Suddenly he had evidence that the poor country people were left abandoned by the Church and that all that was needed was a priest and a sermon in order to arouse in them an unexpected longing for conversion. Meanwhile he was to go away from them for about twenty-two years. He was discovering also the generosity of these rich people who were helping the poor with their money and sometimes visiting them. Coming to another stage, the re-reading of the experience in the light of the word of God would enable Saint Vincent to move deeper into his understanding of reality and to confirm his discernment of the callls which God was expressing there. His work with the poor and his preaching attracted widespread attention, and his spiritual character was recognized by St. Francis de Sales who appointed him spiritual director to the Visitation Community that Francis founded together. Letters of St. Vincent de Paul, translated and edited by Joseph Leonard (1937), reveal the religious spirit and practical genius of the man. It is an act of love which makes us enter into the hearts and feelings of each other. Vincent’s first view out on to the world was through looking at his parents, his family, his neighbours, his milieu. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. The results would often be impressive, securing astonishing reformations of life: reconciliations between enemies, mutual forgiveness, restitution of property, regularisation of unions,etc. He would send them into Champagne, Lorraine, Picardy, and the war-striken Paris region. Those 14 years spent at Pouy were very enriching, but Saint Vincent didn’t advert to this until he decided to devote himself to the poor with a view to evangelising them and serving them. And the result was that the people were deeply moved, and crowded along to confession. Baseball Card Auction for Charity: Read more here. “In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experience the indifference and solitude to which we so often condemn the poorest of the poor, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies. M. Vincent was challenged by the massive reaction in the parish of Folleville to his improvised preaching on general confession as much as by the confession of the man at Gannes. Volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) and become part of the largest and oldest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland. These include external challenges such as: • Ongoing societal changes including globalisation and modernisation, economic upheaval and changes to Australia’s demographics. Disunity between people in whatever form was a frequent evil in families and in village or parish communities. Becoming sensitive to the challenges of an era is a complex process, taking place at several levels. A A. Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) commonly known as Saint Vincent de Paul was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor.In 1622 Vincent was appointed a chaplain to the galleys. Ill- at- ease with his unsuccessful efforts and the lack of direction of his life –he had been a priest for 10 years and had exercised almost no priestly ministry– he placed himself under the direction of Pierre de Bérulle, the founder of the Oratory in France. Cathedral of Saint Paul 239 Selby Avenue "I learned about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul during the start of the pandemic. Doors open 25-30 minutes before each Mass. Other moral disorders ought to be mentioned which the missioners tried to remedy: blasphemies, excesses of the carnival, drunkenness, etc. It’s an event which might appear common-place for a priest . St. Vincent de Paul helps local people with groceries, utilities and rent assistance. He acquired it progressively along a complex route. This year 1617 was therefore decisive for Saint Vincent. He travelled to Châtillon in order to be free from every constraint so as to preach and administer the sacraments. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It is good, at the beginning of the Vincentian Month, to plunge back into our roots. It continued to spread into France where the priests were not very competent or caring about giving good spiritual teaching to their parishoners. Among the many challenges that rural parishes face, dwindling numbers are one of the most common. Mission reports provide abundant descriptions of this profound ignorance of the country people. At present we are at the first stage: “Seeing”. Because, as a result of this very focussed look which became aware of the cries of the poor, the signs from God, the challenges to be faced, there was born his missionary and charitable work by way of appropriate and effective response. What are the challenging experiences which I have met and which opened my eyes to today’s great challenges with regard to evangelisation? b) In addition to this permanent daily misery, already bad enough, there was an exceptional misery provoked by “extraordinary” phenomena which settled in and lasted several years : the wars with their train of murders, brigandage and famines, epidemics like the plague, etc. | 239 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102 | 651.228.1766 | Website by St. Paul Training, Baseball Card Auction for Charity: Read more, Monday-Friday at 7:30 a.m (also livestreamed, scroll down to see video). Greatly moved with compassion, I strongly urged that he should be helped, and with such feeling that all the women were touched (IX,423). Three weeks after his arrival there took place the second event which was to challenge him as at Folleville and through which God was again going to speak to him. He was out to seek his fortune, but with little success. All rights reserved. As well as the “Catechism Lessons” which deal with the principal aspects of the faith, the missioners each day gave what they called a “preaching”, that is to say a sermon with a moral purpose, envisaging the different concrete areas of the lives of the people so as to lead them to renounce sin and embrace the corresponding virtues of their state. These words of St. Vincent de Paul characterize this saint who "ran" with every opportunity to provide for the spiritual and material needs of the poor, and indeed, of all the people of his time. All these good people, he recounts, were so touched by God that they were all coming along… But the crowd was so great that, being unable to cope, we had to call upon the Jesuits from Amiens (XI,4). They were in such ignorance about their salvation that it was hard to find a hundred people who knew the commandments of God and the Apostles’ Creed. He maintained a deep sympathy for them. At the same time he said in a loud voice: “Let a certain person (his nephew’s murderer) come forward so that I can embrace him”. Without delay they all off went at the same time bringing him help. Saint Vincent developed an apostolic outlook which enabled him to grasp the great challenges of his day and which directed him towards practical and effective solutions. Our Vincentian Month on Parish Missions1 is structured, as we said at the beginning, around the procedure of “See – Judge – Act”, and will be brought to a close through a concluding process, and the drawing up of a document expressing our convictions concerning this ministry today. We find in mission reports very numerous descriptions of these broken relationshps and of the missioners’ attempts to repair them in order to build up a family, or village or parish community where there would exist a practical charity worthy of true christians. St. Vincent de Paul was a 17th century French priest who had an untiring commitment to serving the poor. The next day — Communion Day — a general reconciliation took place. M. Vincent arrived on 1st August 1617 in Châtillon, a rural parish of 2000 inhabitants and very run-down. Ah! So people began to accept what was said by Protestant ministers who were often zealous and explained the gospel to them. You can also request assistance online by filling out our form. As a teenager he felt called to ministry and in 1600 was ordained a priest. We are now going to reflect for a moment on our own personal outlook and on its evolution. It would be one of the principal aims of the missions to try to remedy this. We will briefly trace this evolution. Far removed is it from those who feel no compassion for the afflicted or the suffering poor. The country people are perishing with hunger for the word of God according to Saint Vincent’s beautiful and touching phrase. The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is a member-based lay Catholic organisation that has been assisting people experiencing poverty and disadvantage across NSW for 135 years. Seeing and Discerning the Challenges: From St. Vincent's Eyes... To Ours. Saint Paul, MN 55102, © - Cathedral of Saint Paul. Let’s give one example from among very many, drawn from the Niolo missions account: Finally, on the eve of the general Communion, I was coming to the close of the sermon, after exhorting the people once again to forgiveness, God inspired me to take in hand the crucifix I was wearing and to say to them that anyone who was willing to forgive should come and kiss it. a) Saint Vincent took up in Châtillon the challenge of permanent material poverty, involving principally the sick poor who lived in the village and he gave it a first response by setting up a Con- fraternity of Charity which would be followed by numerous others. He adds to our strength also.". St. Vincent de Paul. And so Saint Vincent would be able to say: Turn the medal and you will see through the light of faith that the Son of God who wished to be poor is represented for us by these poor people….Lord! We know how, in the case of Saint Vincent, this love would not be merely affective but very effective indeed, practical, active and inventive in relieving any suffering and for bringing the good news of salvation. Monday- Friday: 7:15-8:15 a.m. (for morning Mass); 3:45-5:00 p.m. (afternoon confessions). In villages where missions had been given, in order to reply to daily and permanent misery especially among the sick poor he wished that after each mission a Confraternity of Charity should be set up composed of christian parishioners (generally women in fact), to take care of the poor in that place. Asking them if there is a God or if there are several, and which of the divine persons became man for us was like talking Arabic (IV, 412). He would discover what was to become one of the constituents of the missionary apostolate: service of the poor through the Confraternity of Charity. (in fact nobody budged but a reformed Franciscan who was in the church called upon them again). Also of our capacity to perceive the key challenges of our times, and of our manner of being attentive to the signs that God sends to us through events. He started his first organization, the Ladies of Charity, an organization of rich women dedicated to assisting the poor, in 1617 when he experienced a personal conversion that led him to discover the pervasiveness of poverty in his day. Even if nowadays research and reports can be very usseful they are not sufficient to make us notice the challenges of today’s world or at least they do not constitute stage one.. What was Saint Vincent’s stages of procedure, and what might be ours? It is interesting to note that Saint Vincent and his missioners were very aware of this since it represents a clear contradiction of the gospel message given to us by Jesus. They are frequent more or less everywhere and damage the constitution of true christian families. Dionysius was a writer in the late 5th or early 6th century. 2). They paid special attention to the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Eucharist which Saint Vincent had represented on the front of the Common Rules. Your email address will not be published. Such was, in broad outline, the story of Saint Vincent’s outlook with its stages and its maturing. Review Cathedral Protocols for Mass. In their name he was meeting the poor, distributing the alms of Queen Margot or, in the company of Mme de Gondi, visiting the villagers working on her lands. "You should never tread on the heels of Providence; but if Providence opens the way, you should run." The St. Louise chapter of St. Vincent de Paul has seen a large increase in requests for assistance in the past few weeks and expect this increase to continue. I do not say we should go out indiscriminately and take on every' thing, but rather those things God lets us know he wants of us. It was this tenderness which caused him to come down from heaven, seeing people excluded from his glory. The missioners were to give themselves with zeal to this interpersonal and communitarian ministry of reconciliation. Moreover all rules must lead to charity." Just before preaching, a message was brought to me, he recounts, that there was a poor man who was sick and very badly housed in a wretched barn….. He was touched by their misfortune (XII, 270). It really struck me that many of the challenges people are facing today--lack of food, housing, and clothing--were things Frédéric Ozanam and his friends saw when he started SVdP. Masks will be required, social distancing will be followed and student mobility will … In spite of the ambiguity of this procedure — he was seeking social advancement — it was for him an opportunity to develop another way of looking at the world. This same Protestant was to return to the Catholic church where he was to see, one year later, in the course of a mission given by Saint Vincent, that the poor were being evangelised. Then a parish priest whose nephew had been killed and the murderer was present at the ssermon came to prostrate himself on the ground and asked to kiss the crucifix. That Protestant whom Saint Vincent met at Marchais in 1621 was right; he made the objection: One sees the Catholics of the countryside abandoned to vicious and ignorant pastors, without being instructed in their duties, with most of them not even knowing what is the christian religion; and on the other hand one sees the towns full of priests and monks who are doing nothing; and in Paris perhaps there are ten thousand who however leave these poor country people in this dreadful ignorance which causes them to be lost (XI, 34). This text throws a clear light on the Châtillon event and gives him confirmation of his call to relieve all suffering, since anyway, it is Jesus whom one meets and helps in the person of the poor and the suffering. Holy Cross partners with St. Vincent De Paul and West Virginia University Extension Services to expand the food bank and develop educational backyard garden projects, including courses and resources for raising poultry at home. He, in November 1611, had him appointed parish priest of Clichy, near Paris, where he was to spend 16 months happily in the midst of poor country people (IX,646). Saint Vincent would launch the Ladies of Charity, the Daughters of Charity and the missioners into efforts to remedy all these miseries. The missioners would try to bring those whose situation was amenable into a true religious marriage and would try to persuade others to separate. This is indeed the challenge which God asks him to take up after the example of Jesus. If you need to make contact or you are looking for information that you can not find on the website please feel free to contact your closest office. They would do it by preaching forcefully on the subject and by making much personal contact with the people concerned so that they might become reconciled and forgive one another and might restore ill-gotten goods. We have seen those most directly connected with our theme of popular missions. This marked him deeply. His focus was now no longer on himself, on his social success, on his family. Little by little he eased his way into the world of the influential and the rich. (I, 514). Thus, meeting with the galley-slaves, the sick in hospital, the abandoned children, the aged, the war-refugees, the Catholics persecuted in Ireland or in the Hebrides, etc. God is not neglected if your leave him for such service. Watch the video here. Various translations of his work enjoyed wide distribution. b) Help given to the clergy through the missions. I shall take principally the example of interpersonal relations. It was this faith proclamation through the “catechism classes” during missions which in Saint Vincent’s eyes was most useful to the people. He got food distributed, nourishing tens of thousands of poor in Paris and the provinces. The Society of St Vincent de Paul currently has eight regional offices located around the country. Châtillon was going to reveal to him another dimension to his vocation. This exposé will be esentially focussed on St Vincent unlike most of the other presentations which will have present-day missions as their starting point.. In order to remedy this inefficiency, due to lack of organisation in their generosity, Saint Vincent set them up as a Confraternity of Charity to help the poor who have often suffered owing more to lack of order in assisting them rather than lack of charitable people (First Rule of the confraternity of Charity of Châtillon, XIII, 423). Saint Louise de Marillac, cofounder with St. Vincent de Paul of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, a congregation of laywomen dedicated to teaching and hospital work. And he would at the same time feel himself personally challenged, and called to do something which would help. He would be moved with great compassion in the face of this misery (IX, 209), as he said on several occasion. After 1617 and up to his death, M. Vincent was to devote all his time to the evangelisation and service of the poor. It ought to be said at the start that for several years the material and spiritual misery of the poor, although he was aware of it from close quarters, had not constituted for him a challenge. Effective intervention for improving conditions in the lives of the poor must go hand- in-hand with evangelisation. And so we shall stop here. All this in order better to adapt our missionary action. He went to Folleville accompanying Mme de Gondi who was visiting the villages situated on her lands. In the midst of the political, social, religious, and economic turmoil of early 19th century France, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul originated. From 1610 to 1617, Vincent could see the short-comingS of the wealthy but also the values and resources of this milieu which he was to direct towards the service of the poor. b) Another Gospel text would help Saint Vincent to re-read and understand in depth the Châtillon event and the foundation of the first Confraternity of Charity. If we were to fail to identify today’s challenges and to face them with inventiveness and a spirit of faith, we would be staying at the edge of the real problems of the Church, and parish missions would be insignificant and without real impact. The missioners could also propose to the priests of the parishes in an area which had received missions to gather together and under their direction make a retreat in their house.  Jean Calvert, Saint Vincent de Paul and his world, (a book limited to private distribution) p, 334. This subject was dealt with in preaching. At least while giving a mission one is in the church protected from the weather, the heat of the sun and from the rain, to which these poor people are exposed… ! 1952), is unsentimental and historically sound. Second Place, 2017 Vinny Prize, Office of Mission and Values at DePaul UniversityBy Chaz Bottoms Vincent was sensitive to the needs of the people and the difficulties of the Church in his time. In 1595 he left his father’s farm and the testing life of country folk in order to go and study in the college at Dax, while lodging with the well-off family of M. de Comet, the lawyer from Pouy. And now he had arrived at the decision to devote the rest of his life to the evangelisation and the material support of the poor whose real needs he had been able to discern as a result of the basic experiences of Folleville and Châtillon. The encounter with new forms of poverty would be for him pressing calls to take up the challenge by seeking to provide solutions through his diverse foundations: the Confraternities of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission, and the Daughters of Charity. If we wish today to get to grips with our world we must, like Saint Vincent, know how to view and understand situations in their context and distinguish what exactly is at stake and what challenges need to be met. The beds at St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter on Apple Street in Dayton had to be moved farther apart because of the coronavirus. He sees clearly that announcing the good news to the poor puts him at the heart of the Gospel and in line with the mission of Jesus. how tender of heart the Son of God was. We know about this episode which is at the origin of the popular missions. That will be able to help and stimulate us in seeking those of our own time and our own region of the world. The lady is alarmed: “Ah!, if this man who was taken for a good person was in a state of damnation, what about others who live worse lives? He was not so much an originator, but rather a great organizer. St. Vincent de Paul was short and squat with a square jaw and a square beard. After the people had asked pardon of God, they asked it also of their pastors and vice-versa; it was all very edefying…. This basic experience which enabled him to see the poor from the inside certainly contributed to give to his charity its realism, its sense of the concrete needs of the poor for which practical and effective solutions needed to be found. Besides, during all these years, he didn’t try to remedy it, but only to get away from it, he and his family. Watch a WCCO interview here. Up to now we have been trying to take a look at the reality surrounding us: the world, the Church, the needs they have, their challenges, our difficulties….I would now like to offer you a reflexion about the way that St Vincent focussed on the social and ecclesial reality surrounding him. Let’s cite just one example from among the worst, taken from the account of a mission at Niolo in Corsica: vengeance was so rife that no sooner had children learned to walk and to talk than they were taught how to seek vengeance at the slightest offence. Thus it was that he experienced for the first time the poverty of living in the midst of small farmers who were needy, and also of humble work in the fields. But parish missions would also make a specific contribution to remedying this problem. St. Vincent de Paul said : “As a young man, when my father took me to the city I was ashamed of going with him and of recognizing him as my father because he went poorly dressed and limped. He always linked evangelisation to the giving of material aid, asking the missioners to preach missions while they were organising relief aid. Local SVP groups are working hard to help people in Sudan get access to safe medical aid and with the added challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare is even more vital for millions of people. "Offer the deed to God as your prayer. It was definitively directed to the poor country people and their spiritual needs. The result was that the course of his life was changed. We will have occasion to come back to that on another day. Vincent was a model of zeal in ministry and he appreciated the power of prayer, the need for spiritual growth and the happiness that comes from doing the work of God, especially among the poor. For the future he will have his eyes and his heart wide open to welcome and discern the various spiritual needs of the poor so as to respond to them. This experience marked him with regard to a large part of his social and pastoral activity, especially in respect of the confraternities of Charity. He died in Paris in 1660 and was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737. (XI, 201). To Pope Innocent X whom he is asking on 16 August 1652 to intervene in favour of peace he describes the horrors of the war and he adds: It is a small thing to hear or read these things; they must be seen and ascertained with one’s own eyes ( IV, 458) (4, 446). In 1625 Vincent founded his own community, the Congregation of the Mission, which was devoted to working among the poor and for the formation of priests. It was useless to preach the contrary to them because the example of their ancestors and the bad advice of their own relatives regarding to this vice were so deeply rooted in their minds that they were incapable of accepting any opinion to the contrary (IV, 412). a) But Saint Vincent is also faced with the problem of follow-up to the missions. The great challenges which St Vincent faced up to. Saint Vincent didn’t begin by reading learned reports, of which however he knew the usefulness as well as the limits, as we see in his already quoted letter to Pope Innocent X: It is a small thing to hear or read these things; they must be seen and ascertained with one’s own eyes (IV, 458). It is only if the popular mission is centred in on the real needs of our age that it can be an effective instrument for the new evangelization to which the Church is calling us. Of Jews did in antiquity poor must go hand- in-hand with evangelisation is at. 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