The Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission is part of a much bigger picture. If we just look at the numbers we only have part of the story. However, even just that part of the story is impressive.
Vincentian priests, brothers, and those labor by their side strive to be Good News to the marginalized in close to 50 countries divided into some 50 entities known as province and regions. The more than 3,000 vowed members live in over 500 local “houses” or communities. We have no reliable estimate of the unrecognized thousands who lend their time, talent, and treasure to this core force.
But numbers hardly capture what this force actually does. Every once in a while we get a glimpse of what is going on in this vast network who call themselves “missioners.” The publication of 2017 Vincentian Solidarity Office Annual Report for 2017 provides us a peephole view of the scope of these activities.
The Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO) assists the Congregation of the Mission with obtaining funds for its evangelization and service of the poor in the most desperate areas of the world. It includes more than 30 organizational collaborators and many individual contributors (confreres, family, and friends of our Congregation). This year, once again they have raised or distributed over one million dollars. This money supports innovative and impact-rich projects in many of the most neglected and troubled spots on the world.
Fr. Greg Semeniuk, a member of the Eastern Province, serves this international effort and introduces this year’s annual report. It is outstanding in its simplicity and brevity in telling the story of some of the global efforts of the Congregation of the Mission.
Vincentian Solidarity Office Annual Report for 2017
“To serve the poor is to go to God!”
St. Vincent de Paul
This short quote from St. Vincent may be his most radical. Is not “going to God” the very purpose and end of the Christian faith? Yet, St. Vincent de Paul claims that a path to God also puts one on the path to the poor. It was with this vision that he helped to reform and refocus the Catholic Church during his time.
At the Vincentian Solidarity Office, we struggle to keep up with requests for help with projects from our priests and brothers in developing regions. Many of our missionaries face seemingly immeasurable needs and impossible challenges in serving the poor. At times, what our missionaries accomplish, and the untiring and loving spirit with which they do so, strike me as almost miraculous. Taking St. Vincent’s vision to heart, this should be no surprise. Vincent’s path to God through the poor is a deeply moving and powerful one!
Please know, then, how important your support has been to our missionaries, and that in giving it, you accompany them along the path to God. In this report, we present the projects of our missionaries you assisted in 2017.
In St. Vincent,
Fr. Gregory Semeniuk, C.M., Executive Director
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