Over the past month or so, many Conferences have found a way to make the holidays brighter for their neighbors in need. Food distribution, gift cards/ presents and kindness and love are all examples of the outpouring of giving to the poor in one’s community.
Despite the need to be mindful of their own risk of Covid 19 infection, many Vincentians have accepted that risk in offering their time and energy to ensure their neighbors were not forgotten.
At times, I have become caught up in the administrative parts of being President. Yet, I am brought back to the core of our mission as a member of a conference and its service to our neighbors.
Conference members know many of the people in their community that are in need. Many neighbors seek assistance on a fairly regular basis. Others may only call once, but their request can be a mighty one. In good faith, we extend our support to all.
What can we do moving forward in 2021?
First of all, our Annual Meeting will be virtual this year. Instead of the usual – Mass, Breakfast, and presentation, we will focus on the Meeting presentation. Postcards will be sent out prior to the meeting with all the pertinent information.
Events such as the Award Banquet and the Friends Walk are still at the undecided stage.
It is too soon to make a recommendation to initiate home visits again. BUT we are faced with a need for patience and creativity to continue our service.
For those who have had COVID-19 or lost a family member or friend to this virus, our prayers go out to you. Moving forward in such a difficult time can seem like an impossibility. In turn, we all have a responsibility to be respectful and supportive of anyone who faces illness or loss.
While many of us have so much, others have so little. As we sit in our warm comfortable homes, others face eviction, homelessness and hunger. As you reflect on this, I also ask that you contemplate the words of Frederick Ozanam:
“Yours must be a work of love, kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning, with an inalienable right to respect.
You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis; You must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of long term improvement.” – Blessed Frederic Ozanam
God Bless to all. Please stay safe and healthy.
Happy New Year 2021,