They taught us to dream. They taught us to act. They taught us to hope and trust.
Sr. Betty Ann McNeil’s groundbreaking study shows us how the message of their lives has resonated during theses 350 years.
As we begin this Jubliee of their deaths let us celebrate how they live today in the well over 260 communities and organizations inspired by them.
Over the 52 weeks of this year famvin will feature various branches springing for the oak tree that still stands not far from Vincent’s birth place.
Let us begin by looking at some of the newer shoots.
MISEVI is an international association, canonically erected as a public association of the faithful, as an entirely autonomous juridical person, seeking to develop an organized presence of laity in missionary works ad gentes, especially within the missions of the Vincentian Family.
“In 2005 Fr. Gregory Gay, CM wrote… “MISEVI started as a small seed, but quickly, the missionary impulse of the young people of the Vincentian Marian Youth of
Spain rubbed off on some lay Vincentians throughout the world. As you well know, on 7 April 1999, the Holy See approved MISEVI as an International Public Association of the Faithful and in January 2001 it celebrated its first General Assembly at which the firstInternational Coordinating Team was named…
At present, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Italy and Indonesia have approved National Statutes; those of Venezuela, Ireland and France are waiting approval; the United States and Brazil are drawing up theirs; and in various countries, such as Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador, Santo Domingo, Philippines, Cameroon, Slovakia, Ukraine and Germany, there are lay Vincentians who are most interested in establishing MISEVI.
How it all began…
It all began in 1984. The JMV had such a strong missionary desire that a group of Spanish youth had some missionary experiences ad gentes during vacation months. Since then we have tried to send an average of 30 young people temporarily. Three years later, in 1987, some of these young people began to stay on the missions for several years as laity, with their commitments renewable every two years, and devote themselves to various pastoral works with the Vincentian Family. Beginning in 1992, some of the young people expressed their desire to seek an alternative that would help them continue to follow their option for the mission as laity with some stability and bonds with the Vincentian Family.
From that moment on the idea that the experience of missionary life could not be reduced to a phase of youth, but rather, could be a stable form of living the lay vocation was affirmed. This discovery had to find ways of being sustained and continuing into the future. There were many consultations, dialogues and meetings and, little by little, the idea came: create an association in the Vincentian Family that would sustain, help, support and provide coordination of the presence and work of the laity in the missions ad gentes.
MISEVI truly began to function during a missionary session in El Cisne on 18 October 1997. There, young people committed themselves to work for the Association so that it could take charge of coordinating the laity that were already on the missions for two years – to support them on the human, spiritual and economic levels. During this meeting, we named an Administration Committee that immediately began working on the first task: preparing the First General Assembly of MISEVI.
It is also necessary to speak about the first steps of MISEVI in new countries: the Dominican Republic, Italy, Honduras … all of this, thanks to the Spanish-American JMV meetings every three years, and making the first points of contact and collaboration with MISEVI International.
The first General Assembly was an important moment in the life of the Association. We clarified identity, set up some lines of action for the future, appointed a Coordinating Team, developed a Final Document and contacted the various entities that were already functioning. All of this bore fruit in a truly international MISEVI.
For this entire process, we want to stress the valuable help and unconditional support of Fr. Robert Maloney, successor to Vincent de Paul. His presence, welcome, encouragement and advice have succeeded in setting up a juridical structure for the Association so as to extend the Vincentian Family in the world.
Tags: 350th Anniversary, Featured, Youth