“As we respond to this call to participate in the process of the New Evangelization, we, as Vincentians have a unique contribution to offer.”
Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul
September 27th, 2015
Dear Members of the Vincentian Family,
May the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you!
On this feast of Saint Vincent de Paul I join with you in giving thanks to God for the blessing of serving God’s beloved people, especially those men and women excluded from participation in society, those people living on the peripheries, our lords and masters. We are called to serve these men and women and to find Christ in them. We are continually exhorted to not only lend our voices to their causes, but also to listen to them and to speak for them. Hopefully, as a result of our identification with them, they invite us to be their friends (cf., Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #198).
As we respond to this call to participate in the process of the New Evangelization, we, as Vincentians have a unique contribution to offer. First, during this Year of Collaboration we are presented with an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and solidarity among the almost three hundred branches of the Vincentian Family. In places where those bonds might be weak or non-existent, we are challenged to explore ways in order to establish such bonds. Such collaboration is essential if we are to continue to give witness to the reality that we are all one People of God, one Vincentian Family.
Vincent de Paul often spoke about an affective and effective process of evangelization. Our effort to make greater collaboration a reality in our midst is the best means to insure a more affective and effective outreach to the forgotten members of society.
Furthermore, I believe we have another important contribution to offer the Church as we engage in the process of the New Evangelization. In recent years we have seen different branches of the Vincentian Family join together in order to change oppressive and unjust structures that prevent people from living in a dignified manner. Our involvement in these collaborative processes of systemic change enables us to be Vincentian missionary-disciples.
Let us continue to work together in creative processes of collaborative systemic change, remembering that the final word of hope belongs to the Book of Revelation: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more (Revelation 21:1) … and may God bless us today and all the days of our life.
Your brother in Saint Vincent de Paul,
Rev. G. Gregory Gay, C.M.
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