Students, teachers and families from upper North Shore Catholic schools are putting their faith into action by reaching out the hand of friendship and support to the needy in the local community.
When school is over for the day, groups from Prouille Catholic School, Wahroonga; Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic School, West Pymble; Sacred Heart Catholic School, Pymble; Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Waitara; St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith; St Bernard’s Catholic School, Berowra; St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga; St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga; St Edmund’s School, Wahroonga and other Catholic communities load up a van with food and embark on their mission of care.
Principal of Prouille Catholic School, Philip Ledlin, said the idea was born four years ago when the principals of seven local schools started meeting to build up a professional network and struck on the idea of outreach to the needy.
Setting out with plans to raise funds and buy a food van, the group soon discovered that the Wahroonga Uniting Church already ran a van, under co-ordinator Angela Stewart, called The Dish, but were only able to take it out one night a week, on Fridays.
“They were thrilled for us to take it out on other nights, so, after training, we commenced managing the running of the van each Tuesday evening,” Mr Ledlin said.
The local Catholic school communities soon came on board, and The Dish now supports the needy in the Hornsby area every Tuesday and Friday evening in the park area just above the new Hornsby Pool site.
“Parents and staff prepare beautiful meals consisting of three courses; an entrée, a main and a dessert,” Mr Ledlin said. “It’s lovely food that is always so well received.”
“We find we are providing both nutrition and, perhaps even more importantly, an opportunity for the needy to benefit from companionship in a loving community. We refer to the people we serve as our ‘friends’, because the spirit of giving and receiving is so often reciprocal.