On September 24, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul and of the Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, visited the African country of Kenya for the official celebration of the establishment of the new Vincentian Vice Province of Kenya.
From September 22 to 27, Father Mavrič met in Nairobi with the confreres of the Congregation and visited the different realities of the new structure of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity in Kenya. The Superior General reiterated the thought that “Spirituality is the foundation of our identity” several times during the various meetings.
Fr. Mavrič exhorted us to “put on the Spirit of Jesus: think as He thought, live as He lived, act as He acted, speak as He spoke!” in order to live the Vincentian spirituality and charism with maximum intensity, availability and offering, in accordance with the project and mission entrusted by Jesus to each Vincentian missionary. We must personally answer these questions: Who are we? Who am I as a missionary of the Congregation of the Mission? Who am I as a Vincentian?… and then reflect on what we do by asking ourselves what our typical or defining ministries are (services in the Church, in the world).
Father Mavrič met with the missionaries of the Congregation of the Mission, celebrated Family Day in the parish of Saint Vincent de Paul in Kamulu with Archbishop Philip Anyolo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Nairobi, and visited several parishes in the archdiocese, including the parish of Holy Cross Thigio, one of the oldest in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, currently run by Pauline missionaries. There, at the Chanzo House, Father Mavrič greeted the Daughters of Charity who run several projects, including a hospice and a center for children and young people with special needs. During his visit, Fr. Mavrič met with the sick, families, children and catechists, and celebrated the Eucharist with the poor in the House of Saint Lazarus in Nairobi on September 27, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, the holy founder of the Congregation of the Mission.
Action stems from spirituality: this was the common thread of the Superior General’s reflections during his visit to Kenya. On the theme of Vincentian identity, Father Tomaž stressed: “In the last General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission, the word ‘conversion’ resonated strongly: it is an invitation and a challenge that must be lived every day. My identity as a missionary of Saint Vincent de Paul is at the base of my action, which can be divided into various spheres: service to the poor, popular missions, mission ad gentes, formation of the clergy, formation of the laity, etc.” The Vincentian identity is nourished by spirituality and continues with the Vincentian charism (action). Father Mavrič concluded by saying: “Aware of our weakness, with great humility, we must yearn for a new spring, a new Pentecost in our Little Company, as St. Vincent liked to call us.”