The Society of Mary began the Logos Project in 1999. It is now an independent organisation governed by the Society of Mary Youth Ministry Trust.
The Society of Mary continues to financially support Logos.
Logos is a youth development agency, and works with young people in the Auckland region, enabling them to make a positive impact within their communities and wider society.
The youth work team runs a range of programmes designed to develop young people, helping ground them in their values and identity. In doing so, the Logos Project helps to make these young people more fully integrated members of our society.
Since 2007 the Logos has been based in the historic Josephite convent on St Benedicts St in central Auckland. At the beginning of 2016 Logos moved a short distance to a new location in Eden Terrace.
The Logos team consists of 4 full-time workers and 3 part-timers. There are about 20 volunteers available to help them with the work.
In December 2015, Jen Martinez, who has worked at Logos for more than 10 years, became the leader the Logos team. She is undertaking a review of organisational structure and staffing needs.
Logos retreats give students an opportunity for faith formation and spiritual growth. They use practical, experiential, and reflective activities that focus on, and are relevant to, the participants.
Special Character work supports students in their personal development on a regular basis. It encourages students to take part in their school and community activities.
Logos team members nurture relationships with students and witness their personal growth. Over time their understanding of the students develops. That makes it possible for the team to better meet the needs of the participants.
At the beginning of each year there is an overnight leadership retreat for Special Character leaders from schools across Auckland.
The retreat provides an opportunity for leaders to link faith and life. It enables them to become active leaders in their respective schools. It also builds lasting relationships with students from other colleges.
The retreat also provides an opportunity for Connectors (volunteers) to bond and work together to support the retreat. It is a key moment to set the tone for the year and get everyone involved in a project together.
Jade Speaks Up is a teaching resource from Violence Free Waitakere which helps students create strategies to keep themselves safe, particularly in relation to family violence. In 2016 it will be presented in 3 schools
The programme creates a safe space for students to explore topics that would otherwise remain unspoken, and that they have received positive feedback from students on how useful it was to learn practical ways to keep themselves safe.
Connectors Programme (Volunteers)
Each year a new cohort of volunteers joins existing Connectors to make a team of 20 plus young adults.
The year starts with a series of training and induction sessions before they began volunteering on retreats and programmes.
They also assisted with the planning of events. This provides an opportunity to develop skills in project planning and management, budgeting, leading youth work activities, promotion, and completing risk assessments and evaluations.
Working with other organisations
The Logos Project collaborates with and supports other organisations including the Auckland Society of St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies), the Marist Brothers and Caritas Aotearoa.
Society of Mary involvement
Fr Kevin Murphy, the sole survivor of the original Logos team has provided school chaplaincy for many years and is well known within the schools in the Auckland Diocese.
Fr Kevin also provides support for colleges by conducting staff retreats, assisting new RE teachers and input on school charism and Catholic character.
Fr Thige O’Leary assists staff to prepare liturgies and theological content in their programmes and provides priestly ministry for activities being conducted by other members of the Logos team as requested.
He also provides regular Marist formation and spirituality as part of nurturing the organisation mission.
The provincial of the New Zealand province appoints the members of the Society of Mary Youth Ministry Trust. At present there are three Marist priests on the board, Chris Skinner, Denis O’Hagan and Tim Duckworth. The other members of the board are Sister Katrina Brill, Josephine Ayres and Laurence Caltaux.