Vincentian Lay Missionaries – Going Forth in Synodality

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

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Let us dream as one humanity, as journeyers  with the same flesh and bones, as children of this same earth that shelters us all, each with the richness of his or her faith, convictions, unique voice, all of us brothers and sisters. To propose a life with Gospel flavor. To invite love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance. Fraternal openness: to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person regardless of physical proximity. ( F.T. 7) Pope Francis.

From its birth in 1617, THE VINCENTIAN CHARISM has manifested the missionary impulse to go beyond borders. We affirmed this in the last VINCENTIAN FAMILY ASSEMBLY held in Bogota when we reflected on Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac as two signs of synodality yesterday and today. With generosity and boldness, in a spirit of solidarity, they dedicated themselves to go out to the world,  the Church, and the poor. We VINCENTIAN LAY MISSIONARIES have understood very well what these words of Pope Francis mean in his apostolic letter Fratelli Tutti.

We have become persons who journey throughout our homeland from north to south bringing the joy of belonging to our Catholic Church.  We  break through personal or societal barriers, With the proposal of a life with the flavor of the Gospel we break through personal or societal barriers,  other economic disadvantages or racial, religious and/or regional differences.

It is our conviction and guiding principle that the VINCENTIAN CHARISM OF LOVE FOR THE POOR IS A GIFT that God has given to the Church, and especially to the Vincentian family. This charism is like a breath of the Spirit that has impelled us to reach families, children, youth and elders with tenderness, determination and inventiveness just as  Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Marguerite Naseau, Federic Ozanam and so many others did . . . using the means of communication available to us.

We accompany many families.

  • By praying the holy rosary and the Christmas Novena, both virtually and in person.
  • Rural missions in various parts of our country, especially during the liturgical seasons of Christmas and Holy Week: in Nimaima (Cundinamarca), Guaranda, Majagual, La Mojana Sucreña and many other places.
  • Accompaniment of pre-teens and adolescents  in a residential home.
  • Accompaniment of older adults.
  • Week-long catechesis out in the streets.
  • We embraced new virtual technology with  the creation of a Virtual Misevi Group that transcends Columbia’s geographical barriers.

At this time we are readying ourselves to take part in the GREAT VINCENTIAN MISSION OF BAJO CAUCA AND LA MOJANA SUCREÑA whose theme will be: “Baptized in the Spirit to participate in building the Reign of God.” This mission has been convoked by the Congregation of the Mission in gratitude to God for two important events: the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Congregation of the Mission which is anticipated in 2025, and the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Lay Vincentian Missionaries, MISEVI, in Colombia, which we could not observe together in 2021 because of the pandemic.  The mission will take place July 9-17, 2023 with the participation of members of various branches of the VINCENTIAN FAMILY OF COLUMBIA.

The region where the mission will be carried out is plagued by flooding from the Cauca River and its tributaries, a phenomenon that has been wreaking havoc on the lives and property of the simple people who live there.

The members of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity and all lay persons mobilized by the Vincentian charism take to heart these words of Saint Vincent de Paul that express that we are missionaries, because sent by God, we continue the mission of Jesus Christ:

“Yes, our Lord asks us to evangelize the poor: it is what he did and what he wants to continue doing through us. We have many reasons to humble ourselves regarding this point, seeing that the eternal Father sends us to do the same as that for which he sent his Son, who came to evangelize the poor and who pointed to this as a sign that he was the Son of God and that the Messiah whom the people awaited had come. We therefore have a grave obligation to his infinite goodness for having joined us to him in this divine work, and to have chosen us from among so many others more worthy of this honor and more able to respond to him than we.”