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
The Vincentian Family has initiated fund-raising activities on behalf of the victims of the recent tragedy in Lebanon. The initiative that is called from our heart to the heart of Lebanon was created to support the work of the Vincentians in Beirut: the Lebanese Vincentian Family immediately went to work, providing shelter for the homeless, caring for the poor, tending to the wounded and feeding those in need. Ribel Elías, President of MISEVI International states: As a lay Vincentian missionary, I had just begun to work with families and individuals in need and with other Vincentian institutions that were seriously affected by this tragedy, when the Congregation of the Mission (CM), the Daughters of Charity (DC), the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP), the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), the International Association of Charity (AI), the Lay Vincentian Missionaries (MISEVI) and the other branches of the Vincentian Family also began to work together in order to move beyond these difficult days. Father Tomaẑ Mavriĉ, CM, President of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family, stated: at the same time that each one of us begins to activate our different channels of solidarity, I would like to propose that as a family, we respond in a coordinated manner to this disaster. We have seen that Pope Francis immediately sent 250.000 euros in order to help the church in Lebanon. As Vincentians, could we consider offering a similar large donation in order to assist the poor and the homeless in Lebanon.
The FamVin Homeless Alliance (FHA) is involved in fund-raising in the name of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon in order to provide housing, food, medical care and materials to repair damaged homes. An anonymous donor has offered FHA an initial gift of $50,000.00 on condition that other donors match this gift. Before the explosion, the people of Lebanon had to confront economic difficulties and now as a result of COVID-19, the people are living in the midst of a situation characterized by a tremendous increase in poverty throughout the country.
Said Safar, a members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the liaison for fund-raising for the Vincentian Family in Lebanon stated: young people in Lebanon are discouraged, sad, concerned, wanting to emigrate and struggle for the future … all the sadness here is the result of the bad economic situation, the political situation and the devaluation of the Lebanese money … there is no school, no university … more than 60% of the people are poor, there is a high rate of inflation and more than 60% of the people are unemployed. The explosion in Beirut has killed our hope … we confront this period with the hope that there will be a change. God is love and will not abandon us. With regard to the Vincentian Family, we are working together like a family in order to help the many countless families that have been affected by this explosion. Today, more than ever before, the homeless in Beirut and the Vincentians need all the support that is possible.
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
Last week, a delegation of the
Vincentian Family participated in the 58th Session of the United
Nations Commission for Social Development (New York). There was much
satisfaction with this event that began in 2017 at the time of the 400th
anniversary of the birth of the Vincentian charism. It was during that
celebration that a decision was made to join together in the worldwide struggle
Following in the footsteps their
founder, Saint Vincent de Paul, the Vincentian Family has identified
homelessness as a very serious social “scourge”. Thus, there
is am urgent pressing need to provide people not only with a roof and a floor,
but to provide people with a home, a place where they can raise a family in a
safe and secure environment, a place of peace and a place of belonging.
With this objective, the
Vincentian Family has committed itself to become part of a working group on
homeless and joined together with forty-one other organizations to bring this
matter to the attention of the United Nations.
Throughout its long history of 75 years, rarely has there been any mention of “Homelessness”. The lack of a clear definition of the problem has led the member states and international organizations to ignore one the fundamental rights of humanity, the right to housing. Therefore, the working group to end homelessness has advocated in a tireless manner to include this theme on the agenda of the UN. The result of this process is seen in the fact that the 58th Session of this Commission has now placed homelessness on the agenda of the UN.
This is a revolutionary achievement that, without a doubt, should be viewed as a milestone in this journey that still needs much work and commitment. The fundamental aspect is that each country must analyze this problem, define it and quantify it so that an appropriate policy can be created to address the issue of homelessness within a country. In the last two years, the Working Group has developed a draft resolution for the Member States and has also established partnerships with the missions of the Member States at the United Nations. These two combined efforts resulted in a resolution of the United Nations that gave the following theme to this current year:
“accessible housing systems and social protection systems for all, to
The publication of a document shared by all and signed by all is certainly not the immediate solution to the problem of homelessness, but it is at least one way to start addressing this issue in a global manner.
It should be noted that during
this session of the Commission more than sixty parallel events were organized,
closely followed by NGOs from around the world. All of this allowed the
participants to dialogue, deepen their understanding of the issues, get to know
each other and, above all, understand that the path that has been initiated, is
now a path shared by many and that this Commission for Social Development has
initiated a worldwide movement.
The first international meeting of the leadership of the various associations and institutions that today compose the Worldwide Vincentian Family (representing some two million men and women) has been initiated. The meeting, which will continue until Sunday, is being held in the Patristic Institute Augustinianum (Via Paolo VI, 25) and is intended to enable the participants to come to a more profound mutual understanding of the distinct branches of the Family and to lay a foundation for greater collaboration. Father Mavrič highlighted the fact that collaboration is not a new concept within the Family, rather it was the model that Vincent de Paul proposed at the very beginning. Throughout his life, the close collaboration between the members of the Confraternities of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity and the Ladies of Charity had a tremendous impact on the lives of the poor whom these groups served on a local, national and international level. The Vincentian Family (in terms of number of people involved in service and the amount of shared financial resources) is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the world. We are composed of various charitable organizations, associations, religious congregations of women and men and we all share the same charism that has been bestowed on us by Vincent de Paul. Our branches provide assistance and charity in many different forms. Everything is done with humility and much care (as demanded by the Vincentian charism which is the basis for our activity). These great works of charity are present in the developed world as well as in developing countries but often these works are not known outside the Vincentian Family. Father Marvič then proposed five areas of work for the near future: formation and spirituality, education, health care, global initiatives of the Vincentian Family that respond to specific needs (for example, the call of Pope Francis in Laudato si and humanitarian activities that respond to some catastrophe).
Father Robert Maloney (the predecessor of Father Tomaž in the role of superior general of the Congregation of the Mission) stated that Pope Francis reminds us that we are heirs of those who have gone before us and who had the courage to dream. So I ask you who are gathered here today to have that courage to dream! Work in a collaborative manner with bold prudence, work in the manner of Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Frederic Ozanam and many other founders. These individuals made their dreams a reality.
There are many projects in progress and here we will mention a few: the 13 houses campaign. During its first year of activity, more than 3,200 have been chosen for this initiative in 28 countries and in the next few months, 24 more countries will be involved in this activity. More than 500 houses have been built by different branches of the family who work on behalf of those who are poor. The 13 houses campaign is an initiative of the FamVin Homeless Alliance. They began their work in November 2018 at the time of an international conference about homelessness in Rome. The objective of this initiative is to change the lives of 10,000 homeless people in the course of 3-5 years. This initiative takes its name from a 17th century initiative of Vincent de Paul who built 13 houses for children who had been abandoned in Paris. The campaign began with a single house in Little Rock, Arkansas [USA] and expanded into large projects on different continents. Some of these projects are focused on providing houses for the victims of natural disasters [as is the case in
Mexico]; other projects are designed for immigrants [New Zealand] or for people who are living in marginalized neighborhoods [India]. Not all the 13 houses projects involve the construction of houses … in Spain and Colombia, the Vincentians have organized sensitivity services in order to provide better care to those persons who are homeless. In Peru, support is being provided to the refugees who have traveled to this country from Venezuela. Some projects have received funding from the Solidarity Fund of the FamVin Alliance, but the majority of the projects have found their own proper funding and/or are supported by individual and institutional donors.
The Vincentian Family came into existence as the result of a twofold experience of Vincent de Paul (1617). In the village of Folleville, France, Vincent came to recognize the spiritual poverty of the country people and then in Châtillon Vincent confronted the material poverty of these people. Those two events marked the beginning of Vincent’s personal conversion which enabled him to respond to the urgent needs that he had discovered. Vincent’s focus was on the whole person and thus on every form of poverty: spiritual, emotional, physical, material. From this small mustard seed that was planted in 1617, the Vincentian Family has become a large tree composed of more than 160 branches (lay associations and congregations of religious life) with more than two million members in one hundred fifty countries. At the same time there are countless men and women who, even though they do not formally belong to some particular branch, are inspired by the example of Vincent de Paul and his service on behalf of those who are poor.
At the beginning of the fifth century of life, the Vincentian Family looks toward the future with the awareness of the necessary urgency of an ever closer synergy with all that came into existence from the “seed” that was planted by the founder.
On Saturday the participants will address the question: how do we move forward together … this session will include a panel discussion and there will be time to reflect on the potential of the internet and the challenge that this presents for the future. Sunday morning will be dedicated to gathering together suggestions and proposals as well as assigning specific tasks and responsibilities. Father Joseph Agostino will take care of thanking people and other commentaries. This historic event will conclude with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM and animated by the music group, Gen Verde.
Interviews with participants
Interviews will be allowed during the work breaks. For further information, please contact Elena Grazini of the Vincentian Family Press Office, email: email@example.com – Cell. +39 338 190 24 36