As the newly elected Archdiocesan Council President, I extend a huge HELLO to all of you.
Our Council is 145 conferences strong. What an amazing number of Vincentians serving our neighbors in need. I am so lucky to have this opportunity!
Having been asked what my vision is going forward for the Council, I have spent time reflecting on what is the core issue for all of us.
The community of spirit that joins us in our individual conferences and deepens our spiritual growth simultaneously is central to being a Vincentian.
At each conference meeting, we come together in prayer, reflection and sharing of news regarding our neighbors in need. The friendship and bond that grows among Vincentians is a critical part of understanding the reference of those we serve. As we grow in spirit and holiness, it is much clearer that our neighbors in need are as we are – children of God.
As a career social worker, I have made thousands of home visits to those in need. It wasn’t until I joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, that I came to realize that I was seeing the “Face of Christ “in those we serve. It has taken time to assimilate this realization into practice.
Throughout the Archdiocese, our neighbors in need exemplify a broad spectrum of ethnicity and race, levels of poverty, from the working poor to the homeless on the street and needs that are as diverse as the population of six counties. Each conference provides assistance in a myriad of ways, dependent on community resources, donated funds and the ability of the members of the conference.
SO…As you go about the work of helping the poor, please remember:
We are not here to judge, we are here to love and give to others. As different or difficult someone may be, we need to put ourselves in their “shoes” and come to understand and accept them as they are. Whether we offer material goods, time or a part of ourselves, let us reach out to others without bias or fear. We are all God’s children.