Last week, a delegation of Vincentians from across the country traveled to Chicago, IL. to participate in the Journeying Together national gathering. The theme of this year’s event was “Alive in Christ: Young, Diverse, Prophetic Voices Journeying Together.”
SVdP’s participation in this event was the culmination of a recent push to target new and diverse groups of people and encourage them to become a part of the Society.
“This was a great opportunity to introduce SVdP to Young Adults and older Catholics involved with youth and YA ministries across the U.S,” said Bertha de Alegria, Western Region VOP Representative and delegate at Journeying Together.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was proud to be a sponsor of the event. We had an exhibit table with lots of SVdP goodies to give away and even had SVdP cornhole for visitors to take turns playing! One lucky table visitor will even get a special treat! They will get to keep Cornhole!
National Board Member and MCD Chair Pam Matambanadzo gave a heartfelt invitation to others who may be interested in joining the Society. “We like to say that we see the face of Christ in those we serve. Visiting with them in their homes allows us to share in their humanity, bringing hope and friendship where things might have previously felt hopeless. Our vocation is to follow Christ through service to people in need and bear witness to His love.”
Journeying Together offered attendees a special opportunity to experience the beautiful diversity of the Catholic Church in the U.S.
“There was a spirituality reawakening and the passion of both young and old coming together and sharing personal journeys of faith,” said Pam Hudson, National Director of Governance and Membership Services. “I spoke with a wonderful young man from Alaska, Waylon, who was very open and sharing his spirituality and challenges within his village of poverty and drug infestation. Sad but hopeful.”
“Archbishop Nelson Perez spoke about how when we are invited to people’s homes, we seldom see the kitchen. We see the dining room table — set with beautiful china and cutlery. We sit down to a delicious meal. Seldom are we invited into the kitchen,” said Matambanadzo. “It’s the kitchen where all this beauty is created, but is generally messy and only the close family goes into the kitchen. He said our time at the event was like being in the kitchen with family. It was messy, but a lot of good will come out of it. I found that to be profound and comforting. Life is journey — some parts of the road will be smooth and others will need us to rely on the GPS (our faith) or maybe stop at the gas station for confirmation (our community).”
Our SVdP delegates left feeling refreshed in their faith and the mission of SVdP. We are so excited to welcome new members to the Society who learned about our work through our involvement in recent gatherings including Raices y Alas, Young Catholic Professionals Conference, and Journeying Together!