Dear Members of the International Vincentian Family,
As you know, Fr. Greg Gay has invited the Vincentian Family to celebrate a “Year of Collaboration” from the Feast of Pentecost, May 24, 2015 to the Feast of Pentecost, May 15, 2016. Our theme is “Together in Christ we Vincentians make a Difference.”
Our efforts for this year will be coordinated by the Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission (the VFCC). What follows below are (repeated) the recommendations which were made for the initial celebration on the local and regional levels.
Our Pentecost 2015 theme is “Thanksgiving.”
The Vincentian Family is encouraged to gather to give thanks to God and to celebrate together. Below are three readings of St. Vincent that you may include with your prayer service or Mass of Thanksgiving. You may want to include time for testimony or a celebration of what has been done by the local Vincentian Family.
St. Vincent reading options:
a. TO JEAN DE FONTENEIL August 29, 1635; Coste volume 1, #204:
“I am also overwhelmed by the charity you have extended and keep on extending to my poor brother.’ Because you have done all this for the love of God, and because gratitude for so many kindnesses is beyond our power, I beg Our Lord, Monsieur, to be Himself both your thanks and your reward”.
b. TO JEAN DE FONTENEIL December 7, 1634; Coste volume 1, #189:
“Now, for all that, Monsieur, I thank you most humbly and beg Our Lord Himself to
be your thanks and reward and to shed upon you more and more abundantly His graces and blessings. O Monsieur, how my heart is filled with consolation every time the above-mentioned M. de la Salle writes to me about your zeal for the salvation of souls, your diligence in winning them over, the blessing Our Lord is bestowing on you, and the solid virtue you possess! I assure you, Monsieur, all that gives me a joy I cannot express to you and a very special fidelity in asking God to be pleased to continue for you and to increase the same graces within you”.
c. TO ETIENNE BLATIRON February 14, 1648; Coste volume 3, #1017:
“The graces God is showering on your labors are the result of His pure mercy and not of our wretched prayers. We are poor people, more liable to turn aside His blessings than to draw them down. I thank His Divine Goodness for the zeal and fidelity He gives your heart and those who are with you. In fact, Monsieur, I am so touched by the use you make of these virtues and of many others that, when the opportunity arises to animate the Saint-Lazare community to its own perfection, I relate to it the examples that yours gives us of this. I tell them of your long labors, despite the weaknesses of some of your men, your patience in difficulties, your charity and support for one another, the gracious welcome, courtesy, and consideration outsiders find in each of you. So you see, Monsieur, that honey from your hive flows even into this house and serves as food for its children. O Dieu! what a source of consolation for the whole Company, but also what a motive for our little family to humble itself before God and to do ever better and better, since He is pleased to extend and multiply in this way the good it is doing even in places where it is not present!”.
In addition, you will find attached with this letter a model of a prayer service which you might want to adapt to your local situation.
Please don’t forget to send write-ups and pictures of your celebration to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Thank you making the celebration of this year one filled with thanksgiving for the many ways in which we work together in the service of those living in poverty.