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Students connect with the 'not so young'

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Students from Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish School are improving their reading skills and forming strong connections with members of the older generation through a program in which they make regular visits to the nearby Southern Cross Care home.

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Members of the Diocesan Visitation Team joined the Year 4/5 students at one of their recent visits and were delighted to see the young and not so young spending time together. Two of the books they read to the residents were All I want for Christmas is rain and Grandpa’s big adventure, as well as other stories about drought. After reading the students potted either barley, wheat or peas as a gift for the residents.

The Diocesan team said it was a “beautiful experience” to observe such a “mutually beneficial time” between the two groups of different ages. Attending the home was just one of the many activities undertaken by the Diocesan team as part of the Albert Park-Pennington parish visitation from September 1-9.

At Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School in Albert Park the team witnessed number six of the eight gospel characteristics of a renewing parish – caring for the Earth – in action, with a tour of the nature play area and viewing the mud kitchen which is under construction.

As the students were keen to share, in July they welcomed Crows players, including big names Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts, to the school and they helped them plant trees.

At Mount Carmel College in Rosewater members of the Diocesan team met with Maddy and Matthew from the Special Needs Unit. They gave them a guided tour of the unit and outdoor garden where they are growing herbs that are sometimes used for cooking classes.

Another highlight of the long day was a visit to the Vinnies shop on St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide, which is known for its beautiful window displays. The St Vincent de Paul Conference responds to about 10 requests a week for assistance and the Diocesan team was able to view the well-stocked pantry which provides items for baskets assembled for mums and their babies in the area.

About 20 parishioners gathered in the evening for the ‘open conversation’ with the visitation team, with many questions focusing on events in the news relating to the Catholic Church.

Coinciding with Child Protection Week, it became an appropriate time to acknowledge the work of the Archdiocese’s Child Protection Unit and Child Protection Council in supporting the ‘welcoming and celebration’ of children in Catholic communities – number four of the gospel characteristics.

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