September, the Vincentian month: that was the manner in which Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM described the month of September in his message that was addressed to all the members of the Vincentian Family on the occasion of the celebration of the solemnity of Saint Vincent de Paul (September 27th). The month of September is called the Vincentian month because we, members of the worldwide Vincentian Family, prepare to celebrate together the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul with beautifully prepared Eucharists, liturgies of the Word, or other prayer encounters, engaging all the branches of the Vincentian Family in a given parish, village, city, region, or country. We also prepare to celebrate the feast with concrete acts of corporal and spiritual charity toward our Lords and Masters.
Those word of gratitude and affirmation of Father Mavriĉ were directed to the members of the more than 160 branches that compose the Vincentian Family. Creativity, which has always characterized Vincentian charity, has not been ast aside, not even during this time of great difficulty and global crisis resulting from the pandemic.
In his message, the Superior General the technological advances that everyone has had to embrace during this time of social “distancing”, but he exhorts us, whenever possible, to meet face to face, to organize more numerous personal meetings, encounters and gatherings. This is most essential as we continue our journey together and proclaim good news to the poor.
Three main invitations-exhortations:
The greatest challenge for all the branches of the Vincentian Family in the 162 countries in which they are present is that of collaboration. The objective of this collaboration is create more participation and exchanges.
Develop on the international, national, regional and local level a system that enables the members to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters, wars and other catastrophes … and thus to respond not simply as one branch, but to respond as a united Vincentian Family.
To promote the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance and the 13 Houses Campaign. The Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance, with the 13 Houses Campaign, is a charitable initiative which unites the Vincentian Family and ought to be promoted, introduced and made a reality in all the countries where the Vincentian Family is present so that every Congregation and Association is included. The hope is that we will arrive at a time when the problem of homelessness is not treated individually (not by any one individual or any one branch), but as a Family on a local, national and international level.
These then are the highlights of Father Mavriĉ’s message to the Vincentian Family on the occasions of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul. There will be many celebrations, including vigils, moments of prayer and eucharistic celebrations in all parts of the world.
The Vincentian Family calls out to those individuals throughout the world who share the spirituality of Saint Vincent de Paul to unite in this global experience on the occasion of a virtual meeting scheduled for September 16 and 17, with the theme: To pray, dream and collaborate in service on behalf of those who are poor.
The Vincentian Family, a worldwide movement inspired by the charism of Saint Vincent de Paul, present in 162 countries with 160 Congregations, lay associations and more than four million members, is organizing the second meeting for the leaders of the various branches of the Family that is present on five continents. This meeting is scheduled for September 16-17, 2021. The meeting, which will be virtual, has as its theme: to pray, dream and collaborate in service on behalf of those who are poor. We want to replicate the spirit, the sharing and the unity of first meeting that was held in Rome in January 2020 (a little before the beginning of the pandemic). In October 2017, Pope Francis, during his audience with the members of the Vincentian Family on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the origin of the charism, after thanking the members for moving along the world’s streets, as Saint Vincent would ask of you even today, then stated: I hope you do not stop, but continue, from adoration, to draw God’s love each day, and to spread it in the world through the infectious good of charity, of openness, of harmony.
This new meeting during the month of September will be, therefore, a wonderful opportunity to extend an invitation to come together with the Family, those Orders, Congregations and Associations who may not yet form part of that family but who feel that they share the Vincentian spirituality and charism.
This on-line meeting, because of the difference in time, will take place on two separate days: September 16thfor Asia and Oceania; September 17th for Europe, Africa and America. The meeting itself will be divided into two parts: the first part, after an opening prayer, there will be a presentation by Father Hugh O’Donnell, a missionary of the Congregation of the Mission. His theme: how to pray and live as mystics of charity in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac, cofounder of the Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. That presentation will be followed by a dialogue among the leaders of the distinct branches of the Family. The second part will be a review (through some videos) of the principle Vincentian events that have taken place during the past four year: the Symposium (2017), the Vincentian Film Festival (2018), the first worldwide meeting of the leaders of the branches of the Vincentian Family (2020), the 13 Houses Initiative (an initiative that is currently underway) which is being implemented on behalf of those who are homeless.
Father Tomaz Mavrič, CM, superior general of the Congregation of the Mission and President of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family, will close the meeting. In his letter of invitation, he writes: Come and experience the joy of being together with others who share your same spirit. Come and explore if your community would feel at home among us. Then, referring to the charism of Saint Vincent de Paul which recently celebrated 400 years of birth, he states: Vincent’s vision began a movement over 400 years ago, which led to a new international dynamism – the joint efforts of men and women, ordained and lay, to combat the forces of poverty both in individual lives as well as in societal structures which perpetuate it.
In order to register for the event, which will last for two hours, click on one of the following links:
One in Hope: Gen Verde in Concert on September 27, 2020 at 3 PM EDT live on YouTube (https://youtu.be/WyMHyK-L-TU). An event promoted and organized with the Vincentian Family, inspired by the life and work of St. Vincent de Paul. The first step of a great project.
On the day when the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul, the Vincentian Family, with its 170 branches present in 158 countries and over four million members in five continents, remembers him together with the musical group, Gen Verde. The group will hold a concert at 3 PM EDT that will be livestreamed on YouTube at the following link: https://youtu.be/WyMHyK-L-TU
“Our original plans were different,” explains Sally McAllister, manager of Gen Verde, “In fact, we should have been in the U.S.A. during these days for a tour that would have us perform several concerts with the help from our Vincentian friends and the Focolare Movement. Since the pandemic has blocked everything, we decided to overcome this obstacle by performing a virtual concert ー on the weekend that would have marked the start of the tour ー thus involving many more people not only present in North America, but also all over the world.” Together with a team from the Vincentian Family Office in the U.S.A., Gen Verde has created this special event that marks the beginning of something new. The Focolare Movement and the Vincentian Family are working together on a project that will promote the strength of unity that springs from their charisms at the service of all humanity.
“One in Hope” is the title of the concert that will not only include songs, but also testimonies on the themes of solidarity and universal fraternity. The idea for the event on September 27 at 3 PM EDT was born from the canceled live concert and the occasion for Gen Verde to write a song in honor of the founder of the Vincentian Family. “The story of St. Vincent de Paul struck us very much,” explains composer Nancy Uelmen, “In particular, how he was able to look beyond appearances to discover the face of God in the poor. This discovery was the call for him to encounter Jesus in the poor. In the song lyrics ー written in the first person as if it were St. Vincent de Paul himself speaking ー we perceive the same gaze of the Good Samaritan (of which the Gospel speaks) when he sees a person in need, he does not walk by them with indifference, rather he stops and helps them. It seemed like a very contemporary message: everyday life is so frenetic and fleeting that there is an extreme need for all of us to learn to live this same spirit.”
Vincent’s Song (You Did It To Me) is a song with an upbeat electronic sound and catchy rhythm. The style of music was a definite choice on the part of Gen Verde, so as to not only engage with young people, but also to express the sense of urgency that St. Vincent de Paul always had in his desire to go out and help the poor.
For those who want to listen to the song, “Vincent’s Song (You Did It To Me)”, click the link below https://imusiciandigital.lnk.to/YF7bADntEM
Marita Alvarez Press Office Gen Verde +39 3420842533 firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Grazini Press Office Vincentian Family +39 338 190 24 36 email@example.com
As members of Vincentian Family, we do not want to nor should we remain impassive in the face of the discrimination that millions of people still su er today as a result of the color of their skin, their national origin, their gender, their sexual orientation, their beliefs or their culture. Racism is a cancer that corrodes our society and is present worldwide, in every country and in every society. Not only is it a severe offence directed at anyone who is different, but it is also an insult to our humanity and to the intrinsic dignity of every human being, and a very serious sin. As members of the Vincentian Family and as believers, we trust in a God who created all people equal and thus, all are God’s children. Racism is therefore the complete opposite of faith in the God who gave us life. As Christians, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who never made distinctions among people and treated everyone with dignity and respect. As members of the Vincentian Family, we want to continue to stand by the most forgotten in our society and, among them, especially those who su er discrimination because they are different. Saint Vincent de Paul, our founder, reminds us that we must love our neighbor simply because our neighbor is “the image of God and the object of his love.” We rea rm our commitment to serve the excluded, the needy, the homeless, all those who su er discriminatory treatment for any reason. We commit ourselves to reinforce our actions and take measures so that no one has to su er harassment or death because of discrimination. We commit ourselves to raise our voices in all forums where we are present to denounce these injustices. We commit ourselves to giving a voice to those who are excluded and discriminated against, so that they can be the protagonists of their own history.
Racial prejudice has no place in our society, in any public or private institution and must be combated vigorously. The evil it causes not only affects the person who is abused and even killed, but corrupts and destroys the social fabric and dehumanizes relationships, generating irrational hatred. We therefore urge all authorities to take rm measures to ensure that cases of segregation, racism, differential treatment and violence against any person, based on discrimination of any kind, are not repeated.
Human life is important, whatever the color of the skin, their national origin, their gender, their sexual orientation, their beliefs or their culture.
Elena Grazini Press Office Vincentian Family +39 338 190 24 36 firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the one hundred signatures that call the world to solidarity and action to protect the homeless from the spread of COVID -19, we must mention the International Vincentian Family. This list, intended to continue to grow with the signatures of more institutions and individuals, can be viewed at https://covid19-protecting-screening-rehousing.com/ and includes the signatures of many beneficent associations and organizations that are active in different parts of the world.
The premise of this appeal is based on the vulnerability of the most fragile members of society at this complex moment, individuals such as those who are homeless, refugees, and those who already live in precarious conditions. The petition of these associations arose from this stated reality and it is for that reason that they request that the people included in the aforementioned categories be given priority in the COVID-19 screening test process. These men and women are at tangible risk of becoming infected with the virus, and their precarious living situation is an aggravating risk factor. Neglecting these individuals can only worsen the overall epidemiological situation. Therefore, urgent priority measures must be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the protection of the homeless.
In order to protect the homeless and vulnerable individuals in general, it is essential: to promote access to safe and appropriately hygienic housing that allows isolation … thus controlling the possible transmission of the virus (in the present common housing conditions, such quarantine is impossible); to guarantee basic needs including food and access to health care; to provide necessary equipment for the reduction of risk (masks and gowns); since so many services and shelters are closed, there is a need to provide these vulnerable individuals with access to counseling and assistance; in light of the lack of safe alternatives to public space, there is a need to protect the homeless from punitive policy measures.
A proactive and systematic research policy is also needed. For obvious public health reasons, there is an urgent need to conduct Covid-19 tests on homeless people and refugees and to separate those who test positive and thus control the spread of the virus. At the same time there a need to test volunteers and medical personnel who are in daily contact with these vulnerable groups of people as well as to keep people sheltered. In light of the economic impact of the crisis, it is necessary to establish structural solutions for access to housing, which has become, more than ever, a public health imperative.