The Vincentian Family Executive Committee (VFEC) met at the Casa Maria Immacolata in Rome, Italy on January 22, 2016. After the Welcome Remarks of the Superior General, Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, the meeting started with Fr. Joe Agostino, CM, Vincentian Family Office (VFO) Coordinator, who gave the group an update about the newly created VFO.
A series of reports on the following topics were also shared:
- .famvin — website and other media (Fr. Aidan Rooney, CM),
- Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative (Yasmine Cajuste),
- The Vincentian Marian Youth (Yancarlos Carrasco),
- MISEVI and AMM (Fr. Greg Gay, CM)
- Systemic Change (Fr. Giuseppe Turati, CM),
- Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission (Mark Mc Greevey), and
- Vincentian Family Collaboration at the United Nations (Fr. Greg Gay, CM)
PRESENT: AIC – Alicia Duhne, International President and María Eugenia Magallanes (Delegate of the International President of VF); Congregation of the Mission (CM) – Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, Superior General (in his final coordination of this Executive Committee) and Fr. Joe Agostino, CM (Coordinator of VFO); Daughters of Charity (DC) – Sr. Kathleen Appler, DC, Superioress General, Sr. Françoise Petit, DC, Assistant General (New Committee members, recently elected to office); St. Vincent de Paul Society – Michael Thio, International President and Brian O’Reilly (International Vice-President) (at their last VFEC meeting). Branches participating for the first time at a VFEC meeting: Sisters of Charity Federation of Strasburg – Sr. Blandine Klein (President of Federation), Sr. Veronika Hauske (Executive Secretary); Sisters of Charity Federation of North America – Sr. Julie Cutter, DC, Executive Director and Sr. Elaine Haynes, S.C.L.; Congregation of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy – Brother Lawrence Obiko, C.M.M., Superior General and Brother Broer Huitema C.M.M. Translaters: Frs. Bernard Massarini, CM; Georges Maylaa, CM; Shijo Kanjirathamkunnel, VM; Patrick Issomo, CM and Faviver Manosca, CM. Vincentian Family Office (VFO) serving as the secretariat: Sr. Marge Clifford, DC and Fr. Flavio Pereira, CM.
1. Opening Prayer: Prayer of the Vincentian Family.
2. Initial Remarks: Fr. Greg conveyed his deep appreciation for the presence and Vincentian commitment of each of VFEC member. At the 2015 meeting, the VFEC recommended adding new representatives which he approved: Brothers of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy; Sisters of Charity – Strasburg; Sisters of Charity Federation – North America. Each VFEC organization has two representatives. Fr. Joe Agostino acted as the meeting Coordinator.
3. Report on the Vincentian Family Office (VFO): Fr. Joe Agostino
Update on the Mandates to VFO
a. Linguistic needs are French and Portuguese.
b. Data gathering helps to define who we are, where we are and our VF collaborative efforts.
c. The VFO has helped some of the National Councils to meet and work together.
d. Funding: VFO has raised nearly half a million dollars this year which reflects its great potential. VF support is critical to establish credibility from foundations and donors.
1) Flow (Organization) Chart: Updated draft models will be presented for feedback.
2) Structural Issues
Site: The VFO based outside of Rome increases the potential for VF branch support, activities and functioning. The Philadelphia site will be evaluated after three years. Finances: VFO budget (with contributed services) will be proposed to the VFEC (2017) with options for potential VF branch support – suggestions and comments are invited.
2017: VFEC will review all Commission mandates, budgets and relationships to VFEC and to each other.
4. Report on the Year of Collaboration: Fr. Joe: weekly VF brfanch informational series (Connect and Learn); monthly VF collaboration articles (Serve); Year of Collaboration: Pentecost 2015-2016.
5. Proposal from the Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission (VFCC) for 400th Anniversary of the Charism by Mark McGreevy on the proposed theme of Welcome the Stranger.
6. Vincentian Family Commission Reports
a. Systemic Change: Fr. Giuseppe Turati, CM. Focus 2015-2018 Strategic Plan: seminar action planss; national and regional structures; effective communication tools; leadership and commission development.
b. Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission (VFCC): organizing 2016 VF meeting, establishing succession planning Guidelines, designing follow up of VFCAP experience, and conducting international VFCAP workshops. Approved new Commission members: Dee Mansi (AIC, VIP, U.K.) and Andrew McKnight (DePaul International, France).
c. Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative (VFHI): Yasmine Cajuste. Focus: sustainable employment (Fish Farm and planned agricultural projects) and education (feeding program and a process to attain quality education in 17 schools) primarily in the Central Plateau area around Lahoye. Fiscal Audit successfully completed. Potential new VF branches interested in collaborating with VFHI include the Trinitarians and the Sisters of Charity, Convent Station.
d. .famvin: Fr. Aidan Rooney, CM. .famvin helps us to know and to share our vision, mission and objectives by building a virtual Vincentian presence in the world (connect, collaborate and evangelize). .famvin now reports directly to VFO instead of the Congregation of the Mission.
7. Reports: VMY – MISEVI – AMM (organizations reporting directly to CM Superior General)
8. Presentation by Yancarlos de Jesus Carrasco de los Santos (President, VMY) and Fr. Irving Amaro, CM: A collaboration challenge in this Year of Collaboration: the need for VMY members who “age out” need to find another VF organization. Awareness, welcoming and transition are needed for former VMY members to strengthen other VF branches with their presence and experience. This requires support and acceptance: a personal invitation is the best approach.
9. Vincentian Family Collaboration at the United Nations: all agreed to support this collaborative effort.
10. Open Agenda
a. In collaboration with the VF, produce documentaries on the lives of our Founders, saints and beatified members of the Family to spread their witness in the places where we evangelize. The St. Vincent de Paul Society, along with the CM Director of Communications, will collaborate with in this process.
b. Up date the Liturgy of the Hours with VF Feasts (including Readings and Prayers proper to Feast Day Eucharists, Lauds and Vespers). Proposed from the recent DC Assembly which suggested including recently VF Beatified, Blessed and Saints. A binder for updates and in many languages was approved.
c. Centre International de Formation (CIF) month long program developed for all VF branches.
d. International Secretariat of Vincentian Studies (SIEV): online Vincentian spirituality course is planned.
11. Next VFEC meeting: January 6-7, 2017, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
Special thank you to those attending their last VFEC meeting: Fr. Greg, Michael Thio, and Brian O’Reilly.