Vincentian Small Faith Community Program Accepting Applications

by | May 20, 2024 | News | 0 comments

The Vincentian Small Faith Community is now accepting applications for new participants. Young adults ages 18-35 are encouraged to submit their applications here before May 31. Please reach out to Vincentian Encounter Director Mary Pimmel-Freeman at with additional questions.

Reflection by Gino Altamura who is a participant of the Vincentian Small Faith Community program and an alum of Vincentian Service Corps-West.

I signed up for the Vincentian Small Faith Community with a wish list in mind: friendship, reflection, commitment, thoughtful discourse. That’s a tall order for any young adult within the modern Church. If you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere with a thriving young adult scene, you have to build one yourself, and that can be exhausting.

The Daughters of Charity have recognized small faith sharing groups as the bread and butter of the Catholic Church. It takes bold leadership to try something radically new, the kind of leadership displayed in the Vincentian Small Faith Community program. I have found all the things I wished for, and I remain immensely grateful.

The Vincentian Small Faith Community acknowledges the signs of the times. This can be challenging, but it is what I signed up for. Our community doesn’t always leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. Yet I feel affirmed because Jesus comforts the afflicts and afflicts the comfortable.

A modern church can neither thrive nor engage without paying attention to social justice: a commitment upheld by the Vincentian Small Faith Community. Currently, my community is exploring the place of LGBTQ+ folks in the Church, considering points of contact both painful and promising. While I may feel free to speak my mind, so many don’t have that privilege. In the Vincentian Small Faith Community, we’ve created an encouraging place of candor: here, your voice will be heard.

In our first session, we discussed at length America’s Original Sin of slavery and the ways it has permeated our society. This fusion of Christian lingo with contemporary issues speaks to the strength of the Vincentian Small Faith Community. It’s a great way to reframe American history for folks (like me) who need to understand things through a Catholic lens. It’s not about guilt, but it is about responsibility. We’d do well to acknowledge that we’ve set a few people up for success while creating barriers for others.

As part of our learning in the Vincentian Small Faith Community, we receive readings and challenges between each meeting. We’ve also learned from outside speakers who enhance our discussion. At the suggestion of our speakers from Undo Bias Consulting, I visited a predominantly Black church to meet my neighbors I’d otherwise forgotten. The music was different for me, but the faith was the same: it spoke to an experience and a pain I hadn’t known yet needed to share. I felt lucky to be welcomed by such an emotional, joyful faith community.

Other aspects of the Vincentian Small Faith Community I’ve enjoyed include our communal prayer, especially lighting our candles together each time we begin. It helps me feel like we really are together in the same place, even though we meet via Zoom. I also enjoy the apostolic reflection partner calls in between our meetings. They help us get to know each other and deepen our investment in the group.

I’m beyond grateful for the Vincentian Small Faith Community. This group meets not only a need but a deep desire of my heart. I doubt I’m alone in my longing for community. I’m thankful these seeds have been planted. Young adults are not only the future, but the present of the Church. It’s great to have the Daughters of Charity (and our leader Mary) invest in us.



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