Compassionate Hearts ~ Generous Hands
VINCENTIAN FAMILY GATHERING
Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg Pennsylvania
April 29, 2023
Seventy-five family members representing the Ladies of Charity, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Seton Hill University and Seton Family assembled for a full-day gathering of sharing, formation, input and direct service. Many factors contributed to the gathering happening well after the Feast Day of St. Vincent, yet this was a perfect day to come together for collaboration and deeper relationship building.
The day began at 9:30 am with prayer including the Vincentian Litany, and two Vincentian Formation presentations (Vincentian Table and Systemic Change in the Vincentian Charism). A highlight was viewing the Gen Verde music video “walk on Holy Ground” which was an invitation to attend the National Vincentian Family Gathering this October in Chicago. Dr. James Withers MD, who inaugurated Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net in Pittsburgh that brings medical care and social services directly to the unsheltered homeless, gave the keynote presentation. Dr. Withers also helped create the Street Medicine Institute to promote the global practice of street medicine. His presentation was titled “Go to the people.” The program included presentations by an additional five direct service ministries. Through the presentations about Mary House, the Uniontown Ladies of Charity’s Children’s Closet and Ministry with Penn State Uniontown Campus, P.O.W.E.R. (PA Organization for Women in Early Recovery), St. Joseph House of Hospitality, and the Red Door Ministry (feeding people since the time of the Depression – 90+ years), all learned about the uniqueness of each of these direct service organizations and how we might collaborate and support one another in service.
Upon registration each participant was invited to bring with them suggested donations to the ministry/ies of their choice. These donations were placed on designated tables prior to the opening prayer. Later, participants boxed/bagged the tables of donations for the organizations. Times for questions and answers, reflection and sharing at tables helped participants mine their experience. The end of day table sharing invited comment on our shared experience by responding to one of four questions. 1. What did you see? 2. What did you hear? 3. What did you feel? 4. Where did you see the face of Christ? Departure around 3:00 followed reciting together the Prayer of the Vincentian Family. It was a rich and uplifting day shared with “the Family.”
For reference purposes, see these documents from the gathering: