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
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The Vincentian Family, during the “Finding Vince 400” Film Festival, is organizing together with the Synod of Bishops “When Charity Calls: Charity as a Privileged Place for Vocational Discernment” on Saturday, 20 October at 6PM in Rome, at the Auditorium Conciliazione. “Finding Vince 400 is an attempt to change the way we look at poverty, considering the changes in social conditions and new media: by the same token, «When Charity Calls» is a different way to testify to the freshness of the Vincentian charism, that has just started its fifth century of life, in the wake of the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul” explains the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM. This event is an opportunity to think, with the language of art, about Charity and the love of God as it is experienced in the poor and the outcast, that has changed the life of Saint Vincent de Paul and that still calls men and women from around the world, every day, to counter new forms of poverty. “You can be a disciple only if you love. Vincentians are people who love, not people who do. Faith and the experience of St. Vincent are in God’s love. He lifted the veil of Trinitarian life and contemplated the loving souls inhabited by the Trinity. But he is not just happy with feeling love. It became a “mission” to him, explains Father Luigi Mezzadri CM, commenting on Saint Vincent de Paul’s thinking “Action for the poor comes from God. Saints put God’s love at the summit in a supreme way, whereby the action of the Church and mankind should strive to glorify His name, to promote the Kingdom’s enlargement and cooperate to the triumph of the Will… The Vincentian vocation is to love God and make people love Him: « It is not enough for me to love God if my neighbor does not love him » (XII, 262). This love must inspire all actions and direct love towards all creatures so that they are only loved in God and for God. But this love must lead to love for our neighbor”. Many Italian and internationally-acclaimed artists will take turns on the stage of the Auditorium, starting with Jim Caviezel, who played Christ in Mel Gibson’s film The Passion, who will share his spiritual journey in a candid interview. The star of Angel Eyes and Unknown has been very active in the religious domain for years, in addition to his artistic work. As for music, Ron – one of the most popular and appreciated Italian song writers – will be performing, as well as the Gen Verde international group. Piera Degli Esposti and Massimo Popolizio will read excerpts from C. Peguy’s The Portico of the Mystery of the second vertue Sarah Maestri and Giovanni Scifoni will make us discover Saint Vincent’s story, life and way of praying through his writings and the rewritten story of his life. “When Charity Calls” is a story told through images, music and entertainment, directed by Andrea Chiodi and hosted by Arianna Ciampoli. The director explains: “Talking about charity is a beautiful challenge and doing so starting from Saint Vincent’s extraordinary character gives us the opportunity to reread his story and discover writers who have spoken about this virtue in a poetic and impactful way. I decided to start with Saint Paul and then Charles Peguy through the voice of two great artists of Italian theater and cinema like Piera Degli Esposti and Massimo Popolizio. We could not overlook the story of Saint Vincent to rediscover its most important moments and meaningful words, and I wanted to give this task to two young film and tv actors like Sarah Maestri and Giovanni Scifoni; Giovanni will rewrite Saint Vincent’s story for us, with the ironic style with which he has charmed audiences online and on Tv 2000 (and still does). And then music with Ron and the extraordinary voices of the international group Gen Verde. However, for something to be more understandable and true – Andrea Chiodi says in conclusion – we must listen to those who live this way every day and can help us understand, so we will hear directly from Vincentians themselves and from an international voice like actor Jim Caviezel. A story told through images, music and words and its recurring image will be a little girl, who will symbolize charity, purity and the simplicity with which good deeds can be done”.
October 18 is the opening day of “Finding Vince 400” (FV400), the International Film Festival and Competition dedicated to Saint Vincent de Paul to talk about the globalization of charity, that will take place in Castel Gandolfo (Rome), at the Mariapoli Center, until Sunday, October 21.
“Finding Vince 400” was officially presented in Rome in 2017 during the Symposium dedicated to the fourth centennial of the Vincentian charism: it will be a festival where the theme of the globalization of charity will be explored through all artistic languages during a competition. Creative artists, storytellers and screenwriters were asked to talk about poverty in a new and original way, through different artistic expressions. FV400 participants worked hard to change the way our society looks at poverty and the new forms of deprivation that are affecting men and women around the world and thus will convey the charism of the Vincentian Family to globalize charity through imagination and creativity.
“Finding Vince 400″ is not just cinema: next to feature-film and short-film screenings, debates will take place with the artists around art and the meaning of their work. The themes of poverty, compassion and communion with God will permeate every aspect of the Film Festival with the freshness of the Vincentian Charism: for instance, there will also be interactive exhibitions that will rely on the creativity of Festival participants. Artists, film-makers, historians, photographers, writers, artists who are willing to talk about their vocation will interact with the audience. Several internationally-acclaimed artists have participated in this initiative by sending their own personal message expressing their participation and closeness to Finding Vince 400 and who will be attending the Festival, including Clarence Gilyard, who is known in particular for his role as ranger James Trivette in Walker Texas Ranger and as the private investigator Conrad McMaster in Matlock and for having played roles in important films like Die Hard and Sheree J. Wilson mostly known for her performance as April Stevens in Dallas and Alexandra “Alex” Cahill-Walker in Walker Texas Ranger.
Among the artists who have enthusiastically supported “Finding Vince 400” we must mention Martin Sheen who, in his long career, has received six Emmy Award nominations as Best actor in a leading role in a tv series for his performance in the West Wing, for which he has also won a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards.
There is also great expectation for the presence of actor Jim Caviezel, who played Christ in Mel Gibson’s film The Passion, who will take part in a few events during the Festival and will share his testimony on Saturday, 20 October in Rome, at the Auditorium Conciliazione, when the Festival will “move” to the capital city for an event organized by the Vincentian Family together with the Synod of Bishops: “When Charity Calls”. This event is an opportunity to use the language of art to think about Charity and God’s love as it is lived in the poor and the outcast, that changed the life of Saint Vincent de Paul and is still calling men and women from around the world every day to counter new forms of poverty. Jim Caviezel together with Piera degli Esposti, Massimo Popolizio, Sarah Maestri and Giovanni Scifoni, Ron and Gen Verde with their presence will testify to the works of Saint Vincent de Paul, at the beginning of the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism, in a story told through images, music and entertainment directed by Andrea Chiodi and hosted by Arianna Ciampoli.