“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body.” (1 Cor 12). The different ministries at Villanova College are like different limbs. And just like the body comes together, so too do our ministries complement each other in achieving important initiatives and events. As with a body, it’s integral that new growth occurs each year, so that each particular generation of students feels free to discern new avenues through which to build a better community. The actions of the ministry groups are meant first and foremost to deepen community spirit. We also seek to raise awareness of the experiences and stories of those within our community who might be seen or heard least. When appropriate, we also offer our direct services to anyone in need of a friendly hand or smile, remembering that we are very likely to receive far more than what we humbly provide.
Current Ministry Groups
The Green Team is passionate about the environment. As a result of this passion, Green Team regularly engages in acts of stewardship, cleaning up our local waterways and school environment is one of our regular initiatives. In the past, the Green team has created a Villa garden, planting vegetables and herbs as well as installing beehives as a result of the passion and dedication of Tom Price and the Green Team.
If you are passionate about the environment and enjoy getting your hands dirty in the garden, or cleaning up the local waterways, the Green Team is for you!
Young Augustinian Youth Ministries (YAYM)
YAYM is the main vehicle for Middle Years students to suggest, plan and action projects that have benefits for our school and both the local and international community. If you have been to a Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day stall or soft drinks last year, you attended and supported a YAYM initiative that raised funds for a range of worthwhile causes such as Emmanuel City Mission and Rosies.
Other YAYM initiatives include the Social Minecraft Club, Colour for Cancer and a plogging race (a race to pick up as much rubbish as possible) to clean up our school environment as well as the pastoral noodle cup competition. If you have great ideas to support worthwhile causes, come along to a YAYM meeting and have your voice heard.
Australian-Filipino Augustinian Solidarity (AFAS)
The pioneering work of a group of teachers and students in 1992 set the building blocks for AFAS. This ministry has since become our main link to assisting students in Filipino schools and increasing awareness of life in the Philippines. In 2023, AFAS is celebrating its 30th year of reaching out in solidarity and friendship to communities in the Philippines.
Help is primarily given through fundraising each year for scholarships to keep about 16 students at high school who would otherwise be unable to continue their schooling. The AFAS also funds many significant projects at Villanova’s three Filipino sister schools based on local priorities.
Every two years, a group of staff and students goes out to the Philippines to work alongside the locals on development projects, while also enjoying the privilege of wonderful hospitality. As one member of staff put it, this encounter often provides “a life-changing experience”. During COVID we have been unable to travel but have instead lauched the Global VILLAge providing a chance to connect via video conferencing with our friends in the Philippines.
Our annual Mission Week is another way of inspiring the community to support the AFAS and its mission through humbly-sought donations.
St Vincent De Paul
Villanova acts as a branch of the Catholic Church, working with local churches to help the people on our doorstep who might be quietly struggling. Each year the Senior School traditionally organises Easter and Christmas hampers to go to local homes where the luxuries and basic goods provided might make a difference at a testing time of the year.
Boys and staff deliver the hampers themselves, creating an eye-opening and transformative experience. The impact is felt when our boys learn how thankful and overjoyed their local community is that the “school on the hill” is actually thinking about them.
Vinnies also holds an annual sleepout to gain some empathy and understanding about homelessness in Brisbane.
Young Christian Students (YCS)
YCS is the ministry that supports Villa students, reaching out to support our fellow Villanovan brothers in friendship. Building connections and bring 3 schools together to make 1 college. You may see the Senior School students venture into the Junior and Middle School Playground to engage in football, handball and more. But it’s not all about the lunchtime fun, there is an underlying aim here of supporting positive mental health in the student body. Positive mental health messages are encouraged through friendship forged on the handball court but also through the support of R U OK? Day.
Emmanuel City Mission
Over recent years Villanova has been developing a strong partnership with Emmanuel City Mission working in the endeavour to support those experiencing homelessness in our city. In 2022 we made a commitment to serving every Thursday morning and providing breakfast and an opportunity to meet and engage with those who seek refuge, support, community and belonging at Emmanuel. Over 300 students attended and in addition to this staff attend the holiday periods as well as accompanying students during the term. Our whole community supports the fundraising efforts to provide these weekly breakfasts and families, parents and staff contribute generously to this.
Emmanuel City Mission creates a space where our students can meet and be amongst people who are experiencing homelessness. The food is of course important, and the comradeship of preparing it together as part of the Villa community is of great value, but the moments of greatest impact for our students is when they get to engage with those whom Emmanuel serves. It is the greetings and sense of good will. It is watching people arrive looking distressed and seeing that here they will be received, listened to, cared for and supported. It is certainly a place of seeing faith in action. The moments that most impact the boys are when they hear some of the stories of those visiting ECM, and most commonly it is realising the similar shared desire for a happy life that most impacts the boys. Often students comment it is the first time they have really had the opportunity to share a meal and chat with someone who is experiencing homelessness. The stereotypes seem to fall away in the encounter, and the boys realise that people from all walks of life, with all sorts of skills and experiences, can find themselves experiencing homelessness. They also realise that people who are most marginalised and vulnerable in our society are amongst those with least support, resources and opportunities. They also realise that they do really enjoy helping others and that in the encounter they also receive much.
After a comprehensive training program, staff, along with Year 11 and Year 12 students, are able to join the Rosies volunteers in bringing tea, coffee and snacks to the homeless on the streets of Brisbane.
The most important gift our boys can offer our disadvantaged community members is that of conversation and time. Some staff members are also part of the regular volunteer teams, and a range of students and staff are involved in a Rosies fundraiser each year.
Eucharistic Ministry (Senior School)
Towards the end of Year 11, students can apply to complete a Eucharistic Minister course. This course covers the history, development and theology of the Eucharist, as well as the practicalities of serving our Villanova community as a Eucharistic Minister.
During their senior year, students serve as Ministers at all College masses and their own graduation mass. There are also opportunities available for further spiritual development and a deeper understanding of serving in a Christian context.
Liturgical Music Group
The Liturgical Music Group comes together regularly throughout the school year to learn and play music at College masses and other liturgies. It is an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to learn an instrument while further enhancing their connection to God.