Tomorrow, 25 January, the Jubilee Year of the Vincentian Family
This is the message of the Superior General for that occasion.
“To renew and deepen our relationship with the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family around the world as models of the Vincentian charism and spirituality” and “To renew and deepen the ‘Culture of Vocations’ ” are the next steps of the Vincentian Family’s journey. The Superior General, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, indicated this in his letter “On the Threshold of the Fifth Century of the Vincentian Charism,” written at the closing of the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism. The text is simultaneously both praise and thanks for what was done during this jubilee that officially concludes on 25 January. It is no coincidence that the Superior General makes his own the Pauline expression, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Ephesians 1:3). In his letter, he briefly recalls the many initiatives that characterized this period. Some have passed already, like the International Vincentian Family Symposium in Rome. Others are in progress like the Vincentian Family Global Initiative on Homelessness (FAMVIN Homeless Alliance), officially launched during the Symposium in Rome, and the pilgrimage of the relic of the heart of Saint Vincent de Paul. Finally, others are still to be carried out, like the Vincentian Film Festival, called “Finding Vince 400,” also officially launched during the Symposium in Rome and to be held from 18-21 October 2018 at Castel Gandolfo.
Father Mavrič looks to the continuation of the Vincentian Family’s journey in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul who, “when he was asked what else could he do in life, responded ‘more.’ ” The reference then to the Vincentian Family saints is in order to consider them models of spirituality and of the Vincentian charism. To do this, the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission identifies a path for renewing veneration and recourse to the intercession of the Saints, Blessed and Servants of God, first of all in their place of origin. He suggests the organization of meetings to make them known, of pilgrimages, of celebrations, and of incessant prayer to ask for the canonization of others and new candidates for holiness. “Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God … speak or can speak to children, youth, adults, all people of today, at this time in history as role models of holiness. They are also one of the resources for new vocations to consecrated life or active lay involvement in the different branches of the Vincentian Family, in the mission of Jesus, in the mission of the Church.” Here then is the second point highlighted by Father Tomaž who invites the members of the Vincentian Family to “strive together for a renewed Culture of Vocations.” The Superior General explains that “When we look for reasons for the decline in vocations to the consecrated life, in active participation of youth and adults in the life of the Church, and in faith in some parts of the world, we often hear the following reasons: consumerism, materialism, individualism, egoism, systematic laicization of society, etc. We can call this an ‘Anti-Culture of Vocations.’ I would like to invite us to unite all our efforts at showing the children, youth, and adults of today, who are caught in this ‘Anti-Culture of Vocations,’ the beauty, attractiveness, and life-giving meaning of responding with a resounding “Yes” to Jesus’s call!” This proposal applies to everyone because, as Father Mavrič underlines, “The Culture of Vocations means an environment in which all people can discover and rediscover their reason for being on this earth, the meaning of life, the mission they are called to fulfill, the call they are invited to answer. The Culture of Vocations puts Jesus in first place, no matter if it is as a layperson or a consecrated person.” Vincentian attention to this theme places the large Vincentian Family in full harmony with the upcoming Synod as pointed out by the Superior General at the conclusion of the letter, “The beginning of the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism gives us another opportunity to make renewed efforts toward a Culture of Vocations. This is also very much in tune with the theme of this year’s Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October in Rome, ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.’ ”
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