Vincentians in Action

Vincentians in Action

Vincentians in Action 800 800 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

I have attended three  National Assemblies. This past one in Colorado proved to be the most fulfilling. This assembly made such an impression because I experienced the power of youth. Recently, I received the position of the Mideast Region Representative for the African American Task Force (AATF).  At our meeting during the assembly, Mr. Middlecamp encouraged us to move beyond the AATF table into other committees needing diversity in age, race, etc. His assessment perfectly aligned with my intentions so I knew God had me on to something.

Initially, I struggled with what it meant to be an AATF member. In Colorado, I realized what the Lord had called me to do. He wanted me to take my new position, make it my own and lead the youth this year. I jumped right in with four little black girls from the City of Detroit in tow. Our first encounter happened after we checked into the conference. The youth experienced a plethora of greetings. I couldn’t attribute the warm acceptance to race or age but everywhere the  four young black girls went they encountered warm greetings of acceptance.

At the Assembly, we experienced a poverty simulation where participants understood how adverse circumstances could influence a solid plan. After that, we heard from both immigrants and refugees. They shared their life experiences and how advocacy programs helped influence their situations. Then Monsignor East held a private session with the youth since we would miss his keynote. We sang, praised the Lord and even jumped up and down at some points. The following day, we enjoyed a visit to the mountains. Frightened at times, we embraced the experience climbing the mountains, beautiful scenery and the stories of how the Mother Cabrini Shrine came to exist.

After that, we made hygiene and welcome kits for refugees entering the U.S. That evening the girls experienced a three course meal and helped distribute information about the upcoming 175th anniversary initiatives for the Society .
Overall, the girls had an awesome experience to help position them for leading a youth  program in the City of Detroit. In addition, they saw the other side of SVdP. For years, they have been by my side setting up for and organizing conference meetings. They have helped organize our Conference Thanksgiving and Christmas initiatives.

Colorado offered a fresh perspective to introduce my little workers to new friends doing the same work across the nation, a chance to grow in their own spirituality with a diverse  African and Hispanic twist during the masses at the Assembly and a way to see the impact of service for refugee families.

Overall, we loved Colorado and can not wait until St. Louis 2020.