Servite College students are reaching out to others like them around the globe through three pilgrimage opportunities.
The only Servite school in Australia is helping its students connect to the Servite Order’s work overseas by giving them the opportunity to be part of an annual pilgrimage.
Servite College in Tuart Hill offers students from Years 10 to 12, the opportunity to participate in a pilgrimage to India, America or Florence.
Most recently, 10 students and four staff returned from the Indian pilgrimage where students spent time in classrooms and school grounds getting to know the children, their lives and their needs.
Servite College Principal, Philip Cox, said the pilgrimages attract different sorts of students for different sorts of reasons.
“We’ve been working hard with the other pilgrimages to create a sense of the Order internationally,” he said.
Students departed for India on 27 December for the three-week pilgrimage, which covered about 4000km of the country.
Principal Cox said the Indian pilgrimage focussed not on sightseeing but on changing the lives of the students.
Over the three weeks, the students visited a number of Servite schools, convents and priories.
Every year Servite College fundraises money for Servite schools and parishes in India.
Principal Cox said in visiting these schools and parishes students support financially, they can see for themselves how important it is that they continue to support these communities.
Servite schools in India teach a range of students and specialise in helping students with special needs.
One isolated rural school the Perth students visited runs a special programme to educate mothers who missed out on school as a child because they were required to work the land for their families.
The school also provides the mothers with the vocational skills to give them and their family’s financial security.
There are more Servite students in India than throughout the rest of the world combined.
Servite College’s next pilgrimage is in September when 14 students will visit a boy’s school in Anaheim and a girl’s school in Omaha.
Students will also visit the Order of the Servants of Mary headquarters in Chicago, staying with the friars.
During the Christmas period, the Florence pilgrimage will take another group of students to the birthplace of the spiritual centre of the Servite Order.
The group will also visit Servite schools in Paris and England.