Vincentian Family Leaders from all around the world met in Rome, Italy for a three day Vincentian Family International and National Leaders’ Gathering January 22-24, 2016. Seventy-two people from 31 countries were present at the gathering, representing 19 branches of the Vincentian Family. Among them were three representatives of the Sisters of Charity Federation of North America: S. Julie Cutter, Daughter of Charity, Executive Director; S. Eileen Haynes of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth; and S. Seong A Koh of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Korea.
Sisters Julie and Eileen participated in the Vincentian Family Executive Committee (VFEC) that met at the Casa Maria Immacolata on the first day of the gathering. Superior General, Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, opened the meeting and then Fr. Joe Agostino, CM, gave the group an update about the newly created Vincentian Family Office. Reports were also shared on a variety of topics, including the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative, The Vincentian Marian Youth, MISEVI and AMM, Systemic Change Commission, Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission, and Vincentian Family Collaboration at the United Nations.
A wider circle of Vincentian Family leaders then joined the committee and began two more days to practice the theme of this year of Collaboration: Celebrate, Connect and Learn, and Serve. The opening video on collaboration celebrated the faces and stories of Vincentian Family members and projects throughout the world. “The opportunity to meet Vincentian leaders from around the world stretches my understanding of our charism of charity and the creative ways in which the Family engages people in need to improve their situations of poverty,” states S. Julie.
All agreed that Vincentians celebrate well the feast days, but are challenged to engage in service together in order to grow in unity and serve better people living in poverty.
“We all know how collaboration is rooted in our charism as a Vincentian Family, especially in the example of the lives of our Founders,” said Fr. Gregory Gay. “We also know that we will most effectively serve those who live in poverty only as we collaborate with them and one another in this ministry.”
For more information, read the latest FamVin article detailing the three day gathering’s events and activities here.