I am Laura Endara de Mantilla, a member of the Vincentian Family in Philadelphia, and, from the time of its origin in this city, I had the opportunity to join the Vincentian Biblical Reflection Confraternity. We have been meeting one day a week for about 3 months: every Tuesday at 5:00 PM (Daylight Saving Time in NYC).
I remember that we began this experience under the coordination of the Saint Vincent de Paul School of Theology, who every week are in charge of preparing and concretizing the Sunday readings utilizing the Vincentian Method: Nature, Motive and Means.
But let me share with you How Saint Vincent and Fr. Judge invited me to live this adventure?
When I became involved in Hispanic Ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I met Sister Maria Lauren, a Missionary Servant of the Most Blessed Trinity (Trinitarian Sister) whose community was founded by Father Thomas Augustine Judge, C.M., a Vincentian priest. She invited me to work at Mother Boniface Spirituality Center, a mission of these Sisters. The Center is named after Mother Boniface Keasey, MSBT, the cofoundress of the community.
One day, Sister Catalina, other members of the Trinitarian Congregation, arrived from Mexico and began to participate in the Center. She also accompanied the members of the AIC in Norristown. There, in Norristown, she met Father Flavio who invited her to participate in the Vincentian Biblical Reflection Confraternity (a group that has been animated by one of the newest branches of the Worldwide Vincentian Family, namely, the Saint Vincent de Paul Lay School of Vincentian Theology (El Salvador). The meetings have been virtual and this was also when Sister extended the same invitation to me.
From the first day that I participated in this Confraternity, I felt a great affinity and a sense of belonging,
Likewise, I have been able to come to a better understanding of the method of Saint Vincent (Nature, Motives and Media) and his wonderful intuition of what many years later we would know as the Latin American Method (See, Judge and Act). This has helped me to increase my Vincentian awareness of what is happening in our world.
I am more and more aware that my experience of God commits me to see, judge and act in the midst of the reality of God’s people … this has involved an openness to God’s word, listening to the wisdom of the poorest (where we can find the true religion) … thus imitating Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Oscar Romero, Father Judge, and so many others who continue to teaching us.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire Vincentian Family for this beautiful opportunity.
Finally, with great joy and gratitude I want to invite you to be part of this wonderful experience. If you want to become a member of this Confraternity, send a brief message to Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org. If this day and time is not convenient for you, please indicate a day and time that you would be able to meet and we will look for a way to accommodate ourselves to changing situations.
Laura Endara de Mantilla.