August 21, 2013 – Convened by Father Ziad HADDAD CM, Visitor of the Congregation of the Mission in the Middle East, the leaders of the various branches of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon had their first meeting as one Vincentian Family. The meeting took place at the Provincial House of the Congregation of the Mission in Beirut.
Together they agreed on the importance of forming a National Vincentian Council bringing together all the branches of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon in order to collaborate and to work together in a more efficient and simple way. The national leaders commit themselves to act and to work together for the sake of the poor, to pray together and to learn together to better evangelize and serve the poor…
A Coordination Committee was formed composed of a representative of each branch. The committee’s role is to coordinate the work between the different branches and to reflect on possible collaboration mechanisms…
First gathering: “Hand in hand”
Sept. 27, 2013 – The first gathering of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon took place in the Basilica of the Miraculous Medal in Achrafieh-Beirut. The meeting started with a video-message sent by the General Superior, Reverend Gregory GAY CM, to all the Lebanese Vincentians followed by a lecture entitled “Hand in hand.” The Vincentians shared their vision for what they would like the Vincentian Family to be in Lebanon and they filled out a questionnaire in order to help the National Vincentian Family Council in Lebanon draw up a plan of action for the following years. The meeting was ended with a Eucharistic Celebration followed by a cocktail party.
October 13, 2013: a date to remember
On October 13, Pope Francis beatified1 Vincentian martyrs who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The Vincentian Family in Lebanon wanted to highlight this momentous occasion, so a gathering was planned on November 30 to rejoice together with the members of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon and to give thanks to God for the new blessed and also to celebrate together the Miraculous Medal’s feast.
A 30 minute presentation of the Vincentian martyrs took place followed by an exhibition of the different branches of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon (roll-up, posters, video presentations, etc.) in order to introduce one branch to other. At the end, a solemn Mass was celebrated and booklets about the Vincentian martyrs, printed by the Vincentian Family-Lebanon, was distributed.
2016: Year of Vincentian Collaboration
A lot was going on during the last 3 years (2013-2016): Together we celebrated our Vincentian feasts, we learned about each other and from each other, we prayed together.
2016 was announced by Father Gregory as a year of Vincentian collaboration, so in order to celebrate it together, a Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of the Miraculous Medal in Achrafieh on Saint Vincent’s Feast on September 27, 2015. A lecture about “The Collaboration in Saint Vincent’s School” was given by Father Antoine DOUAIHY CM followed by a discussion around how to collaborate concretely. At the end, Father HADDAD CM announced a project launched by the Vincentian Family in Beirut considered to be pioneering a collaborative action. All the branches in the region of Achrafieh in Beirut are trying to work as Vincentians in partnership so they are putting together all their databases for the people they help and accompany. Their goal is to put together all their resources (human and materiel) in order to better serve our “lords and masters.”
1 27 (twenty-seven) Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac, 11 (eleven) priests of the Congregation of the Mission, 3 (three) Coadjutor Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission and 1 (one) laywoman, a member of the Daughters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal Association