In his recent circular letter to the Vincentian Family Fr. Tomaz Mavric, Superior General, suggested the entire Vincentian Family devote some energy and study to knowing more about our heritage and role models. As I reflected on this it occurred to me that this might be an occasion to informally reflect on our heritage as agents of systemic change.

A Call to Recognize Our Role Models

He wrote …

In this year 2018, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Vincent for the first time at the beginning of the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism. Once again, I would like to suggest as first steps on this path the following two initiatives:

1. To renew and deepen our relationship with the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family around the world as models of the Vincentian

2. To renew and deepen the “Culture of Vocations.”

The Vincentian Family is presently active in 156 countries throughout the world. To celebrate the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul in the communities, parishes, schools, universities, and other services and projects in which the different branches of the Vincentian Family are involved, at the beginning of the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism, I encourage you to focus this year on the first point.

Starter Lists

I offer the following starter list of our Vincentian Family change agents both officially recognized by the church and those who are actively pioneering in the rediscovery of our heritage embedded in the charism with Vincent and Louise. (This is not to deny our role models in other aspects of the Vincentian charism.)

With this in mind, I wrote quick notes to some people I personally know have been on the front lines of systemic change. As such, I do not pretend that the following list is comprehensive or even representative of all the branches. It is merely a beginning of raising awareness of how many pioneers are actively engaged today in a variety of ways.

I here list them alphabetically and ask that as you read the list you share with us names you think should be included. Over the course of future months and years I or others could fill in background information about why we consider these members of the Vincentian Family as role models using a systemic change approach when we realize our heritage of addressing root causes of the problems faced by people we serve.

Of course, our primary role models of serving as change agents are Saint Vincent and Saint Louise. If anyone has any doubt about this please visit this ten-part series “Vincentian Contributions to the Church.

An initial list of Vincentian Family Members recognized by the Church…

  • Frederic Ozanam
  • Rosalie Rendu
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • Justin de Jacobis

An initial list of more recent change agents of the Vincentian Family…

In alphabetical order, drawn from suggestions received…

  • Joesph Agostino
  • Margaret Barett
  • Roberto Carcellar
  • Patricia deNava
  • Gregory Gay
  • Mere Guilliame
  • Thomas Augustine Judge
  • Pere Lebbe
  • Mark McGreevey
  • Robert Maloney
  • Tomas Mavric
  • Pedro Opeka
  • Mary Lou Stubbs
  • Matteo Tagliaferri
  • ???

Among the better known systemic change initiatives (in no particular order)…

This list just scratches the surface. Who else and what other examples should be added?

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