For people who live Vincent’s way, the same gospel inspiration of Jesus who identified love with service to “the least of these”, who was led by the Spirit to spend himself for the reign of God, and who identified his mission as to bring abundant life to all, stirs us to be responsive to the needs of each generation. In the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, we read simply: “The love of Christ urges us on.”
Being Vincentian is to be Missionary
We are sent to bring good news to the people who are living on the margins. “Go where you are sent” echoes in the disciples’ hearts. Ours is always a movement from the centre to those on the periphery.
In our times, the mission extends not only to people in desperate situations but to creation itself.
Examples of how we are missionary:
LifeWay Network in New York
Glace Bay Area Adult Faith Committee in Nova Scotia
St. John’s Bread and Life in New York
Adsum House in Nova Scotia
Water Projects in the Dominican Republic
Programs in Earth Literacies in British Columbia
WAITT House in Massachusetts
Nyumbani Village in Kenya
Serving in Parishes
Being Vincentian is to be Creative
Vincent would say we should be “inventive to infinity” in responding to the needs of “the least of these”. Although in his times, the focus was on direct service to the victims of war, famine and corruption, a widespread focus today is the call is to change the systems that perpetuate poverty so that a just world order will be created.
Being Vincentian Today Means Being Collaborative
In Vincent’s time he advanced the charism of Charity by recognizing that many people wanted to join in his cause to reach out to those in need. For any effort to be “effective and affective” the giving needed to be organized as well as compassionate.
Examples of how we collaborate:
Sisters of Charity Federation
The United Nations
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Seton Heritage Ministries
Centro Corazon de Maria
SSND Educational Centre
Vincent’s Way is a quality of presence that occurs when we look into the eyes of another and recognize in them the face of Jesus. It is a way of moving into ministry that recognizes it is all God’s work and it is our privilege to be a part of it. The call can happen anywhere, anytime, without any preparation. The response can be a whispered prayer, a small gesture of hospitality, a note of consolation or challenge, a phone call, or an offer to join with others… These opportunities for Vincentians are moments of grace.
We rejoice that we can claim with so many others #WeAreVincentian.