VFLEWhat Is In A Name?

For the eastern region of the USA, the name Vincentian Family Leadership East (VFLE) represents “partnership, sharing, collaboration and action”.   For some 16  years, meetings have been held to collaborate and share knowledge of projects that recognize the self-worth of individuals, families and communities.

Highlighted at October‘s annual meeting was DePaul USA’s success in opening Macon Georgia’s first comprehensive day/resource center for the homeless, known as Daybreak.   Another project known as Movin’ On connects St. Joseph’s Rebuild Center with services located in New Orleans.  Their DePaul House in Philadelphia offers 27 homeless men the opportunity to progress toward independent living.  DePaul USA in St. Louis hopes to operate permanent supportive housing in scattered site programs for 70 homeless men and women.

St. Vincent de Paul Society Eastern Region has volunteered 1 million service hours; made 40,000 home visits; served 556,000 people; donated $8,000,000 of in-kind food and furniture.   In Philadelphia’s Germantown area there is a community-wide project for systemic change that includes health care, housing, job training and adult education and rent assistance all coordinated by various Vincentian organizations.   A priority of the Congregation of the Mission Eastern Province is to support the St. Vincent de Paul Parish and all Vincentian ministries in this Germantown community.   Also active in that area is the Saint Vincent de Paul Center where young adults learn and experience the Vincentian Charism, Catholic Social Justice Teaching, causes of poverty, possible solutions and systemic change.  It offers young adults (college age and post college age) and youth (high school age) the opportunity to serve for and with the poor and marginalized.  Check out their website:  www.svdpcenter.org

Three Daughters of Charity from the Province of St.  Louis work together as liaisons among all Vincentian organizations.  Retreats and orientations are sponsored with representatives present for Vincentian gatherings throughout the United States.   It was reported that the Vincentian Lay Missionaries will send 15 young adults to Africa.  An Affiliate Pilgrimage to Paris is planned for April 2014.  Interested?  Email:  Elyse.Staab@doc.org or call 478-477-0573.

Sisters of Charity of New York work with students from the College of Mt. St. Vincent on Seton Service and Leadership Program, one student served as an intern last year at the UN.  Together with Ascension Health, they are collaborating to eliminate deaths of children by water and parasites in Guatemala.   New York and New Jersey Charities are taking action steps against human trafficking.  This involves contacting hotels, advertising in local newspapers and educating the public in advance of the 2014 Super Bowl being held in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are finishing their first year in a collaborative effort in Haiti with the Maryknoll Sisters.  In late spring the congregation took a public stand on immigration reform, moving beyond publicity into initial implementation of the stand.

Sisters of Charity Halifax support spiritually and financially the work of NETWORK, the Catholic social justice lobby.  Sisters have direct involvement in the works of local conferences of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.  Sisters of Charity Federation focused on collaborative efforts to include the UN NGO office, House of Charity New Orleans and Seton Heritage Ministries in Emmitsburg, MD.   They promoted systemic change training regionally and nationally and investment in the work of the Vincentian Family Collaborators.

The Ladies of Charity USA are active participants in the Vincentian Family Collaborators.  They partner with the Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington DC.  Various associations are actively engaged in systemic change in their communities, working with individuals and families on a personal basis.  Members are attempting to mobilize Ladies of Charity in TN, AL, MO, NY and TX to work with their state networks on adopting the Medicaid expansion program.

The Congregation of the Mission Eastern Province sent two priests and 11 young adults to the Vincentian Gathering and 2013 World Youth Day.  They were joined with two students each from Niagara and St. John’s Universities.  It is hoped that other regions of the country will take advantage of collaborating in their areas as a team effort to promote and maximize the potential of Vincentian Family members working together; realizing that not only in unity but also in collaboration there is strength.

Thanks to Sister Barbara DeMoranville for hosting this VFLE meeting at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center, Philadelphia.  As a member of the Vincentian Family, Sr. Barbara represented the Missionary Cenacle Family.