In my earlier June article, I discussed the mission statement of the Society of Sant Vincent de Paul, Canada. In addition, we also have the following values which imply that as Vincentians we:
- see Christ in anyone who suffers
- come together as a family
- have personal contact with the poor
- help in all possible ways
While these values seem very easy to live, in today’s busy world, they can be forgotten or at least pushed aside. Our work as Vincentians can sometimes become tedious, tiring and frustrating. However, if we remember to see Christ in anyone who suffers, we will find it easier to accomplish our mission.
As members of the Vincentian family we may also judge the effort of our fellow members rather than accepting whatever they can provide and work together as one family. The more we can work together, the more we will be able to achieve. The fellowship that we share with other Vincentians will enhance our ability and desire to accomplish great things.
To always seek personal contact with the poor is the easiest and truest method of keeping Christ in our midst and is the focus of being a Vincentian. This contact can only become personal if we use it to listen and learn from those we are with.
To help in all possible ways means to always look at ways we can do more than the basic help we usually offer. Once we believe we have helped a family, why not ask if they need anything else? This could lead to other ways we can offer hope and assistance to these families.
If we can remember these values during our personal contact with those who suffer living in poverty as well as our fellow members and anyone we may encounter as Vincentians, then we are being true to the mission of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and our founders. I look forward to sharing these values at our upcoming national general assembly.
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.