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.
The 2019 Peru Pilgrimage departs for Lima, Peru in March of 2019, marking the second time Vancouver College has participated in this unique service trip. Their spring Pilgrimage will see the boys working with those marginalized by poverty and injustice.
In preparation for the mission, 12 students, 3 teachers, and one alumni parent went on a one day retreat on Saturday, September 29th 2018. The day started with a prayer and was followed by a hike in North Vancouver to Norvan Falls. The group finished the day by going to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Centre where Father Garry LaBoucane presided over mass and a potluck meal. The students were able to build community by participating in a baptism, building camaraderie, and reflecting upon the upcoming mission.
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.