I have particularly enjoyed following Marcellin College’s Twitter feed this week. Seeing the posts from this year’s Remar Blue Bourke Solidarity Camp have brought back some incredible memories of when I was privileged to travel to Bourke in 2017 with that year’s Blue Caravel.
Each year our young men in their second year of Remar head to Bourke to volunteer for a week in the St. Ignatius Primary school. This experience of solidarity with people on the margins – not just geographically, but in terms of opportunity, financial position, and in some cases health – is a key part of the Remar Blue Caravel’s experience of developing their understanding of what it means to put our faith tradition into practice. Each year throughout the course of their nine days in Bourke, our young men learn a great deal about generosity, love, compassion and solidarity as they are welcomed into the Bourke community. This is a community with a variety of challenges. While our boys complete general maintenance work around the school that there may not otherwise be the funds to support, more importantly they provide positive role models for many children who don’t have a lot of teenagers to look up to in their lives. Each year attendance at St. Ignatius during the week of our visit is higher than at other times during the year, as many children want to come to school to play with our young men; the price of which is to allow our boys to work with them in their classes on their reading. I remember how happily one young indigenous boy showed one of our young men how well he could read! This annual event challenges our Blue Caravel members to develop a better understanding of solidarity – what it involves and why it’s important - and how easy it is to share Christ’s love with others. I look forward to sharing this year’s immersion with you in an Eagle article next term.