Society of St. Vincent de Paul

A Week in Prayers September 19 – September 23

A Week in Prayers September 19 – September 23 940 788 SVDP USA

Monday, September 19

Who do You say that I am, Lord?
A servant, a neighbor, a friend?
Have I stopped for the victims
At the side of the road?
Have I offered food to the hungry?
Have I offered Your love
With the works of my hands?
Have I comforted all those in sorrow?
Have I done as You asked me,
In spite of myself?
Who do You say that I am?
Amen

Tuesday, September 20

How can I better know You, Lord?
Where can I see Your face?

In the lines of an old man’s face,
That mark his labor on this earth
In the laughter of a young girl’s eyes
Sparkling with mirth

In the sweat that earns
The family’s food
In the last breath drawn
In a hospital room

In these and more, I love you, Lord
Through these I serve You in hope.
Amen

Wednesday, September 21

Lord of mercy, lift me up
Fill me with Your grace
Grant me the mercy
To serve and to love
As You have loved
And served me.
Amen

Thursday, September 22

O my Jesus,
For Your kingdom
I will labor.
In Your name
And by Your grace,
I will not waver.
From dawn to setting sun
The work of love is never done
For Your sake,
And for Your love,
And for my neighbor
Amen

Friday, September 23

Daily Prayers are written by Tim Williams, National Vincentian Formation Director.

SVdP News Roundup September 17 – September 23

SVdP News Roundup September 17 – September 23 1200 1200 SVDP USA

09-22-2022 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders

09-22-2022 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders 400 400 SVDP USA

Editor’s note:

The following is a shortened version of the letter from Rev. Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and leader of our Vincentian Family. Links to the compete letter in multiple languages are found later in this edition of the E-Gazette.

To the members of the Vincentian Family throughout the world:

Dear sisters and brothers,

May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!

We are fast-approaching the Feast of Saint Vincent that officially falls on 27 September, but, given the reality of a country, the celebration may be held on some other day to allow the greatest number of persons to attend.

We are seeing the return to in-person gatherings, which bring us joy and encouragement, since we are able again to witness as family, as persons of faith, participating in the Eucharist and other celebrations that a year ago were still hampered by the pandemic. This is an additional reason for us to put all our efforts and talents into making this observance of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul a memorable one after these past few years of very limited gatherings or their prohibition.

In fact, the whole month of September is called a Vincentian month. Depending on the structure and program of the Vincentian Family in a given country, different events, gatherings, and initiatives may be offered throughout the month. These might include days of recollection for youth who are discerning a vocation to the consecrated life, as well as formation and charity initiatives to deepen our Vincentian spirituality and charism. We also invite others, who may not know Saint Vincent de Paul and the other Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, to get to know our Vincentian spirituality and charism through our words and deeds.

The title of this year’s letter for the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul is, “From a Vincentian Family Structure toward a Vincentian Family Movement” and “Vincentian Centers of Spirituality and Formation around the world.”

Not so long ago, the international leaders of the different Vincentian Congregations of Consecrated Life and Lay Associations began to gather every year to build closer relationships and collaboration, as belonging to the same spiritual and charismatic group, even though each one retained its own specificity and uniqueness. This group began to be called “the Vincentian Family” and was symbolized by a tree with many branches. The central part of the tree with is roots is our common Vincentian spirituality and charism, and each branch represents an individual Congregation or Association. That is why we often use the word branches, having in mind the beautiful symbol of a tree.

The structured groups of Women’s and Men’s Congregations, and Lay Associations presently number 165. In addition, many other people, attracted and inspired by the person of Saint Vincent de Paul and the other Saints, Blesseds, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, do not belong officially to any of its branches. They are drawn to the Vincentian spirituality and charism through books, articles, the internet, radio, television, and social media. They would like to further their knowledge of the Vincentian way of thinking, speaking, and living, thus becoming active participants in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul, having the right to be called “Vincentians.” Already, a large number of persons who do not belong specifically to any group, because of their way of living out their lives, serving, thinking, speaking, and acting, embody the Vincentian spirit and charism. Here I see the further development of the Vincentian Family and this wonderful Vincentian Tree into what is becoming a so-called “Vincentian Family Movement.”

I would like to encourage all the international, national, and regional leaders of the structured branches of this beautiful tree called the Vincentian Family to invite as many members as possible of the Confraternities and the collaborators who do not belong to any specific group to participate in the different events that will be organized in the various countries throughout the month of September.

May Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Saint Vincent de Paul and all the Saints, Blesseds, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, intercede before Jesus for us all!

Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM

Please send us pictures and videos of the various celebrations you organized throughout the Vincentian month of September, or short articles about them, to these two email addresses, and we will try to share the information through different means of communication.

Javier Fernández Chento: chento@famvin.org

Hugo Marcelo Vera, CM: nuntia@cmglobal.org

Contemplation — Saints Among Us

Contemplation — Saints Among Us 940 788 SVDP USA

After the death of St. Louise de Marillac, St. Vincent de Paul gathered the Daughters of Charity together for two conferences in remembrance of their “dear mother.” He asked them to share their memories of the virtues they had observed in St. Louise, and that they would choose to imitate.

Among the virtues they recalled was Louise’s love of poverty, her insistence that “We are the servants of the poor; therefore, we must be poorer than they are.” [CCD X:572] This was of a piece with her great humility, by which she felt called to perform the most menial of labor in the house before asking one of the Daughters to do it.

When a loved one dies, we are sometimes left to sort through their belongings, some of them long forgotten in a basement or attic, some kept close at hand until the end. While these things may remind us of memories, both happy and sad, it’s the memories we treasure most; the little bit of the spirit of our dear departed that we carry within ourselves.

In a similar way, it is not the material assistance that is most important for us to give to the neighbors we serve, but the gentleness that penetrates their hearts, the kindness and patience we offer, and the love that brings us to them.

For us to grow in holiness together, we should always try to see and imitate the holy example of our fellow Vincentians, not only after they have died, but while they are among us, praying with us, and serving Christ in the person of the poor. Who is the member in your Conference who has never once seemed impatient or angry with anybody? Who is the one who nearly weeps at every home visit report she gives? Who is the first to ask about your troubles, and offer his prayers for you?

Seek first the Kingdom, Christ teaches us. Neither our lives nor our Vincentian ministry are best measured by the sum total of the belongings we accumulate. St. Louise left behind almost no material possessions, but her example of virtue and holiness still lives, ready to be shared by all members of the Vincentian Family today. Through her intercession, may we share in her spirit of poverty, her great charity, and her selfless devotion to God.

These alone are enough.

Contemplate

Which of my fellow Vincentians can I grow in spirit by imitating?

Recommended Reading

Let’s listen to a song this week: These Alone Are Enough

SVdP News Roundup September 10 – September 16

SVdP News Roundup September 10 – September 16 1200 1200 SVDP USA

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month 940 788 SVDP USA

National Preparedness Month Information From Disaster Services Corporation

Recently, it was reported that 246 people lost their lives from the ice storms that hit Texas last year.  The United States census bureau also released that at least 1,400 people lost their lives last year due to the fact they were not prepared for extreme cold weather. Not all winter storms are created equal; but when you are properly prepared, it can mean the difference between life and death.

Blizzards and other extreme cold weather events can last from a few hours or a few weeks. It can cause frozen roadways, dangerously high winds, and raise the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Like hurricanes, freezing storms can cause widespread power outages, cutting off your access to heat, and increasing the likelihood that your children, elderly loved ones, and pets will get sick from the cold.

That’s why preparing for extreme winter weather is so important. The following is a list of preventive measures you can take to “winterize” your home.

  • Stock your home with enough food, water, and supplies to last for days without power. Essential supplies include batteries, flashlights, radios, portable cell phone chargers, medication, pet food and supplies, and any necessary items for family members with health conditions.
  • Insulate doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, and keep backup batteries on hand.
  • Insulate walls, attic, and any water lines that run through exterior walls to keep them from freezing.
  • Consider adding exterior storm shutters to your windows for extra protection from flying debris.
  • When temperatures are at or below freezing for an extended period of time, keep faucets on a constant drip to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting.
  • Make sure you know where the main water valve is in your home in case a pipe bursts due to the cold. And schedule a family meeting to brief them on how to shut it off.
  • Make sure your roof is free of leaks. The better shape your roof is in, the less the cold can get in.
  • Cut down any tree branches that may break off and damage your house.
  • Plan on using your fireplace to stay warm? Schedule yearly chimney and flue inspections to ensure it’s safe to use.
  • Have a set of blankets and clothing stored in a water-resistant bag that can be easily accessed in an emergency.

No one ever expects their life to be turned upside-down by a natural disaster, but preparing ahead of time can make a stressful situation a bit easier! #BePrepared

 

Contemplation — Working for God’s Sake

Contemplation — Working for God’s Sake 940 788 SVDP USA

Studying the words of our Vincentian predecessors helps to remind us of the challenges we share, and the spirituality, traditions, and friendship that bind us to them and to the poor. For example, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some members of the Society in the United States began to adopt a term for home visitors: the friendly visitor, a term that captures what our Rule now calls establishing “relationships based on trust and friendship” with the neighbor. [Rule, Part I, 1.9]

The Proceedings of the National Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, held in Boston in June of 1911, contains numerous accounts of the importance of this personal and spiritual connection which remains at the heart of our Vincentian vocation.

In a talk about our works of love, Fr. Hugh Monaghan of Baltimore explained the importance of each member committing at least an hour a week to the work of visiting families, bringing gentleness, patience, and perseverance to those visits, so that the family may “realize that there is someone interested in them, someone who does care when things go wrong, someone who makes their joys and sorrows his own.” [Proceedings, p.77]

What greater gift could we bring than to reassure our neighbor not only that while we are there, they are the most important people in the world to us, but that when we leave, their troubles are also our own? If it takes one month, or six, or even ten years to make a difference in a neighbor’s life through our friendship, Fr. Hugh said, we will have “accomplished a work of charity greater, by far, than could be represented by any amount of money.” [Ibid, p.77]

It was in this spirit of friendship and mercy, also, that James Dougherty of New York explained our obligation to get to know the neighbor ourselves, not to rely upon, or contribute to shared databases (“card catalogs”) to determine a neighbor’s worthiness for assistance. Pointing out that our mandate to perform works of corporal mercy does not include any “conditions as to the character of the needy,” Daugherty went on to explain that many in need would “rather die than expose their condition,” which obliges us, in respect of their dignity, not to share their names and stories. [Ibid, p.119]

We cannot understand Christ’s reminder that the poor always will be with us apart from his admonition that our treatment of the poor will be judged as if done to Christ Himself. How we serve the poor is not a measure of our efficiency, but a measure of our love and of our faith.

Today, as in 1911, “we are apt to allow ourselves to get into a rut and forget the spiritual side of the work,” but to be friendly visitors is to “bear the fact constantly in mind that we are working for God’s sake. Do this and note the effects in our work among the poor.” [Proceedings, P. 118]

Contemplate

Do I always seek to make the neighbor’s joys and sorrows my own?

Recommended Reading

Turn Everything to Love

SVdP News Roundup Sept. 3 – Sept. 9

SVdP News Roundup Sept. 3 – Sept. 9 1200 1200 SVDP USA

Daily Prayers September 6 – September 10

Daily Prayers September 6 – September 10 940 788 SVDP USA

Tuesday, September 6

Heavenly Father, Lord of All,
Hold me in Your hand
Give me the faith
That moves mountains
The hope that
Turns night into day
The love that multiplies
Only when given away
Amen

Wednesday, September 7

Heavenly Father,
May neither my blessings
Nor my woes
Separate me from You
Make me Your instrument
Seeking first the kingdom
And serving the neighbor
For love alone
Amen

Thursday, September 8

Mary, Mother of God
And Patroness of the Society
Pray for us
That we may have the strength
To follow your example
Of humble obedience
And undying love
And that through your Son
Jesus Christ
We may be brought to new life
Amen

Friday, September 9

Pray for us, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam!
That we may share your passion for mercy, charity, and justice;
That we may bring the word of God fearlessly to the public square,
Promoting a civilization of love,
So that charity may accomplish what justice alone cannot.
Pray for us Blessed Frédéric Ozanam!
That we may dedicate ourselves to serving God in all parts of our lives,
Burning slowly, like perfume on the altar.
Pray also that we may follow your example of humility,
Going in simplicity where merciful Providence leads us.

Father in Heaven, we pray to You

For Your faithful servant, Frederic Ozanam,
Founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
If it be Your will, may the Church proclaim his holiness a Saint!

Daily Prayers are written by Tim Williams, National Vincentian Formation Director.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

    Skip to content