What is the Vincentian Path? This is the question addressed in yet another in the series of downloadable trifold pamphlets from Jim Osendorf, CM The Vincentian Path (pdf)
St. Vincent realized, just like Mother Theresa, when she worked in southern India, that Christ identified himself with the poor, that Christ was present in the poor. St. Vincent grew to person-ally realize that presence of Christ in the poor whom he served.
Fr. Robert Maloney, C.M. the former Superior General of the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers, wrote, “Vincent turned the church upside down. He put the poor on top, with the rest of us in service and support, being evangelized by them and evangelizing them. Constant attention to seeking a just society necessitates solidarity, and solidarity is in the center of all Vincentian values.”
The poor are not altogether unlike us. Yes, many have mental illness. But many, unlike a lot of us, have no one to rely on when times get tough. Many of us have family and friends whom we can rely on.
And if we really want to empower the poor, we need to involve them in the process. We must walk with them, search for answers with them, involve them in discovering the solutions We do this not so that we can feel better about ourselves but to reveal to the poor their own dignity, worth, and value. This is called empowerment. These are not easy questions to address but they can be solved or at least improved. If we can combine the wisdom of age with the enthusiasm and open-minded thinking of the young, maybe we can put our minds together to help make our world into a much better place together with the poor.
This is the Vincentian Path.
Today members of the Vincentian Family work together with the poor, following this Path. Join us! We need you!