Dear Fellow Vincentians,
This article is written on March 23, 2020. As information is time sensitive, please consider the date if there are more changes by date of publishing.
The World has stopped as we have known it. We are sheltering in our homes except for obtaining the basics of food, gas and medications. We are following governmental directives. Yes, we need to protect ourselves and our families.
Yet, we are Vincentians, volunteers that have made a commitment to serve others in need. As Council President, I had recommended that home visits be suspended until further notice for everyone’s safety and believed it was the right and compassionate call for all. Our Governor has now directed effective March 24th at 12: a.m., that we stay safe and stay home.
For now, utilities and evictions are mostly on hold. Food pantries have adapted, bringing food to people in their cars and outside of the pantry building. This week while on SVdP on call, I found myself providing potential available resources in my community. I saw no one and gave no one monetary goods in person.
How do we reconcile our Governor’s directive and family and self-best interests in this time of crisis, with the vocation we have been given to serve our neighbors in need? I can only think of prayer, kindness, a gentle heart and strength from our God which are all part of our Vincentian mission of spirituality, friendship and service.
I have not previously asked for responses to my Connection articles, but this time I am asking for your reactions and feelings to this new way of service delivery. Not to my reaction, but to yours.
Let us pray together, as we join together as friends. We may be physically separate, but our hearts are joined together. We are a community of Vincentians; we are one.
My words are not meant to forget the tremendous need of our neighbors in order to focus on ourselves. We all know how to help neighbors in time of need. This extraordinary time reflects on our capability to help ourselves in mind and heart to be able to serve.
Whenever this crisis potentially swells in numbers and then passes, the need will increase for the poor. Evictions will come, utilities will be cut off, and we will be needed a hundredfold more than now. Help as you can, protect as you can.
God bless in your thoughts, prayers and actions.