Day One of the General Assembly July 24, 2015 – Salamanca
The Lord has gathered together in the city of Salamanca the large family of the VMY in order to celebrate the IV General Assembly. The delegates have come together under the words, evangelized, we evangelize. We began our work with the celebration of the Eucharist that had been prepared by the countries from the Middle East and was presided by Fr. Abdo Eid. The meeting room was then blessed by Fr. Gregory Gay, Director General of the Association after which the Assembly was officially opened by the International President, Yasmine Cajuste.
Some of those who were present during this opening session: Fr. Juan de la Rosa (Visitor of the Province of Salamanca) and Sister Eugenia González (Visitatrix of the Province of Madrid-Saint Vincent) both of whom welcomed the 40 delegations that are present at this Assembly. Also present was Maria Molina (President of the VMY in Spain) who also welcomed the delegates and highlighted the need to be living witness to the Gospel, to be evangelizers in the style of Saint Vincent de Paul.
During the morning session the delegates dealt with some business issues, the approval of the Directory, the introduction of the moderators, the secretary, and those individuals who will count the votes. There was also a discussion with regard to the method of voting. Once the Assembly was declared to be valid, Yasmine Cajuste reported on the manner in which the International Council fulfilled the commitments that had been acquired as a result of the 2010 Assembly (Lisbon). She highlighted the importance of communication and the need to utilize the new technology in order to continue to develop the ministry of the Association. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Yancarlos Carasco (a Volunteer at the International Secretariat) was asked to give a presentation with regard to the new webpage.
In the afternoon, Argelys Vega, an International Councilor, presented the various ways in which the member countries are living the Final Document of the 2010 General Assembly. This presentation was based on the information that the various countries submitted to the International Secretariat in preparation for this gathering. The submitted information dealt with matters such as spiritual life, formation, service and mission, Vincentian Family, self-financing. During the presentation, the delegates listened to testimonies from several young men and women who spoke about the reality of the VMY in their country.
The young men and women set up an exposition that shows the various ways in which they are ministering on the peripheries. Before concluding the session the candidates who had been nominated for a position on the International Council were introduced by a video which they themselves had made and sent to the Secretariat.
The day concluded with a folkloric night presented by Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean.
Translated: Charles T. Plock