in Perú 2017 was a unique service trip as it not only included working with those marginalized by poverty and injustice, but it provided the opportunity to work in worthwhile projects, broaden culture horizons and allow for personal growth.
12 students and 3 teachers stayed in a retreat house for 4 days where they explored the city and helped to build a house in Campo Grande. They then moved to Jicamarca where again they constructed another home. They also had the opportunity to visit an orphanage. The trip concluded with a two day trip to the Scared Valley and a visit to Macchu Pichu.