On the occasion of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul and in the context of the Year of Vincentian Collaboration Fr. Gregory Gay, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission addresses Confreres of Little Company in the letter below:
Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul
September 27, 2015
May the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you!
On this feast of Saint Vincent de Paul I join with you in giving thanks to God for the blessing of serving God’s beloved people, especially those men and women excluded from participation in society, those people living on the peripheries, our lords and masters. We are called to serve these men and women and to find Christ in them. We are continually exhorted to not only lend our voices to their causes, but also to listen to them and to speak for them. Hopefully, as a result of our identification with them, they invite us to be their friends (cf., Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #198).
As we respond to this call to participate in the process of the New Evangelization, we, as Vincentians have a unique contribution to offer. First, during this Year of Collaboration we are presented with an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and solidarity among the almost three hundred branches of the Vincentian Family. In places where those bonds might be weak or non-existent, we are challenged to explore ways in order to establish such bonds. Such collaboration is essential if we are to continue to give witness to the reality that we are all one People of God, one Vincentian Family.
Vincent de Paul often spoke about an affective and effective process of evangelization. Our effort to make greater collaboration a reality in our midst is the best means to insure a more affective and effective outreach to the forgotten members of society.
Furthermore, I believe we have another important contribution to offer the Church as we engage in the process of the New Evangelization. In recent years we have seen different branches of the Vincentian Family join together in order to change oppressive and unjust structures that prevent people from living in a dignified manner. Our involvement in these collaborative processes of systemic change enables us to be Vincentian missionary-disciples.
Let us continue to work together in creative processes of collaborative systemic change, remembering that the final word of hope belongs to the Book of Revelation: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more (Revelation 21:1) … and may God bless us today and all the days of our life.
With the joy of having surpassed the goal of the Patrimony Fund Project still very much present, the Vincentian Solidarity Office is turning its face toward the present and future needs of the mission. The VSO suggests that the international collection taken up during the last two years continue. The collection is on its way to rooting itself as an expected tradition among the people we serve. The collection benefited the Patrimony Fund Project, and allowed for 25% of the collection to stay in the Province for the benefit of projects in the province. Now the collection, along with helping the province, can help the VSO reopen the Micro-Project program that allows an eligible Province, Vice-Province or mission to receive up to 5,000 USD in a relatively simple process to move forward a dream in service of the Evangelization of the poor. Please consider continuing the collection in service of solidarity with the mission of evangelization of the Congregation of the Mission. You will read about the projects in the Quarterly VSO Bulletin.
Your brother in Saint Vincent de Paul,
G. Gregory Gay, CM