We live in consequential times. Prosperity and economic growth have helped some. But poverty stubbornly looms large across Michigan and our nation. In fact, the inequality gap has alarmingly grown as government’s role has stalled or declined. That has left many to suffer needlessly.
These realities raise several fundamental questions. How did this happen? Why are there still so many neighbors in need? What kind of world are we leaving or creating for our children and their children? How can those who care help?
Partly as a result of these concerns, I decided to make a career change. On March 1, 2018, I left a rewarding, 39 year legal career to accept this leadership opportunity with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Detroit. My expectations were realistic. I could not do everything. But, like you, I surely could do something.
My career shift has required a new skillset. Since arriving, I have been so blessed to discover many – including colleagues, family, friends, and members of my former firm – who have willingly and generously helped. It has been a humbling and spiritual journey. My seven month experience has left me with this discovery: as one gets deeper into serving others, doors open, things become possible, and life invites. I am most grateful; and I look forward enthusiastically to what lies ahead for our Society and those it serves.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an incredible, centuries old organization that has global reach. Its inspirational mission is simple, yet profound: help neighbors in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health or gender. It acts as a bridge between those who care and those in need. Last year alone, the SVdP Council of the Archdiocese of Detroit helped more than 300,000 neighbors. Among other things, our 3,300 dedicated Vincentian members in the Detroit Council made more than 45,000 home visits. At its core, SVdPD helps to restore hope among our suffering brothers and sisters.
While SVdPD remains loyal to its many traditional community outreach programs, there is also great potential. We are proactively exploring new and innovative ways to help those in need. For example, SVdPD has engaged in impactful collaborations with Matrix Human Services and My Community Dental Clinics to better assist neighbors, and in late 2018, we expect to launch a much needed wellness center. These and perhaps other services are transforming our Central office into an Oasis of Hope for those who need us most.
We are also determined to proactively provide inclusion within our ranks. This includes all who share our vision and mission. In particular, we hope to attract young people so that they can perpetuate the wonderful Vincentian traditions of spiritual growth and service. In that sense, we are simultaneously sustaining tradition while creating something new. As the prophet says in Isaiah 43, “Behold, I am making things new; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
When we live our Vincentian values, we are our faith – every faith – at its very best.
We see a world where every person has promise. What do you see? With your help and financial support, we will continue to discover ways to help create pathways out of poverty. Won’t you help? Please see the possible in our brothers and sisters in need by choosing to support our programs. You’ll be so glad that you did. God bless.
In Blessed Frederic Ozanam’s name,
Daniel P. Malone