We will be sharing a series of reflections made by Vincentian Lay Missionaries and Vincentian Mission Corps participants about their experience serving, how it has impacted their lives and how they continue to live the Vincentian Charism today.
I was first introduced to the Vincentian charism by my family; my grandfather worked at St. John’s University, and many of my aunts and uncles attended the university, so service and prayer was part of family life. My godmother later worked for SJU as a campus minister and later in University Mission. Later, I began my career and became the third generation in my family to work at St. John’s. There I had the opportunity to lead students on service experiences in NYC, Philadelphia and to Lourdes, France. These experiences allowed me to meet members of the Vincentian Family and I was encouraged to apply for the VLM. Last summer, I taught English to children ages 5-10 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia and it was the most incredible and challenging experience of my life. It was amazing to see the programs the Daughters have built and the beautiful communities they’ve created. I continue to think about and pray for my students each day and hope to return someday.
In my personal life, I try my best to live simply and to see God in all people. As a teacher, I strive to build community amongst my classes. I greet each student by name as the enter my classroom, and hope that in a small way they feel welcomed, at peace and loved. I hope and pray that my zeal for life is contagious, and in a small way can shape and inspire the next generation.
Loramarie is currently a Campus Minister at the Mary Louise Academy in New York. She was a Vincentian Lay Missionary in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in 2017.