Collaboration and the upcoming 400th Anniversary of the birth of the Vincentian Charism were on the mind of Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, November 11, when he met with UN NGOs at the Congregation of the Mission NGO Office in New York.
“This meeting was an opportunity for me to experience a profound communion with some of the priorities of the UN 2030 agenda: the eradication of poverty and the protection of the human and environmental rights,” commented the Superior General in a Facebook post. “I also had a lunch with the representatives of the Vincentian Family at the UN. In my interactions with them I motivated the Vincentian family at the UN to continue to advocate together on behalf of the poor and on behalf of all of us.”
Fr. Mavrič said he was thrilled with collaboration occurring among Vincentian Family NGOs. The NGOs meet monthly and are currently planning a side event for the Commission on Social Development in early February. The theme relates to strategies for eradicating poverty.
Some other examples of collaboration include attending numerous events hosted by the Sisters of Charity Federation. They recently participated in the closing Mass for the Ladies of Charity Annual General Meeting at St. John’s University and engaged in a simulated poverty experience hosted by the Manhattan Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Fr. Guillermo Campuzano, CM, offered Mass and presented during a recent UN Orientation for the Daughters of Charity and St. John’s University Students. The group often participates together in UN NGO committee meetings as well as side events.
“Four hundred years ago, Vincent was connecting and networking with kings and all levels of society to meet the needs of persons living in poverty,” said Fr. Mavrič. He noted it is important for the Vincentian Family of today to collaborate in raising the voices of those living in poverty. “In example,” he said, “ if someone was to ask, ‘how may are you,’ and I respond, ‘3,000,’ it will be different than if I respond ‘3 million.’ With the greater number of voices, they will say, ‘I would like to speak with you again.’
The Superior General also spoke about the upcoming celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Charism. “This is a gift from God,” he said. “Because it gives us an opportunity to renew our own call and charism and to share them with the world.”
The Superior General and Former Superior General, Fr. Robert Maloney, visited New York to attend a meeting of Vincentian universities. With regard to education, he said, “that’s what it’s all about. We need to be educated to move forward in life.”
“He is in a mood of reflective listening,” said CM NGO Representative Fr. Guillermo Campuzano, who organized the gathering with NGO representatives. “He wants to listen to today’s main challenges in our society and hear the voices of civil society about what we are doing to address those issues. He came to visit with Vincentian Family NGO representatives but also to listen to the voices that come from here that can enlighten the Vincentian Family over the next six years, especially at the time of the 400th anniversary of the Charism.”
Attending the gathering were Guillermo Campuzano and Joe Foley, CMs; Ed Keane and Pattie Hughes from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; Catherine Prendergast and Margaret O’Dwyer from the Daughters of Charity; Julie Cutter, DC, Executive Director of the Sisters of Charity Federation; Joseph Cornelius Donnelly, from Caritas Internationalis; and Sr. Carol Ritter, RSM.
“What I appreciated was his interest in the work of the Vincentian family at the United Nation from an international perspective,” said Sr. Julie Cutter.
Commented Pattie Hughes, “He’s pretty amazing. So warm and friendly and open. Just really a decent man. A true Vincentian.”
“In my life and work, in the USA and Holy Land, at the UN and with Catholic NGOs and non-profit institutions, I have been very blessed to meet, to know, to work with members of the Vincentian Family – Daughters of Charity, fathers, brothers, laity, students, educators, and advocates – accompanying God’s people everywhere,” Joseph Donnelly. “Participating in today’s meeting and luncheon in New York in advance of the 400th Anniversary sparked hope, faith, fraternity. I am grateful, as ever, to share this common journey, this pilgrimage to where God calls us, he noted.”