The Joy of Being Vincentian… and Young!

The Joy of Being Vincentian! That is the theme of the Vincentian Youth Gathering 2019. The Central Committee of the Vincentian Youth Gathering to be held prior to  World Youth Day releases its first official bulletin. it includes the basic information of time, costs, and links for more details. We have also receibed word that the location of the gathering will be at the Family Camp of the Assembly of God Church in San Carlos, Panama (about an hour and thirty minutes from the Airport in Panama City).

Several catechetical themes will be treated in several language groups.  There will be two Assembly Masses: on Sat., Jan 19: Fr Tomaz in Spanish and on Sun., Jan 20: Fr Steve Grozio in English.


Dear Young of the Vincentian Family in all its Branches, Commissions and Continental Organizations:

The Central Committee of VYG2019 greets you from Panama, place where the WYD2019 will take place, and wants to invite you to share with us “The Joy of Being Vincentian” being part of this great family event that will give us the opportunity to strengthen our identity of Being Church from the Vincentian charism in Latin America. In addition to providing a meeting space for Vincentian pilgrims, we hope also to contribute to the formation of Vincentian youth of the world with our experience of the Latin American faith, and so collaborate in their spiritual growth, through the experience of the laity (secular), cultivating maturity in the identity and commitment of young people towards the future as active adults in different Vincentian branches.

The VYG2019 will take place, in a site still to be defined in Panama, from January Friday 18th to Monday 21st 2019, day in which we will leave the meeting to join the activities of the WYD2019 that will begin on Tuesday 22nd and end on Sunday 27th.

The registration of our meeting will be USD$60.00 plus the solidarity fund of WYD2019 and the package that your group chooses to participate in the WYD2019. For example, if you choose the A1 package of the WYD2019, everything would come out in USD$302.00 (VYG2019: USD$60.00; WYD2019 Solidarity Fund: USD$12.00; WYD Package A1: USD$230.00). To this must also be added the costs of the bank transfer.

We know that the dates are a bit difficult for some because it is not a holiday season, while for others will do great. That’s why we want you to provide us with your information, through the following link, to know your interest in participating in the VYG2019, how many people do you have in your group interested in participating in the meeting, and to ensure that we have your information so that our next communications, where we will provide more information about the meeting, can reach you. We are waiting for you in Panama!

United in prayer, your brothers and sisters in Vincent and Louise say goodbye,

Group registration link

Social networks : Facebook, Twitter,  ejv2019



Panama, March12th 2018

Saint Mary`s Parrish – San Pablo Street 775, Balboa, Ancon, Panama – Tel.(507)228-0036 –

The Easter Challenge Through Vincentian Eyes

The Easter Challenge through Vincentian eyes… In this Easter season, Matthew 25 is a reminder to all Christians. It especially challenges the followers of Vincent and Louise to find Christ in the Poor and the marginalized. Former Superior General Robert Maloney puts it this way. “Seeing him in the flesh is the Vincentian secret of holiness. (See Pope Francis’ forthcoming Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness.)

A reflective video describes two key aspects of Easter in the Vincentian tradition.

It is especially effective when viewed in full-screen mode on a desktop computer with speakers.

Easter: Our Resurrection Faith

…like Mary the Mother of Jesus, focus on the word made flesh. He still lives among us, especially in the person of the poor. The test of our faith is to see him in the flesh. The first letter of John sets out a high standard for Christians: “Whoever does not love a brother or sister whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he does not see” (1 Jn 4:20) _ because God lives in the flesh. Seeing him in the flesh is the Vincentian secret of holiness. St. Vincent encourages us to recognize him and serve him in the most abandoned with practical, concrete charity. He urges us to be simple and humble before the poor person because he is the icon of the Lord, the body of Christ, the enfleshment of Jesus’ presence today.

In some ways, at least it seems to me, it is more difficult to believe in God’s enfleshment than in his transcendence. It is easier to believe in a God whom we do not see than in a God whom we do see. It is easier to be caught up in a distant mystery than to come face to face with the revelation of God in human persons, especially when they suffer and die before our eyes. It is surely a challenge to see the Lord in the crucified peoples of Rwanda, Burundi, Algeria, Zaire, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, China _ to mention only a few of the countries where he suffers greatly in his members today. In almost all our countries, it is a daily challenge to recognize him in street people, in refugees, in AIDS victims, in disillusioned young people. “But turn the medal,” St. Vincent says to us, “and you will see by the light of faith that the Son of God, whose will it was to be poor, is represented to us by these creatures….” (SV XI, 32). This was also the same challenge Mary faced. Her contact with Jesus had numerous joys and privileged moments, as we recalled at Christmas. But she also witnessed his rejection, punishment, and dying _ and continued to believe. I urge you to share your faith in the enfleshed Lord this Lent by encouraging others _ especially young people _ to serve him in his suffering members.

Let our Vincentian charism be contagious!

The video is based on a presentation by former Superior General Robert Maloney. He currently resides at St. Vincent’s Seminary, Germantown, Pa.


Niagara, St.John’s Universities Making their Mark on the World

Both Congregation of the Mission sponsored universities are in the news for their impact on the world. Niagara University’s MBA programs are once again rated among the best in the world, according to rankings released by CEO Magazine. The GLOBE program at St. John’s University has for almost ten years given students real-life experience in offering real-life microloans to new entrepreneurs living in poverty around the world.

The St. John’s Globe Project is also collaborative thanks to the assistance by the Daughters of Charity, whose mission includes identifying those in their communities who want loans to start new small businesses, expand existing ones.

For more information on the GLOBE Project click here.

Niagara University’s MBA programs are once again rated among the best in the world, according to rankings released by CEO Magazine.

The British-based magazine listed NU’s MBA programs in its Top Tier of North American institutions, a distinction earned by only 72 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In addition, the university’s online MBA program comes in at No. 36 in the magazine’s global rankings.

Results were based on the quality of an institution’s in-class experience and teaching faculty, international diversity, class size, accreditation, faculty-to-student ratio, price, international exposure, work experience, professional development, gender parity and delivery methods.

According to its website, CEO Magazine uses a ranking system entirely geared and weighted to fact-based criteria to cut through the noise and provide potential students with a performance benchmark for those schools under review.

The Dream of Vincent

We all know the words “I have a dream”! Less familiar are the words from the Acts of the Apostles “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)” Or the words in Proverbs 29:18 “Without dreams the people perish!”  What about the dream of Vincent dePaul?

The Dream of Vincent

Vincent sought to focus all of his efforts on the direct service of poor people. However, he knew to do so, he would need to gather, motivate, and negotiate with diverse groups of people. Vincent de Paul constantly devised ingenious ways to pool the resources of the wealthy and the talents of willing co-workers.

His creativity manifested itself even in the recognition of potential helpers. He tapped assistance, skills, or talent, as well as financial resources, from socialites, politicians, professors, jailers, military officers, prisoners, farm laborers, merchants, parish priests, and cloistered nuns. He did not allow current norms to limit his creativity in the service of the poor.

With characteristic imagination, Vincent recruited individuals and organized groups into an ever-widening circle of men and women to care for the poor and to change society.

The Legacy of Vincent’s Dream

Dreams come and go in our lives. Far more die than come to reality.

Vincent’s legacy is a mixture of single-mindedness and openness. With his heart set on God and neighbor, Vincent de Paul searched for whatever methods might make that love active and credible. Approaches that escaped other people’s attention caught his eye because of their potential. After deliberating, he would step out beyond the tried and the true when he saw a need to be met or a good to be done.

Our Dreams

Reaching out to a dream, a vision can be risky! What a precious feeling to be supported, to have others say you can do it, we can do it together!

Questions to Think About

  • What is it in us that allows us to let go of visions that could create new and beautiful worlds?
  • Why do we so easily give in to barriers?
  • Why do we let ourselves conform and be satisfied with what is?

Let us pray…

Lord Jesus, expand our vision and fire our creativity in the service of your people, and especially those who live in poverty. Draw us together with others who also seek to serve the dignity and rights of each person. Lead us peacefully on our way through all the tension and pressures of working together as your Vincentian Family. May your spirit fill our hearts and give us wisdom. We ask this through the intercession of St. Vincent de Paul and the founders of our Vincentian Family.

Adapted from a prayer service found on FamVin Dream Dreams

Let’s Get Personal About OUR Emmaus Journey’s

The Emmaus story and connecting dots

The Emmaus story is a classic story about mentors connecting dots.  There are two things we should remember about the Emmaus story.

The first point is that it is always safer to read the scriptures as lessons for other people. It is scarier to realize every story has something to tell us about ourselves.

The second thing we need to remember is that at various times we are all the persons in the story. This means we should read the story from each person’s viewpoint… in this case both from the disciples’ experience and Jesus’.experience.

Let’s get personal about the Emmaus story

With that in mind let’s get personal about the people. Let’s bypass for the moment whether these were two men or perhaps just as likely a husband and wife. Whoever they were, they were confused, upset. They were each probably arguing for their own interpretation of the roller coaster they had been riding.

They were getting nowhere when someone enters their lives and listens. Really listens. It happens to be Jesus. He hears them out. Then he gradually invites them to look at the events from a new angle. Actually, it was an angle that was hiding in plain sight. Isn’t that just what a mentor does.

But a mentor can possess all the wisdom and yet not be heard. What makes it possible to grow with the help of someone. What are some of the specific qualities that allow us to hear others? Just think of how wise our parents became after we passed through the turmoil of teenage when they knew nothing.

Turning the coin we also need to look at the qualities of a good mentor. What enables people to break out of their locked inner rooms to accept a new perspective.? Jesus walked with them. He heard their obvious concerns… and their unspoken and sometimes unconscious concerns. This is a special gift every mento needs to cultivate.

Offers what amount to an examination of conscience for both mentor and mentee.

Mentoring: Are you ready to be mentored … or to mentor?

By way of expanding our horizons on both sides of the coin of mentoring here are some resources from a secular perspective and a Vincentian perspective

  • Have I ever thought consciously about looking for a mentor in the Vincentian way?
  • How would I respond if someone asked me to walk with them in the Vincentian way?


Emmaus – a lesson for Vincentian ministries.

Jesus with disciplesEmmaus – a lesson for Vincentian ministries.

Frequently I celebrate Eucharist with one of the Vincentian priests who journeyed with me over 60 years when I was trying to make sense of life as a high schooler. As often happens when if reflect on my favorite passage of scripture I found myself thinking of the Vincentian priests walked with me on that less well-known road of my early life during my years at St. Johns Prep (then on Lewis Ave).

I thank Fr. Lou Trotta and the deceased confreres Frs. Fred Gaulin, Joe Dunne, and Tom Concagh, for the hours they spent listening to me outside the classroom. They helped me connect the dots of my young life and opened my eyes to the possibility that God was calling me to be a VIncentian priest. The joy in their lives was real and contagious.

Listening and connecting the dots.

I have also been chewing on what happened on the road to Emmaus. I now realize that what these confreres did was also the way of Vincent. He walked with people, especially the poorest and most marginalized. He listened, understood and helped them connect the dots of their lives with the Good News of the Gospel. It raises some questions.


  • Are there people we need to thank who walked with us at critical points in our journey?
  • Are our minds open to hearing the people who are walking with us in these very days?
  • For those of us who have been walking the road for some time, we might think about paying it forward at this point in our lives.

Footnote: Emmaus has always been my favorite passage in scripture. So I was thrilled some years ago when I came upon what for me is the best dramatization of that journey.

Parts of it still takes away my breath despite having seen it literally dozens of times. (I have used it in a variety of retreat settings.)

The website has ordering information and a link to the movie on YouTube. The 30-minute video has been viewed some 170,000 times. Some 200,000 DVD’s are in circulation.

It is available in 7 languages and has well developed free resources for use in a variety of settings.

I have just discovered that they have developed another  video “Come Follow me”

Rediscover Vincentian Stories of Awakening

St. Vincent de Paul encouraged five particular traits in his comrades: simplicity, meekness, mortification, humility and zeal.

Through the 40 days of Lent, we shared stories of ordinary people from all walks of life who shared their stories of how and when they woke up to the values in their life

Here is the opportunity to rediscover the stories of these Vincentian Values and how they are alive in the daily experiences of those around us. It was a privilege to see how the everyday practices of being honest, approachable, self-disciplined, realistic and hardworking, in the spirit of St. Vincent, transformed their lives and the lives of others.

The Journey Begins

Day 1 – First Step on the Vincentian Way – Thomas McKenna

Day 2 – In the Vincentian Way – Mary Gilbart

Day 3 – With a Good Heart – Ivette Detres

Day 4 – Waking Up – John Freund

Week One – Stories of Simplicity

Day 5 – Just Listen – Frank Sacks

Day 6 – Lifting up Spirit – Larry Huber

Day 7 – Open and Honest – Jack Timlin

Day 8 – Simple Providence  – Frank Sacks

Day 9 – Truthful – Mary Gilbart

Day 10 – Transparency – Thomas McKenna


Week Two – Stories of Meekness

Day 11 – Reflect – Katherine Cartagena

Day12 – SIlent Storm  – Al Smith

Day 13 – Open Door – Al Pehrsson

Day 14 – Available – Liz Wilson

Day 15 – Gentle Help – Robert Stone

Day 16 – Approachable – Thomas McKenna

Week Three – Stories of Mortification, Self-discipline

Day 17 – Joyful Sacrifice – Darcy O’Hara

Day 18 – Convinced – Robert Maloney

Day 19 – Sometimes – Lou Trotta

Day 20 – Like Christ – Robert Maloney

Day 21 – The Dirty Work – Darcy O’Hara

Day 22 – Focus – Tom McKenna

Week Four – Stories of Humility, Realism

Day 23 – Beautiful Music – Tim Lyons

Day 24 – Time and Attention – Joe Lesenko

Day 25 –  Gifts and Talents – Beth Racine

Day 26 – Others First – Ivette Detres

Day 27 – Gateway of Service – Stephen Carp

Day 28 – All is Gift – Tom McKenna

Week Five – Stories of Zeal

Day 29 – Respect and Dignity – Bill O’Brien

Day 30 – Work Hard – Laura Ford

Day 31 – Commitment  – Marge Clifford

Day 32 – Zeal for God – Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag

Day 33 – Devotion – Paulette Mican

Day 34 – Embers – Tom McKenna

Week Six – Vincentian Values

Day 35 – Becoming Aware – John Freund

Day 36 – Being Vincentian -Tim Lyons

Day 37 –  Because of Our Love –  Laura Ford

Day 38 – Transformed – Katherine Cartagena

Day 39 – Compassion  – Mary Jo Timllin Hoag

Day 40 – God’s Kingdom – Tom McKenna

Easter – Alleluia! He Is Risen!

Share with us which stories especially touched you.