In a wide-ranging interview on the new international site of the SVDP Michael Thio, international President of the Society of St. Vincent dePaul suggests
As Vincentians worthy of our name :
- LET us Dare to Encounter Jesus with Love and Conviction in our hearts.
- LET us DARE to DREAM DREAMS like Blessed Frederic “to encircle the whole world in a network of Charity”.
- LET us want to LIVE …. A fulfilling, loving, peaceful, Christian life align with the Gospel values of Faith, Hope and Charity.
- LET us want to CONTEMPLATE …. To meditate and discern.
- LET us want to SERVE …. Christ and mankind.
- LET us celebrate this wonderful Bi-Centenary of Blessed Frederic and LET us rejoice and give Praise and Thanks to the Lord.
- As International President General, what are your main objectives for the SSVP ?
- A more personal question: How did you become a Vincentian, what brought you to the SSVP ?
- Around the world, there are many ways of being Vincentian. What is it that unites them ?
- France is the birthplace of the SSVP. What does the SSVP gain from this attachment to Ozanam’s country ?
- During this year of Frederic Ozanam’s bi-centenary, what would you like to say to all Vincentians in France ?
- The major challenge in France is to find young Vincentians. What message will you send to young people in this bi-centenary year ?
In this period of crisis and economic insecurity, what message can the SSVP bring to the world ?
Michael Thio : We are saddened by the economic and financial woes that beset many countries in the world and has caused many hardships to people and families and Europe is no exception. Joblessness, homelessness , poverty and despair is prevalent. In many countries this posed a serious problem.
There are many Vincentian countries that are addressing the plight of more people requiring assistance and the SSVP can only do so much within their humble means. We give whatever we can along with prayer, love and affection. Show your concerns and that you care and it will be very well received by them. Give them a listening ear and it will mean so much to them.
SSVP will continue to serve with God’s Love in our hearts and hopefully they will encounter Jesus through your good deeds and find solace in Him. We will journey and pray for those we serve and treat them with dignity. Because you care you give them a ray of Hope instead of despondency. Let us attest to the words of Blessed Frederic when he said “Let us go to the poor. Let us not only speak but act and affirm by our actions the vitality of our FAITH”.
As Vincentians we serve Christ in the poor and we are bearer of Good News. We live up to our motto “Serviens in Spe” – “Service in Hope”. “We may not do great things But we can do small things with great love” said Blessed Mother Teresa. In our Christian and Vincentian act of Charity we live out the Gospel values as Christ proclaimed “As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me” – (Mt 25:40)
We pray and trust in the Lord for without Him we can do nothing. We serve and He provides. We do our best and God will do the rest. United in prayer let us invoke the Holy Spirit to continue to guide and enlighten us as we pursue our mission and vocation in our Vincentian apostolate in France and around the world.
May the Peace and Blessing of the Lord be with you.
Yours in St. Vincent and Blessed Frederic,