The Cardoner Project and the Two Wolves Mexican Cantina, a non-for profit Society of Jesus organisation for young adults, gave heartfelt thanks to their founder, CEO and mentor Fr David (Dave) Braithwaite SJ, on the afternoon of Sunday 10 November with Mass and then open air canapés at St Benedict’s Church Broadway.
Fr Dave spoke on the day on his own personal journey of direction inspiring him to start the project. “When I was a young man I was just drifting- I felt lost,” he said. “So I wanted to create something for young men and women in a similar positions to give some direction.”
Involvement in Cardoner includes opportunities to deepen the human, spiritual and intellectual formation in a grounding of love of the poor in the service of the Church. Volunteers for Cardoner can assist in Society of Jesus mission schools located in nine countries around the world including Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Fr Dave spoke of inspiration for the young adults in Australia in discovering their faith by volunteering overseas. “We discovered a richness of faith with our overseas communities,” he said.
The Cardoner Project meets regularly for spiritual formation and volunteering at the Two Wolves Mexican Cantina restaurant in Broadway. Proceeds go towards funding overseas missions.
Robbie Graham, the incumbent CEO of the Cardoner Project, spoke on the impact the group had had and will continue to have in the Church in Australia.
“The Church more than ever needs leaders,” he said. “The Cardoner project has young people involved in spirituality ministry and giving their time. It is perhaps the most important young adult engagement program in the country.”
Jaron Choe, resident at Bellarmine House, a men’s boarding house associated with the Cardoner, spoke highly of his mentor. “Fr Dave is a voice of truth especially in a world of so much distraction,” he said. “He’s provided so much guidance to hundreds of young men and women he will continue to be a light of love in our lives”
Mathilde Farley also a volunteer at Cardoner spoke to The Catholic Weekly on her positive journey at Cardoner.
“I’ve never experienced a place of such acceptance and opportunity as Two Wolves Cantina and Cardoner,” she said. “The people I’ve met and the things I have done- I’ve met some of my best friends here.”
Fr Dave was hopeful of the future of the Cardoner and thanked God for the grace in allowing him to endure. “Things bode well for the future here,” he said. “I thank God for his help- I have been just a conduit of grace.”
Fr Dave, will be moving to Lavender Bay to complete his doctorate in theology.
For information about the Cardoner Project or to join visit their website.