On July 7, 2015 a dozen Vincentian Family branches located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA region gathered to celebrate the Year of Vincentian Collaboration at the request of Rev. Greg Gay, CM, Superior General. Through celebration and prayer, participants became more familiar with each other’s ministries and more deeply connected to the spirit of Vincentian collaboration. As they shared their stories they realized the truth of the year’s motto “Together as Vincentians we make a difference”.
Relationships were built. Eyes were opened. Partnerships were formed.
Over 30 people, representing various branches or Vincentian-inspired service organizations, attended the gathering at St. Vincent’s Seminary. Rev. Greg Cozzubbo, CM, local CM Superior, welcomed them all to this historical event hosted by the local area Congregation of the Mission.
Rev. Joseph Agostino, C.M. reviewed the goals of the Year of Vincentian Collaboration: to celebrate, to connect and learn, and to serve. (His effective powerpoint is available to all VF Year of Collaboration ) Those attending shared about each other’s ministries, and made new connections for potential collaborations. Eyes opened to the variety and breadth of Vincentian works in the Philadelphia region. Homeless shelters, international development initiatives, education programs, spiritual formation, elderly care, and parish-based social justice programs were some of the great variety of works impacting our region.
Local ministries became aware (some for the first time) of the high-impact international aid work supported through offices based at the Vincentian Motherhouse in Philadelphia.
Rev. Robert Maloney, C.M., former Vincentian Superior General who led our prayer service, encouraged participants to imagine the possibilities if all of the nearly 300 Vincentian Family branches, totaling over 1 million members worldwide, collaborated collectively to impact those living in poverty.
A small microcosm of those possibilities became apparent at Saint Vincent’s Seminary that evening. As the motto of the year says “Together as Vincentians we make a difference”