The word “confraternity” has Latin roots and means a relationship of friendship and kindness that is proper to brothers and sisters. It is a bond of belonging that exists between brothers and sisters. The word also implies: friendship, companionship, comradery, loyalty and joined by one will. Another word that might convey the same understanding is brotherhood.
At the beginning of 2018, the Vincentian Family in Latin America (FAVILA) proposed the creation of various Vincentian Confraternities. But it was not until this year 2020, that people from various professional groups began to come together on a regular basis. The members of these confraternities share their experiences and their joy in being able to serve Jesus in the person of the most impoverished. This is how the different Vincentian Confraternities emerged, first in Latin America, and very soon thereafter, extending to other continents.
Presently we have the need to create, to extend, and to strengthen the experience of these Confraternities in every country. All of this activity is directed toward our “lords and masters”: the poor. We ought to place out talents at the service of those who are most in need. You can see, then, the need for creating these Confraternities in every country, every place where the Vincentian Family is ministering. It is in this way that we can offer our services to those who are unable to pay for any such service.
For example, if you are a auto mechanic and belong to a Confraternity. There arises the situation in which a single mother need a car to travel to work and provide for her two children. Her own car has broken down and she does not know how to repair it. At that moment you have an opportunity to help that woman. Even though that woman is unable to pay for your services you are nonetheless allowing yourself to receive the greatest reward which comes directly from God.
Therefore, if you have a trade or some specialty, join one these confraternities so that you can give to the Lord something of what you have received from God. We are not only talking about professionals, but people who wish to be involved in any way in serving their sisters and brothers.
If a Confraternity does not exist in your area, you can take the initiative and bring together various colleagues and create a confraternity… and thus in turn know that you are creating a network of charity.
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Written by Víctor Martell SSVP.