The text of a presentation made by Fr. Thomas McKenna, C.M. at the National Meeting of the Society of St. VIncent de Paul August 31, 2002Who Do You Vincentians Say That I Am?  Motivation for The Society


I’m happy and honored to be here at this gathering of friends of Vincent de Paul– who of course include Frederick Ozanam. This gathering, it strikes me, holds out the wonderful opportunity any good family reunion offers  

         –       another chance to dip down into what it is that holds us together and what makes us do what we do,

         –       to step again into that place out of which come our best Vincentian selves and our best Vincentian actions.

I use word family because that’s just how I sense myself here — one of the cousins on Vincent’s family tree. No matter how different our stations in life, backgrounds, training, we have that family resemblance. Something in Vincent’s approach to life and style of faith has spoken to each of us. And when we can lay hold of that something, we come to recognize why we’re cousins, why our concerns and outlooks on life move in a common direction. I’m happy to claim my cousinhood in the Vincentian Family — and look forward to having my Vincentian identity and motivation strengthened by mingling with the other relatives.

For the full text see

This text will also appear soon on the the site of the SSVDP National Council .

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