Creative programs for formation abound in the Vincentian Family, but too often we operate in “silos,” walled off from one another. Over twelve years ago, DePaul University wedded interfaith dialogue and the Vincentian spirit in a creative program called, “Vincentians in Action.” They’re on Facebook!
Here’s an excerpt from a lengthy article published online:
At the weekly VIA gatherings, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist student leaders, as well as students from other spiritual backgrounds, take turns beginning the meeting with a prayer and a communal sharing of food. After eating and socializing, a “check-in” follows in which all the students reflect on their service experience and assess their overall progress. The meeting continues with any business updates and “shout-outs”—announcements about faith, service, or justice opportunities happening that week at DePaul or in greater Chicago. Finally, the meeting ends with a 45-minute VIA portion that includes a reflection and interfaith dialogue, highlighting a theme experienced during one of the Ways. This portion is led by a senior VIA student leader.
While a diversity of themes is included each year, the core VIA themes covered during each yearly cycle tend to include the following.
Way of Appreciation
- Reflective Practice and Facilitation Techniques
- Human Dignity
- Humility and Servant Leadership
Way of Dialogue
- Social Analysis: Finding Meaning Beneath the Data
- Simplicity; Simple Living; Stewardship
- Praxis: Integrating Dialogue and Action/Conscientization
- Responding to Misunderstanding
Way of Solidarity
- Finding Oneself in Solidarity
- Being vs. Doing
- Forgiveness and Love
- St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac
- Community and Civic Responsibility
Want to learn more about it? Read on or download!