In a wonderfully personal article, noted Sister of Mercy, Camille D’Arienzo, interviews her 90 year old uncle about his more than 50 years of experience with the Vincent dePaul Society.
From the interview…
What benefits did you take from that involvement?
Being a Vincentian made me understand that there were many poor among us. I realized that the poor and those in need did not bring it on themselves in most cases, as people accuse them of. I also realized: “There but for the grace of God go I.”
From the conclusion of the conversation…
Is there anything in it you would change?
I wish that every parish would have and support a St. Vincent de Paul conference and have fewer “business managers” and more people-to-people volunteers.
I hope that someday, the Catholic church leaders will realize that we live in a new century. So our thinking in many ways must change without changing our belief in God and all his works. For our leaders, from the pope on down, this has to do with the questions of married priests and female clergy, for starters, and the unspoken and unthinkable topic, birth control.
What else would you like us to know?
I would like to acknowledge some of the wonderful people I have met in my years as a Vincentian. They are good people.
And I would say to everyone: “What would you do if you had no place to sleep tonight? If you had no food to feed your children? And if you could only believe that tomorrow would be as bad or worse than today?”
In my 50-plus years with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I have found that many families we see as Vincentians are only a paycheck away from that situation.
So please do not forget to pray for those in need and to thank God for what you have and remember to share it in some way with those in need.
Be sure to read the whole interview.