In a tradition that antedates the national meetings of Vincentian Family Collaborators East Coast Vincentian Family Collaborators met October 12 in Mother Boniface Spirituality Center, Philadelphia.
One of the long time attendees at these meeting, Lucy Saunders, past President of the Ladies of Charity USA, offers this report.
AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF COLLABORATION – “getting to know you”
To quote Fr. John Freund, C.M., “collaboration can’t be done unless you know each other”. That has proven true for the attendees at the annual Vincentian Family East (VFE) meetings. Members met in October at the St. Boniface Spiritual Center in Philadelphia to share their stories and build relationships not only for the day but for the future. Below is a glimpse of the reports presented.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station NY, reported on a federation project to open a House of Charity in the New York and New Jersey area. On October 4, Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC, was beatified in Sacred Heart Basilica in Newark NJ. It was the first beatification to take place in the United States.
The Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill, have ongoing dialogue with the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Uniontown PA in an effort to launch a collaboration project that would provide stable housing in community for 3 to 6 women.
The Sisters of Charity, New York, focus on Immigration, Global Poverty and Care of God’s creation (Climate Change). In New York, the College of St. Vincent is working with young adults giving them the Vincentian opportunity of formation, service and reflection.
The Sisters of Halifax offered to work with the Ladies of Charity in associations where the role of Vincentian Spiritual Moderators was not filled. Further follow up will take place on this collaboration with the Ladies of Charity.
The Missionary Servants of the Blessed Trinity reported that one of their members volunteered to be a convener and meet with Vincent de Paul groups and others of the family. The purpose of a convener is to educate, promote and network on systemic change projects.
The Sisters of Charity Federation reported on Seton Heritage Ministries plans for the 40th anniversary of canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton September 12-13, 2015. Four Sisters of Charity from different congregations have formed a core community at the House of Charity in New Orleans.
The Ladies of Charity have appointed five regional members as Advocacy Liaisons to further the work of advocacy by encouraging local association to become more active in this role. In celebration of their 400th Anniversary in 2017, the Ladies are planning, along with the International Association of Charities (AIC), a special event to reflect on this historical anniversary.
The Daughters of Charity St. Louise Providence have liaisons personally working with members of the Vincentian Family. This collaboration extends to the national Vincentian Family; St. Vincent de Paul Society; Ladies of Charity; Affiliates; Former Daughters/Women of Charity and local community Vincentian family animators.
In the Vincentian Marian Youth ministry, Mary Lou Rico has been appointed as the new director. She and National Board Chairman, Samanatha Kertz, attended the international VMY Moderator session in Paris. The Vincentian Mission Corps has a group of 7 serving a variety of ministries in the St. Louis area. The Vincentian Lay Missionaries will celebrate its 10th Anniversary in 2015 and by that time over 100 young adults will have ministered for a month in either Ethiopia or Kenya.
The Congregation of the Mission priests continues focusing on collaboration with the Vincentian Family and pursuing Systemic Change. The region of Panama celebrated its 100th Anniversary of the confreres coming to Panama. The Providence has heightened the Vincentian presence at both St. John’s University and Niagara University for the purpose of deepening and developing the Vincentian mission.
DePaul USA opened the Global Institute on Homelessness in Chicago earlier this year. In Philadelphia, they are opening the city’s first medical respite program while actively seeking volunteers to provide recreational activities to project residents.
An announcement was made on behalf of the Vincentian Family that this coming year is dedicated to the “New Evangelization” focusing on three key areas of fidelity in following Jesus Christ, evangelizer and servant of the poor:
- a need for personal and communal conversion;
- a need to go beyond ourselves by listening to the cry of the poor, especially those who live on the periphery of our cities and on the margins of society;
- a need to evangelize and provide new ways of pastoral care for the family.
Meeting together the VFE has witnessed the importance of collaboration and benefited from face-to-face involvement. They hope too that you will experience this important aspect of Family collaboration the next time you have the opportunity.