How We Serve
Those of us who follow in the footsteps of St. Vincent de Paul are called to serve Christ in all people. We do this through our words and works. Our motto is “He has sent me to evangelize the poor” (Luke 4:18).
For more than 400 years, Vincentians have found joy in serving the underserved in many places around the world. The work of St. Vincent has continued here in the United States for 200 years, and in the Eastern Province of the United States for 170 years.
We meet the people, enter their world, learn their stories, and accompany them as they walk through the trials and joys of their lives. We recognize and acknowledge the dignity of all people as being created in the image and likeness of God. We live the call of Pope Francis, who tells us to “be shepherds, living with the smell of the sheep… as shepherds among your flock.”
St. Vincent taught us to accompany people as they journey through their lives—some just beginning, others further down the path. Sometimes, we are the ones in need of some help; other times we are the ones who can lend a helping hand.
These posts open a window to view the world through the eyes of Vincentians and the women, men, and children we serve on a spiritual and practical level. As we live out our calling, we realize that when we encounter Christ in everyone we meet, we can’t help but be changed by Him and our service to those we are assisting. Hearing these stories inspires us to do more.
What makes Vincentians different is our shared responsibilities to work together in our missions. The need is great, and to better serve the needs of people in a community, we are often helped by laypeople and organizations as we minister to the people for the greater good.
Oftentimes, we inspire those we serve to, in turn, become volunteers to help their community. Their success inspires others to make the leap, and allows everyone to be involved in serving their community, even as they are being ministered to as well.
This is what it means to walk the path with us in ministry, to hear and respond to the call of Christ.
Won’t you join us?
Traces of The Spirit (Acts 14)
In his biweekly reflection for FamVin News, Ft. Thomas McKenna, CM wonders not only the grit the apostles needed to go back into a dangerous situations. He also wonders about similar situations in our lives.
The Power of Prayer
Whatever Happened to Memorial Day… and Sunday?
What do you think of first when you hear “Memorial Day” or “Sunday”?
Mary Stands at the Foot of Our Crosses
Before we can find Mary at the foot of our crosses, yours and mine, we have to start with Mary standing at the foot of “the” Cross, her son’s cross.
A Vincentian View: The Force of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit draws us closer together around important values and with mutual respect. The Spirit then sends us forth to deal with the people of our world in a supportive and Christian manner.
Mother Mary’s Golden Crown
As we prepare to honor Mary during the May Procession at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia, discover Mary Massaro Conrad’s story of grace and thanksgiving and her family’s connection to the beautiful golden crown that adorns Our Lady.
Seeing Others As God Sees Them
How does God see each of us? Do we see others the way God sees them?
I Received A Letter From Pope Francis
On the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reflects “on how the Lord’s call makes us bearers of a promise and, at the same time, asks of us the courage to take a risk, with Him and for Him.”
Our Changing Images
Our images change over time. Sometimes others never get past the images and roles we had earlier in life. Other times they come to appreciate things they did not see earlier or traits we only developed later. Might that apply to our images of Mary?
Honoring Mary this May
May is the month of Mary! As Vincentian Priests and Brothers we are stewards of the Miraculous Medal. Throughout this month, we’ll share stories about Our Blessed Mother and how she intercedes for all of our needs.
Vincentian Mothers Over 4 Centuries
Vincentian mothers run the gamut from officially recognized saints to those who Pope Francis beautifully refers to as the “saints next door”.
St. Louise: The Woman at St. Vincent’s Side
We are probably much more familiar with the life and contributions of St. Vincent than with the woman whose life intersected with his for 35 years.
How Can We Be Easter People in a Good Friday, Holy Saturday World?
In a Good Friday, Holy Saturday world have you ever prayed the “Stations of the Resurrection”?
Looking for Signs of the Resurrection?
See the signs of Resurrection hope in the communities of Costa Rica, Algeria and Chad, through the work of the Vincentian Solidarity Office.
A Vincentian View: Christ is Alive
Pope Francis invites all to recognize Christ as “eternally young” and “to dream great things, to seek vast horizons, to aim higher, to take on the world, to accept challenges and to offer the best of [ourselves] to the building of something better.”
Seminarians Walking in the Footsteps of St. Vincent de Paul
Take a look inside the daily lives of the twelve young men currently discerning their vocations at Miraculous Medal House in Jamaica, NY.
Hail Mary in Vietnamese
Listen as Kim Le, a parishioner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, sings the Hail Mary in Vietnamese.
How Did Early Christians Cope with Radical Change?
We see Jesus and the early history of Christianity in the book of Acts. But how would we see those events through the eyes of an ordinary Jewish man or ordinary Jewish woman of the time?
Recognizing Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread
Why did the breaking of the bread open the eyes of the disciples more than seeing and listening to Jesus along the road?
Achievement to Implementation
Fr. Tom McKenna, C.M. reflects on situations we have all experienced… feeling a pull to take the next step yet feeling helpless to actually take that step.
Community Across Borders
Margaret Fonge, a parishioner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, shares a few words about the importance of community and inclusivity in her parish.
Emmaus & Redrawing Mental Maps: Both Theirs and Ours
In the Act of the Apostles we will see ourselves and our questions. Each Easter season I am amazed at what I learn about myself in their struggles.
Dying and Rising – A Tale of Two Marian Shrines
From Paris to Nagasaki, a tale of two Marian Shrines and the process of our dying and rising.
2019 Easter Message of the Superior General
Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, C.M, reflects on Easter in a message to the entire Vincentian Family: “The risen Christ opened to us the way of eternal love, of peace that does not pass, of hope that does not disappoint, of final victory..”
A Vincentian View: Innocent
Fr. Pat Griffin, C.M. reflects on the Passion narrative in the Gospel of Luke and the innocence of Jesus.
Bringing the Good News
Fr. Stephen Grozio, C.M. shares how the people of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina welcome everyone into their community. Take a look inside this parish that thrives through the special love Vincentians have for all peoples and cultures.
Holy Week: Jesus Asks, “Do You Understand?”
On the night before Jesus was to die, He washes the feet of his disciples and asks “Do you understand?” God is present in loving service more than power and might.
Solidarity Carrying Us Through
In his bi-weekly post on FamVin, Vincentian Father Tom Mckenna comments that it makes a difference to realize others are aware of what we’re going through. But he also points out that a saving solidarity is not only sympathizing but carrying us through.
Vincentian Family Solidarity with Venezuela
Faced with this humanitarian crisis the Vincentian Family would like to make ourselves present not only through solidarity in prayer and spiritual accompaniment, but also with help that relieves some of the pain of the most abandoned.
Drawing Deeper to Christ this Lent.
As Vincentians, we seek Christ in the faces and hearts of the people we encounter every day. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6, and continuing throughout the Lenten season, men and women just like you will share stories of how they have encountered Christ in their lives. Join us on this journey of faith, and dive deeper into the heart of Christ this Lent!
A Celebration of Cultures
Join us this month as we celebrate our Vincentian multicultural parishes. Each week we’ll share a story about the wonderful people we serve. We hope you’ll embrace this month along with us and celebrate the diverse people in your lives.
Is History Repeating Itself? Part Two
Two centuries ago the first Vincentians in the US had no idea of what they getting into. Is our history repeating itself?
The Inner Compass
In his bi-weekly column for FamVin, Fr. Tom McKenna of the Eastern Province of Vincentians uses the metaphor of our inner compass to provoke thought about the guidance systems for men and women wishing to share in the mission of bringing good news to those on the margins.
24 Hours Vincent de Paul Would Encourage
Niagara University’s Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement, in partnership with Leadership Niagara, is asking the community to Halt Hate on Tuesday, April 2. The initiative encourages participants to spend 24 hours choosing not to hate, but rather, to respond compassionately to situations that they encounter in their everyday lives.
Celebrating 170 Years of Vincentian Priests and Brothers in Philadelphia and Beyond
The Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission is getting an all-new look for 2019 to celebrate the 170th anniversary of Vincentian impact on the East Coast, and our legacy of loving and serving the most abandoned in society.
Is Our History Repeating Itself?
“In 1818 Fr. Felix De Andreis, CM described the situation of Catholics in the US. There were a small number of Catholic Americans and English, but most of the population were “Protestants of a thousand different sects,” he wrote in a letter. There were also self-professed Nullifidians: people who claimed to have no religion at all. Yes, this dearth of faith struck Fr. De Andreis as deeply as the bitter winter.
Let Us Not Assassinate Our Consciences
Archbishop, now Saint, Óscar Romero was murdered on March 24, 1980. He was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. He was gunned down during Mass in a hospital chapel a day after calling on the conscience of an army made up largely of peasants who were killing their own people.
We Forget Mary Was a Young Teenager
It is so easy to forget Mary was a young teenager. Did you know that even before she gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God, Mary was an ordinary young girl who heard an angel say something extraordinary to her?
Blood Sisters and Brothers
In a reflection, “Blood Sisters and Brothers”, on FamVin.org, Fr. Pat Griffin of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission USA offers some challenging reflections on our understanding of “Our Father”.
What Vincentians Can Learn from St. Joseph’s Dreams
As I was preparing a homily for the feast of St. Joseph, Pope Francis reminded me there are many things followers of Vincent and Louise can learn from St. Joseph.
Feet in Two Worlds (Luke 6:27-38)
Father Tom McKenna of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission places us squarely in the sixth chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel. He lays out the difficulties of living in the world Jesus sketches but isn’t here yet, or at least not fully here. (The post first appeared on FamVin.org.)