04-25-2024 A Letter from Servant Leaders

04-25-2024 A Letter from Servant Leaders

04-25-2024 A Letter from Servant Leaders 1200 1200 SVDP USA

By Pauline S. Manalo
National Vice President of Vincentian Programs and Services

Christ is Risen! We continue to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection for 50 days. The Easter season is an opportunity for us to reflect on what Easter means to our Vincentian vocation.

Finding the tomb empty Mary Magdalen “raises the question that Christians are meant to ask: WHERE IS HE NOW?” (Fr. Robert P. Maloney, CM; Easter: Our Resurrection Faith, VinFormation). He is present in the Eucharist, the Real Presence. We meet the Risen Lord in the Eucharist. He lives on in us, in our community, in our families and friends, and especially in our neighbors in need. “When I was hungry you gave me food. When I was thirsty you gave me drink. When I was naked you clothed me.” (Matt. 25)

At a spiritual retreat, former Episcopal Advisor Bishop Donald Hying drew a parallel to our meeting Jesus in the Eucharist and Vincentians’ personal encounter with neighbors seeking our assistance. We meet the person of Jesus in our suffering neighbor struggling in poverty. Our Vincentian vocation is to seek and find Christ in those in need, in the forgotten, and in the victims of exclusion or adversity. (Rule 1.5) A local conference had a novel idea seeking those who need help by placing 250 door hangers—Need Help? Call Us! –in selected areas they serve.

“I am the resurrection and the life. “(Jn 11:25) The risen Jesus gives us hope. The gift of eternal life transforms us. We express our belief in the resurrection of the body and eternal life reciting the Apostles Creed. Despite pain, suffering, and uncertainties in our own lives, we carry the hope of Easter. We do not keep this gift of hope to ourselves. As Vincentian disciples of Christ, we are called to follow Him, through service to those in need and to bear witness to His compassionate and liberating love…Vincentians serve in hope. (Rule 1.2) We are called to adapt to a changing world. (Rule 1.6) We listen more intently to neighbors in need and to fellow Vincentians, we seek to be more aware of the changes in poverty within our society, and most of all we ask the Holy Spirit the wisdom to offer transformative hope that empowers neighbors to emerge from poverty.

  • Thank you! And, yes I do ” listen more intently” as a Vincentian. By you including that phrase, I’m reminded to continue to grow that intensity! God’s Blessings!

    • Thank You, Pauline.. A great article. I read something recently that said that the Body and Blood of Christ that is hidden in the bread and wine is made manifest in our encounters with the poor.

      Dick Reimbold

    • thanks for emphasizing “listen more intently” reminds me, a “wordy” person of the scripture to be quick to hear, slow to speak ..but not only hear, but listen attentively.❤️

  • Thank you, Pauline. That’s a beautiful message and a true Vincentian message. Something that we all should strive for every day.

  • Thank you Pauline for your excellent letter. At our conference meeting tonight we discussed the topic of how we can bring spirituality to our neighbors during home visits and open pantry encounters. We agreed unanimously that listening can be as important if not more important sometimes than the material things they need.. We have a few neighbors who make this very obvious to us and we earn their trust by giving them the time they so need and simply listen. This can be one form of spirituality, and we feel blessed as Vincentions to be a part of their lives with Christ always at our backs.

  • Elizabeth Hamilton May 1, 2024 at 10:32 pm

    I loved the idea of placing door hangers saying ” Need Help? Ask us” on doors in selected areas of the community and will seek permission from the manager of a local low-income apartment complex to do the same.

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