To give and not to count the cost — that is one of the guiding principles learnt at Xavier College that sent Pat Allen on a pathway to a job in social work, reports Kairos in an article republished by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The former Xavier College school captain has worked at Brosnan Services, a program of Jesuit Social Services, for three years and is a senior outreach case worker in the Young Men’s Assertive Outreach Program, a two-year pilot program.
Pat said: “The program is targeted at young homeless men with such complex issues and disadvantage that they are at risk of a lifetime of homelessness. We provide these young men with intensive one-to-one support.”
Pat works three days a week while studying law, and his younger brother Mick, also studying law, has recently begun work in the same program, working two days a week.
Pat, 33, said his work with Brosnan Services was fulfilling in many ways. “The Jesuits had a significant impact on the formation of my attitudes to social justice. I have worked elsewhere as a social worker for 10 years, including a stint in Dublin in child protection, but working at Brosnan Services is particularly meaningful because of its link to the Jesuits and also to Fr Brosnan.”
Pat has a personal connection with Fr John Brosnan, the long-term chaplain at Pentridge Prison after whom Brosnan Services is named. “Fr Brosnan was parish priest at Holy Redeemer in Surrey Hills, where I went to primary school, and he also baptised Mick,” he said.
“Fr Brosnan was a larger than life character. Once in the middle of Sunday Mass, he announced to the congregation, ‘Pat Allen is here today. You should have seen the amazing goal he kicked in the school football game on Friday.’ He loved his sport. He took us to watch Geelong play at Kardinia Park, and he once helped me organise a tennis tournament for the kids at school.”
FULL STORY Working for social justice (CAM)