WALKING WITH THE EXCLUDED
By Zach Martorana, Communications Officer, Jesuit Mission
As the clock ticked over 9am on Saturday 9 September, there was a buzz of excitement in the air as thousands of people spilled through the gates of Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview for the annual Jesuit Mission Bazaar.
Attendees were greeted by an electric atmosphere of rides, a wine auction, food stalls, music, the lively chatter of old and new friends and all for a common purpose – to raise much-needed funds for vulnerable communities around the world.
Laughter echoed throughout the day and the sense of togetherness was palpable, with around 10,000 people coming together for a sustainable day of fundraising, a testament to the community’s spirit.
This wonderful community event took place during the Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October), a time when we celebrate and reflect on the mission given to us by God to care for our common home and respond to its needs and crises today.
Thanks to year-long preparations from parents, volunteers, schools, students and parishes, the joy-filled event left little environmental impact.
Hosted annually at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview since the 1950s, the Bazaar’s commitment to sustainability strengthens each year in a conscious effort to reduce waste.
“School students collected and recycled all cans and bottles from the event, as well as used what food wastage they could as compost. All food containers were recyclable. Leftover books were donated to other fundraising events. Bric-à-brac leftovers, including board games for children, crockery and toys, were given to victims of domestic violence,” said Katrina Varis, Jesuit Mission’s Event Coordinator.
In addition, leftover food products were donated to both Jesuit Refugee Service Australia and Jesuit Social Services Australia.
“It is great to see how determined people are to give up their time to help make a difference, while also committing to tread lightly on the environment,” said Katrina.
Proceeds from the day will directly support Jesuit Mission’s community-led programs, to empower vulnerable communities around the world to liberate themselves from poverty and injustice.
Fr Vincent Hansdak SJ, the Provincial of Hazaribag, India, and project partner of Jesuit Mission, also attended the Bazaar this year.
“It was very encouraging for me, seeing all the stalls and all the people who are really involved in the good cause of the mission. Some of them told me that they have been involved since the beginning, over 70 years ago. That is something saintly, they are the real missionaries,” said Fr Vincent.