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Superior General addresses Ladies of Charity USA Assembly

Reflecting on the theme “Giving in Faith and Love” more than 250 people participated in the 12th Annual National Assembly of Ladies of Charity USA which took place in Hyatt Regency, Bethesda, MD, September 12-16, 2012Fr. Gregory Gay CM, Superior General, was a keynote speaker on Friday, September 14. As Fr. Robert Gielow CM introduced him as the successor of St. Vincent who accepted the challenge to address this “dangerous group of women”, the members of  LCUSA.  We share his presentation as it is important and helpful to all people living the Vincentian heritage.

Highlights of the address:

  • “Giving in Faith and Love” [theme of the Assembly]  goes to the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a bearer of the Vincentian charism. Jesus’ life was one of complete ‘giving in faith and love.’
  • Focus on two crucial issues for women today
    • feminization of poverty : “in the USA, it is a fact that women are often underpaid, limited in their access to education and advancement, and face greater obstacles as single parents and sole providers for their families. Indeed, the feminization of poverty has occurred alongside another misery which includes both women and men; namely, that of the working poor.”
    • human trafficking: “…originally believed to occurring largely in developing nations, we now know how prevalent it is throughout the world. It has destroyed the lives of so many young women and girls… It is also a reality on our own shores, with estimates of nearly 18,000 people who are trafficked yearly to the USA. Among these people are the most vulnerable, including minors and the undocumented”
  • “To be ready to serve as Jesus and our founders did, I suggest a three-fold way I call the “Vincentian Family Triple A”:
    •  accompaniment – “Rooted in Christ, Vincent and Louise are our models of Christian accompaniment. Their conversions occurred by allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of Jesus into accompanying the poor.”
    •  action – “Vincent de Paul said that «the aid contributed should be organized in a way that beneficiaries are gradually freed from their dependence on others and become self-sufficient.»”
    • advocacy – “As advocates for the poor, you realize that behind every statistic, there is a person. Every underpaid or unemployed worker is a human being with the same economic needs as you or I”.
  • “A contemporary way to understand and incorporate the “Vincentian Triple A” into your life and activity as Ladies of Charity is by a methodology called “Systemic Change”. It has become an important tool for reflection and action within the Vincentian Family.”

Read the full text (to download click on the “slideshare” button):

Monsignor Raymond East of the Archdiocese of Washington was another  speaker and his speech on “St. Vincent de Paul and the New Evangelization,” uniting Vincentian charism with Pope Benedict’s enthusiasm for 21st century methods of spreading the gospel very much concretized and developed the presentation by Superior General.

Sister Carol Keehan, DC, President of CHA was speaking another day, Saturday on  “St. Vincent de Paul and the Care of the Sick: What Would He Do Today?” Her presentation is available in another post here.

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