As a long time Vincentian with a specific interest in social justice, I have occasionally worried about allowing our unique Vincentian charism getting lost or forgotten in the rush to address social justice and develop and advocate for systemic change which can give our friends and neighbours in need some real concrete hope for a better future. It can at times be a challenge to find the time to simply pray for help from our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, we can become detached from the reality of poverty when we stop listening to the voices of those living in poverty.
There are certainly some very good articles and resource material to be found on the Famvin website that we should seek and use on a regular basis. We have some wonderful and gifted contributors to Famvin who can help keep our focus on the importance that our faith and charism plays in our efforts to address the many issues that affect poverty and those living in this terrible condition.
As a Canadian, I have always looked forward to the articles written for Famvin by a fellow Canadian, Lynn L’Heureux of Calgary, Alberta. Lynn brought a very simple but effective way of reminding us why we are Vincentians and how important it is to share our faith and values. I have had the honour of knowing Lynn for several years and always enjoyed speaking with her at various Vincentian gatherings in Canada and the USA. She is a great example of what it means to truly love the poor. I wanted to mention Lynn in this article and to let her readers know that Lynn’s health has deteriorated to the point that she will be entering a long-term care facility. Lynn’s husband Tony, and their three children and six grandchildren are trying their best to cope with this sad news. I would ask for your prayers for Lynn and her family and if you have any comments or memories of her Famvin articles, please share with everyone. If I know Lynn, she would have a huge smile on her face knowing that we are praying for her. May peace and love always be with her and around her.
About the author:
Jim Paddon lives in London, Ontario, Canada and is past president of the Ontario Regional Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He is currently chair of the National Social Justice Committee of the Society in Canada. He is married to his dear wife Pat and they have six daughters and eleven grandchildren. Jim has been a member of the Society since the 1970’s.
Opinions expressed are the author’s own views and do not officially represent those of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.