The International Vincentian Family Office (VFO) wants to strengthen the efforts of the National Councils in the continuous training of all branches and members who make up the Vincentian Family in each one of our countries.
On June 12, the Vincentian Family from El Salvador (FAVISAL), held a meeting in the capital of this Central American country, to present and receive the first reports of training (as FAVISAL) that will strengthen the spirit and Vincentian commitment across the country.
We thank the Vincentian Family of the Republic of El Salvador, for reminding us of the way and for strengthening us in following the journey they have undertaken. We take this opportunity to share the contents thereof.
Flavio Pereiera Tercero, C.M.
Perfection does not consist of doing many things,
but of doing things well!
A prayerful, simple, joyful and fraternal encounter
characterized by solidarity, availability, and good will!
Those words could be used to define our formation session which began last Sunday, June 12. When we opened our session with the celebration of the Eucharist, we were given the surprising news that the Eucharist would be transmitted on Channel 8 (the Catholic National Broadcasting System)…this provided us with the opportunity to share the work of the Vincentian Family with a nationwide television audience.
After breaking bread together, we gathered together in the meeting room at the Vincentian Seminary where we initiated our work with a prayer and with a greeting from each of the branches of the Vincentian Family, that is, the Vincent de Paul Society (SSVP), the International Association of Charity (AIC), the Daughters of Charity (DC), the members of the Congregation of the Mission (CM), the Miraculous Medal Association (AMM) and the Lay Vincentian Missionaries (MISEVI).
It was then explained that each branch in the interior of the country had designated a representative to receive the formation material and that said individual would then share that material with the other members of his/her branch of the family.
A certificate of honor was given to María Elena Orosco de Parker, former president of the International Association of Charities in San Salvador. For many years this dedicated woman ministered at the Hogar San Vicente de Paúl where she cared for the elderly residents. At the same time, she accompanied the wider Vincentian Family during the time of their “solidarity banquets” which took place in the streets of the city and in various hospital. She will very soon take up residence in the United States. At the time of receiving this recognition, Maria Elena expressed her gratitude to the Vincentian Family for providing her with an opportunity to share with so many people the gifts that God had bestowed upon her. She also expressed her gratitude for the heritage of the Vincentian charism which continually encouraged her as she reached out to her sisters and brothers who were suffering in so many different ways.
Then, Julio Castellanos, the creator of the formation guides that have been approved by the National Council of the Vincentian Family in El Salvador, explained how each one of the various guides could be used the by local groups.
Within the framework of our short-term goals we have begun to implement a visitation plan to each of the national regions. The council members are visiting each area where there is at least one branch of the Vincentian Family. During these visits Julio Castellanos is able to explain to the groups the use of the various formation guides.
After a break, Judith Guerra, (President of the Vincent de Paul Society) shared with us her recent experience as a delegate to the General Assembly of said Society. She had been in Rome and participated in the election of the new International President (Renato Lima de Oliveira). During her visit she had the opportunity to be near to the Holy Father and she brought to all of us the blessings of the Pope (we could only imagine the joy she must have experienced being in the presence of the Holy Father). Another wonderful witness was given by a young woman who is a member of the Vincentian Marian Youth Association. She spoke about the manner in which she has been accepted by the group, accompanied during her spiritual journey and empowered to share her gifts and talents with others.
Due to the absence of the Secretary, another member of the gathering offered to take on that responsibility and fulfilled that role in a wonderful manner.
We were informed of some communications received at the national level, and the motivation from Father Flavio Pereira, CM, of the International Office of the Vincentian Family, who has has encouraged us and impelled us to work together with greater unity while sharing our various experiences. In addition to the next formation session which will take place during the month of November, the annual Vincentian Encounter will take place on Sunday, September 25.
During this gathering it was reported that work is being done to accomplish another short-term objective, namely, developing a directory of the presence of the Vincentian Family in the various regions of the country. Such a directory will facilitate formation on the local level, enable us to better plan collaborative projects and, finally, in times of crisis will enable us to respond in a more effective manner.
We want to thank the various groups for the manner in which they prepared and facilitated this formation session: the various dynamics (VMY), food (AIC), conferences (DC and members of the national council), meeting facilities (CM), paper and supplies (MISEVI), formation (AMM).
At the conclusion of our time together there was an opportunity for some pictures. After renewing our commitments, we concluded our session in the same way that we began, with prayer…asking God to bless us and unite us as brothers and sisters so that we might accompany our sisters and brothers who are poor and marginalized.
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM
Download a PDF Photo Gallery here.
Download their formation materials in Spanish here.