Vincentians

An Update from Therese – April 2019

An Update from Therese – April 2019 1000 1000 echomedia

Dear Fellow Vincentians.

Hopefully spring is actually here. As I get older, it seems winter lasts longer. Winter can be beautiful but, I think everybody is ready for spring to be here!

With a the new season, comes many new opportunities for we Vincentians to not only be of service to our neighbors in need, but provides us with new challenges within our organization.

The Vincentian Life Committee has been discussing several issues that will have an impact on us as we continue to assist those we serve. The first issue deals with providing rent assistance to individual landlords. In order to maintain our good standing with the IRS, we are developing a new reporting structure in order to be in compliance. We are currently working on a process that will be the most efficient and least cumbersome for conferences. We will keep you posted as we move along.

The next topic is “review of the books” by conferences. Good governance dictates that any organization such as ours has an accounting of its resources to protect its integrity and good standing. Our Central Council undergoes an annual audit by an outside accounting firm. The results of this audit are published for not only our Vincentians to review but also our donors and the general public. These audits are extensive and expensive. Conferences are not going to be required to incur a costly formal audit by engaging an accounting firm, rather, conferences will have someone other than the signatures on their checking accounts review the financial activity the conference has had over the past year. If no one in the conference is able to complete this task, conferences may ask someone within their community whether it is a parish member or someone from our SVDP Financial Review Committee who would be more than happy to assist.

More information on these issues will be forthcoming soon.

Spring also brings opportunities for Vincentians to come together in the Spirit of Friendship as well as fun and friendship at Service. On May 19th, we will gather to celebrate at our Annual Banquet. It is a great event celebrating Vincentians who exemplify their commitment to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Those bring honored will be recognized either their length of service or those individuals who are true models of the Vincentian vocation.

Now that we are experiencing warmer weather, we think of Camp Ozanam . On March 23rd we held Camp Jamboree at Sacred Heart Seminary. Over seventy Vincentians started to make plans for enrolling children for this camping season. We would like to send five hundred boys and girls to enjoy this life changing experience. Please consider inviting the children you met this year during your home visits to enjoy a week of Camp. Also, please send your Camp donations to the Central Office at 3000 Gratiot with “Camp Donation“ in memo section.

On June 18 and 19 we will have the honor and privilege of hosting the International President of St. Vincent de Paul Renato de Lima Oliveria. His visit will be a true blessing. His full schedule is being developed but, he definitely wants to meet our Vincentian community. Part of our planning will include an evening of a meet and greet. We will keep you apprised of the plans for this truly event.

The election of a new Archdiocesan Council President is underway. The Nominating Committee is working through the process as prescribe by our bylaws. Serving in the position of President has been a true honor. I will not lie however, it has been challenging at times but as I always say “ it is all good people doing good things”. I am continually amazed and inspired realizing how generous, giving and committed each of you is. Vincentians continue to give and give. You don‘t care how old your car is, what private club you belong to, how many toys you have. What is most important to you is growing in holiness through helping your neighbors in need. .Know when I leave office, I take with me your goodness and kindness that will continue to be a source of light in my life.

God Bless,
Therese

An Update from Therese – February 2019

An Update from Therese – February 2019 1000 1000 echomedia

Dear Fellow Vincentians,

Hope you all stayed warm during this frigid weather. This Arctic Blast reminds me of how blessed I am. I have a warm home, a car with heated seats and coats to keep me warm. I am so grateful. Many of our neighbors aren’t as fortunate but, this extreme cold has brought out the best of our communities. Makeshift shelters were created, warm meals provided, and warm clothing distributed by multiple churches and agencies. It took a true disaster for communities to do the same things Vincentians do every day!

I would liketo share some thoughts about our recent Annual Meeting. Over two hundred Vincentians braved the weather to attend . Thanks to all who made the meeting a great success.Special kudos to Debbie Jackson who took care of all the planning for our event. My gratitude to members of our newly formed Spirituality Committee: Sr. Noreen SC, Sr. Felicity, Sr.Linda, Sr. Shelly for helping us with our spiritual journey as Vincentians during our meeting. Deepening our spirituality is at the center of all we do. Our service to our neighbors brings us closer to God. As we live out our Vincentian vocation Jesus comes to us in a very special and personal way. During our spiritual reflection, we were reminded of why we are Vincentians and how we have grown in our relationship with God and each other. Dan Malone not only provided us with the state of our business at SVDP but, was inspirational in his presentation. A special thanks to Sacred Heart Major Seminary for making us feel so welcome. Most of all, I would like to thank you, my fellow Vincentians who

The feedback you provided on the evaluations was extremely positive and helpful. You not only told us of the positive aspects of the Meeting, you shared with us some areas where we as a Council can improve. The vast majority of respondents said how much they enjoyed sharing their answers to the questions presented, sharing experiences, and the bond all Vincentians have in common. One area identified for improvement is communication between the Council and the membership. Please know that I am open to any suggestions on how communication can be improved. As of now we attempt to pass along information through your district presidents from the Board to the other members. Also, The Conference Connection is a valuable tool to convey updates to you. We would love to be able to make sure all Vincentians have access to this monthly update. So, please make sure your fellow members have provided us with their e mail addresses. Also, we are aware that only thirty percent open the Conference Connection. If you have further ideas how we can better communicate please let me at tfmwf@aol.com. or Debbie Jackson at djackson@svdpdetroit.org and we will make every effort to see how we can best share information.

God Bless
Therese

An Update from Therese – November 2018

An Update from Therese – November 2018 1000 1000 echomedia

With Thanksgiving here, I am once again reminded on how grateful I am for the life God has given me. As I see how some of our neighbors struggle to even acquire the most basic needs it makes me more aware of how God has blessed me.

As we enter into the holiday season, we Vincentians continue our service to our friends. Holiday baskets, giving trees, coat drives making the holidays special for those with the greatest need. Our gospel mission continues to strengthen our spiritual growth. Your Vincentian leadership not only continues the outreach but, continues the responsibilities as leaders in the Council. We recently held an Archdiocesan Board Meeting and I would like to update you on the topics discussed. Minutes from the Executive Committee, Vincentian Life Committee and Governance Committee were approved. Resolutions were presented by the Governance Committee to establish a Finance Committee to work with our Executive Committee, CFO and CEO in financial matters. With all the changes in government reporting, we are extremely grateful to have the expertise of these three volunteers: Laurie Horvath, Robert Rock and Mark Lezotte join Mark Gilroy our Archdiocesan Treasurer, Rose Paczkowski our CFO, and Dan Malone along with our Executive Committee in being the best stewards of the resources we so graciously receive. Other areas the Governance Committee presented are resolutions covering CEO Limitation Policy, Position Description  for Council Board of Directors, Council Board Member Roles and Responsibilities, Voice of the Poor Committee Charter, Sex Offender Policy-Conference and Council, Harassment Policy, Contingency Committee Charter, Donor Privacy Policy, Gift Acceptance Policy and Board Chair and CEO Partnership Policy. We welcomed two new District Presidents to the Board, Sheila Cassett represents the Monroe District and Elina Munoz is representing the Mid City.  Your Board of Trustees is working to keep the Detroit Council one of the strongest in the Nation. Another topic was the approval of the Archdiocesan Council budget.  Many thanks to all staff and volunteers who keep our Council operating at such a high level. 

As I mentioned in a previous article, at the National Meeting SVDP approved a Strategic Plan. Since we here in Detroit had not developed our own since 2012, we have embarked on creating a vision for our future as well. Working in conjunction with the National Plan of Expanding and Strengthening Our Network Of Friends, Encouraging and Supporting Vincentians On Their Spiritual Journey, Advocate For And Work Towards A More Just World, Promote Deeper and Meaningful Relationships With Those We Serve and Develop, Improve, and Expand Services we have formed a group to bring to us a plan that will enhance our Vincentian Vocation. We owe thanks to fellow Vincentians Nancy Szlezyngier, Bob Saltsman, Althea Graham, Nalani Miller, Tom Reiss, and Dan Malone as this project gets underway. We will keep you posted on the progress. 

I have been asked to remind conferences that if you find yourselves in a strong financial position please consider a twinning opportunity. Maybe you would be able to share your good fortune with a conference with limited resources. If you think you could make that commitment, please give Debbie Jackson a call at (313) 393-3014 and she will be able to inform you of the conferences with the greatest need.

With under a year left in my second term as Archdiocesan President, we  are  in the process of succession planning. We have a nominating  committee comprised of past Council Presidents who will soon be accepting nominations. After the holidays, you will be invited to submit the names of possible candidates, after obtaining the potential candidate’s approval. Please pray for this as we consider new servant leadership. 

God Bless,

Therese