“Servant leadership is alive in our Councils.” – Sheila Gilbert, SVdP National President
Last week, March 22-25, nearly 200 Vincentian leaders from across the country traveled to St. Louis to attend the annual National Midyear Meeting at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.
The meeting began with Vincentians taking part in a seminar about Neighborhoods of Hope (NOH). This is an effort to tackle poverty at the community level. The NOH committee, headed by Jack Murphy who leads Goal 4 will enhance and maximize Vincentian poverty-fighting initiatives already taking place.
Attendees were given the opportunity to participate in a spiritual retreat presented by Fr. Tom Mckenna, CM. The retreat focused on the Vincentian Charism. In his presentation, Fr. Mckenna noted the words of Pope Francis in his Letter on Consecrated Life #21, “All Christians should be made aware of the charisms of the great saints. Without these concrete signs, there is the danger that the charity which animates the entire Church would grow cold and get blunted.”
There was a sneak peek into SVdP’s EWTN special, “Our Faith in Action: Today’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul,” and a presentation on the Society’s ongoing extension initiative.
John Ashmen from the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions came to speak to Vincentians about the organization’s work offering hospitality in Jesus’ name to people who are dealing with hunger, homelessness, abuse and addiction.
On Friday evening, attendees were invited to celebrate a special Vincentian Mass and annual commitment ceremony at the Old Cathedral, which was the location of the first SVdP Conference in the United States.
The meeting wrapped-up on Saturday with the National Business Meeting.
Throughout the meeting, Vincentian leaders were recognized for their dedication to their work as Vincentians. “Servant leaders in dioceses are taking their responsibility seriously and I thank them for it,” said Gilbert.
We want to thank all those who helped make this year’s Midyear Meeting such a success. We cannot wait to come together again in Tampa for the 2017 National Assembly August 29 – September 2.
Source: SVdP Frederic’s E-Gazette 3-30-2017