Bishop Urges Vincentians to Adopt Systemic Change

by | Mar 8, 2017 | News, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Systemic change

Bishop Kicanas of Tuscon urges Vincentians to adopt systemic change approaches. To back this up he calls for a plan to educate members of the Society and parishes in the meaning of systemic change and possible programs. (Thanks to Giulio Grecchi of the Tuscon SVDP)


(Delivered by Sister Leonette Kochan, OSF at the Council meeting of February 10, 2017)

Addressing issues of poverty in our community is one of Bishop Kicanas’ top priorities and he welcomes the Society’s focus, coming from the national office, to engage in a two-pronged course of action in caring for the poor:

1) Continuing the very vital practices of responding to the immediate needs of the poor, namely providing food, clothing and financial assistance whenever possible;

2) Engaging in a variety of actions that help to bring about systemic change with the intent of helping individuals lift themselves out of poverty and helping to address systems in our society that contribute to the crisis of poverty.

The national office of the St. Vincent de Paul Society presents this two-pronged approach to addressing poverty as a living out of the Vincentian tradition, following in the footsteps of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam. This may be a new concept to some Vincentians. Therefore, the launching of systemic change efforts needs to be undertaken with care and with the respect needed in any new endeavor. To this end, there must be a comprehensive plan for educating Vincentians and parish supporters of the Society in the meaning of systemic change and in the variety of possible actions and programs that support systemic change.

Bishop Kicanas, in his role as leader of the Church of Tucson and committed to alleviating the plight of the poor, requests that the St.Vincent de Paul Society of Tucson officially adopt this two-pronged approach, in line with the direction intended by the national leadership of the Society. If this approach is endorsed by the Council members, it becomes the responsibility of the Council officers to implement this decision.

The Vincentian tradition is exceptionally rich in its loyalty to the Church, in its Gospel centered spirituality and in its outstanding ministry carried out by so many generous volunteers. Vincentians are truly a gift to the Church. The opportunity to collaborate and support a comprehensive approach to finding poverty solutions, while still responding to the immediate needs of our brothers and sisters in crisis, can enrich our personal and communal faith. Pope Francis calls us to be persons of ENCOUNTER, which has actually been a hallmark of the Vincentian Society since its beginning. In working together, we encounter each other in new ways, thus making us more effective in our ministry of encountering others.

Bishop Kicanas extends to you his blessing and his sincere willingness to support the Vincentians of his diocese in any way he can. May you be richly blessed for all that you do for our brothers and sisters in need.



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