St Pius X has a very active emphasis on Social Justice. Awareness and action to create socially just and equitable conditions for all is promoted as a part of school life.
Some of the social justice activities students can be a part of include daily prayer in care groups, invitations to be part of social justice action events, belonging to the St Vincent De Paul group (Vinnies), visiting nursing homes and preparing care packages for Seafarers. Students are also encouraged to show support for refugees and asylum seekers and caring for creation.
Students also raise funds to promote social change through our annual Project Compassion Appeal (Caritas) during lent, through a House competition, Vinnies Winter and Christmas Appeals (care group hampers), Harmony Day and St Patrick’s Day, Mission Month, Socktober (Catholic Mission) and St Pius X Feast Day market stalls.
These funds go towards various causes such as homelessness, refugees, international development and animal welfare.
The St Pius X Vinnies group has been operating in the school for many years – since the time of Sr Marie Therese Fahey.
The group meets regularly and raises money for the Fred Hollows Foundation, Gemma Sisia’s School of St Jude in Tanzania and Mary McKillop East Timor Foundation which helps people in need in Africa, Asia and Australia. The group also raises money to help those in need locally.
The group regularly visits the St John’s Nursing Home at New Lambton – see photos in the Gallery (under News & Events) and young people at the Orthopaedic School at Waratah.
The group also visited the YWAM (Youth with A Mission) ship in 2010 when it docked in Newcastle. Staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, the YWAM ship travels to countries in need around the world to help residents who have medical problems.
In 2010 we also had a visit from Connor Ashleigh, a photographer and human rights advocate who travels to the poorest countries in the world to raise awareness of human rights issues.
The Vinnies group also visited an Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Newcastle last year and listened to a talk by indigenous leaders about aboriginal culture and food of the area before getting to share a bush tucker meal.
The St Pius X Vinnies group also meets with other Vinnies groups from the diocese at least once a year, usually at St Francis Xavier’s College in Hamilton. They listen to guest speakers talk about activities the students can get involved in to help those less fortunate in Australia and overseas. It is also a fun day where students get to share a BBQ and form friendships with students from other schools throughout the diocese.
At the end of each year the Vinnies group hosts a Christmas Party at New Lambton Pool. We invite the members of the Vinnies group from San Clemente High School, Mayfield to share in the celebrations with us. A good fun day is always had by all and the Year 10 members of Vinnies are farewelled as they move on in their education to new schools. The Vinnies group is a wonderfully positive, caring group of students who regularly reach out to help those in need within the school and beyond.