Vincentian confraternities are groups composed of members of the Vincentian Family who share a common interest. More than 10 of these fellowships have already been formed, which meet virtually on a periodic basis, and encompass various abilities that exist within our Family: from the confraternity of graphic designers to a confraternity of lawyers.
On July 6 we had the joy of being able to meet all those whom we serve, in one way or another, from the perspective of music.
Is it possible that the world of poverty can be overcome through music? Is it possible to create a world in which all the members of the Vincentian Family sing praise to God? Is it possible that we can put lyrics and musical notes to the greatness of our charism?
This has been the dream of 42 people from different countries, who met for the first time by videoconference. Men and women from different Spanish-speaking countries, musicians and composers, members of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity, seminarians, members of AIC, MISEVI, SSVP, JMV, AMM and other branches. Some Vincentian who are not members of any specific branch. Some participated in the Vincentian Music Festival that was sponsored by the Vincentian Family Office and resulted in recording of an album with eighteen new songs with a Vincentian theme.
It was a joyful meeting. After the opening prayer and presentations, Javier F. Chento, director of the Festival and responsible for the production of the new album, explained to us the process that took place in order to make all of those activities a reality. We were pleased with the participation of so many different individuals in these events. After the mandatory confinement, due to the pandemic, was relaxed, the recording project was finally completed and is now available on various digital platforms. Nevertheless, because of the complexity of the current international situation and the closure of borders, the physical distribution of this disc is posing a challenge and it is not clear when or how we will be able to resolve this matter.
Javier told us that festivals in other languages would be announced very soon, specifically in French and Portuguese. This in addition to English, which is currently underway. He invited us to promote these festivals as soon as they are announced, thus emphasizing the musical creative dimension of the Vincentian charism. He also invited us to continue to send him songs in Spanish … this will enable us to build a collection of Vincentian songs that can be used in our meetings and celebrations.
Javier went on to speak with us about some new initiatives that will be considered in the near future and that will require the participation of musicians, composers, singers, producers … all those who, in one way or another, are involved with music. He encouraged us to be creative and seek ways in which we can move forward in this area of music. Finally, Javier invited us to think of ways to help one other, both locally, regionally and globally.
We then engaged in a very fluid dialogue and, although we were a large group, the technology functioned perfectly, and we were able to speak about our hope and our desire to work together. We agreed to create a WhatsApp group to maintain closer and more frequent contact with one another.
So, what conclusions can we draw from this meeting?
- We have laid the first stones in the creation of a Confraternity of Vincentian musicians and for the moment there are more than 45 hearts vibrating to the rhythm of different experiences that bring us closer to the poor.
- We know with certainty that singing the Gospel and going out to meet Jesus in the poor with the joy and peace that music offers … well that is our dream.
- We are aware that in our Vincentian DNA collaboration is etched. Therefore, we want to move forward united together.
- We enjoy doing what we do, and we want to invite others to join in this experience.
- To provide a dynamic to the Vincentian international song festivals that will soon be held in English, Portuguese and French.
- The Vincentian Family relies on us to record songs that bring the Vincentian charism to all parts of the world, in every possible language. Publishing video clips, creating a collection of Vincentian songs, concerts … these are some of the projects that we hope to accomplish.
MISEVI and AIC
After meeting for an hour and a half, we said good-bye to one another but not before setting the date for our next meeting (August 3rd) … and all the members of the Vincentian Family who minister from some musical aspect are invited to participate. If you desire to participate in this meeting, fill out the following form and we will invite you to the next meeting.
A Vincentian musician’s prayer
You called us to follow you
after the example of Saint Vincent de Paul
and many others who discovered your presence
in the poor and needy
to help them physically and spiritually
and to proclaim the Good News of God, the merciful Father.
We place at your disposal
the gifts that You gave us:
We present to you our life and our abilities
as composers, musicians, or singers.
Teach us to live this ministry in depth
as a privileged moment
that enables us to draw closer to the impoverished of this land
and to all who seek you with a sincere heart.
Lord, may we live what we sing
and sing what we live.
Help us put aside the fear of silence
to be brave and determined
in denouncing the injustice
in which millions of your children through the world live.
Let us not seek applause or acclamation
but rather give us strength to do your will at all times.
May we know how to listen to your Word and the word of the poor
and may they be the reason for our songs.
Give us, Lord, the infinite creativity that made Saint Vincent
our model for following you.
We place our lives in your hands
and we trust you.