Vincentians to discuss 'infinitely inventive' solutions to poverty

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Vincentians to discuss 'infinitely inventive' solutions to poverty
Vincentians to discuss 'infinitely inventive' solutions to poverty


Story by Patrick T. Brown | Associate Editor

He was born in the Gascony region of France, became a priest, and spent two years as a slave to pirates in northern Africa. His experiences in captivity inspired him to start a ministry to the poor and vulnerable in Paris, and nearly 400 years later, those efforts continue to this day in communities across the globe.

The man was St. Vincent de Paul, and his legacy is lived out in the Vincentian community, through the work of Daughters of Charity and the work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers on St. Vincent de Paul societies across the U.S. and the globe.

On June 4, Vincentians from across the mid-Atlantic region will converge on Princeton for their annual regional meeting.

Over 100 volunteers and staff of the organization will explore what it means to live out St. Vincent de Paul’s legacy, with a featured keynote from Vincentian Father Patrick Griffin, the former director-general of the Daughters of Charity.

“He’s just so well-versed in the entire Vincentian charism,” said Joe Williams, president of the Trenton Diocesan Council of St. Vincent de Paul, comparing Father Griffin’s former role to being the chief financial officer of the international movement.

“He is a wonderful story-teller and very knowledgeable about St. Vincent and Blessed Sister Rosalie [Rendu, an 18th-century Daughter of Charity].”

Father Griffin is currently executive director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y., where he formerly taught theology.

In addition to delivering the keynote address, Father Griffin will also celebrate Mass to end the conference, which is entitled “Walking with Vincent…400 Years Later!”

Bringing Innovation to Service

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., himself a member of the Congregation of the Mission, an order founded by St. Vincent de Paul, will record a welcome video for the attendees, as he will be ordaining six men to the priesthood that same day in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton (see page 5.)

Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Brother John Skrodinsky, the director of migrant ministry in the Diocese of Paterson and a lawyer who provides legal aid to migrants and the poor, will deliver an address entitled “Our Vincentian Heritage.”

The purpose of the event, according to Williams, is to bring together the members of the regional St. Vincent de Paul societies, as well as other organizations and agencies, including other members of the Vincentian family, to “concentrate on the nuts and bolts of issues we all face in our mission.”

A mixture of practical and theologically-based workshops will comprise the rest of the day, including sessions on home visitations, grant writing, providing disaster services and bringing those in need closer to self-sufficiency.

The spirit of subsidiarity and grass-roots solutions empowered by localized responses to the needs of communities echoes a quote attributed to St. Vincent de Paul: “Charity is infinitely inventive.”

Patron Saint of Charity

St. Vincent de Paul’s two years as a captive introduced him in a very personal way to the difficulties faced by the marginalized and enslaved. In 1617, he founded the Ladies of Charity, a group of wealthy women of Paris who put their riches towards efforts to found hospitals, care for the victims of war, launch missionary efforts overseas and ransom captive slaves.

It is the 400th anniversary of that founding, Williams said, that this year’s annual conference “is anticipating and looking forward to.”

St. Vincent de Paul was canonized in 1737, 77 years after his death at age 79. He was named the patron saint of all works of charity as well as for the many organizations that trace their founding back to his charitable mission.

Today, the vast majority of people living out the charitable work of St. Vincent de Paul through local societies are volunteers, often helping manage thrift stores or food pantries.

The international council of St. Vincent de Paul societies claims locations in 150 countries over five continents, with 800,000 members helping to serve others.

The U.S. national council, boasting more than 150,000 members across the country, works through 4,441 conference, the basic unit of organization, according to the web site of the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

They report that roughly “12 million people are helped annually by Vincentians in the United States.”

The Eastern Region, which will be meeting in Princeton Theological Seminary June 4, is comprised of councils or chapters in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

In the Diocese of Trenton, St. Vincent de Paul societies run thrift shops in Brick, Union Beach, Medford and Belmar, as well as Berlin in the Diocese of Camden. Additionally, many parishes throughout the Diocese sponsor or organize works of charity through local St. Vincent de Paul activities.

More information about the St. Vincent de Paul Trenton Diocesan Council is available at www.svdptrenton.org.

 

 

 

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Story by Patrick T. Brown | Associate Editor

He was born in the Gascony region of France, became a priest, and spent two years as a slave to pirates in northern Africa. His experiences in captivity inspired him to start a ministry to the poor and vulnerable in Paris, and nearly 400 years later, those efforts continue to this day in communities across the globe.

The man was St. Vincent de Paul, and his legacy is lived out in the Vincentian community, through the work of Daughters of Charity and the work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers on St. Vincent de Paul societies across the U.S. and the globe.

On June 4, Vincentians from across the mid-Atlantic region will converge on Princeton for their annual regional meeting.

Over 100 volunteers and staff of the organization will explore what it means to live out St. Vincent de Paul’s legacy, with a featured keynote from Vincentian Father Patrick Griffin, the former director-general of the Daughters of Charity.

“He’s just so well-versed in the entire Vincentian charism,” said Joe Williams, president of the Trenton Diocesan Council of St. Vincent de Paul, comparing Father Griffin’s former role to being the chief financial officer of the international movement.

“He is a wonderful story-teller and very knowledgeable about St. Vincent and Blessed Sister Rosalie [Rendu, an 18th-century Daughter of Charity].”

Father Griffin is currently executive director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y., where he formerly taught theology.

In addition to delivering the keynote address, Father Griffin will also celebrate Mass to end the conference, which is entitled “Walking with Vincent…400 Years Later!”

Bringing Innovation to Service

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., himself a member of the Congregation of the Mission, an order founded by St. Vincent de Paul, will record a welcome video for the attendees, as he will be ordaining six men to the priesthood that same day in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton (see page 5.)

Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Brother John Skrodinsky, the director of migrant ministry in the Diocese of Paterson and a lawyer who provides legal aid to migrants and the poor, will deliver an address entitled “Our Vincentian Heritage.”

The purpose of the event, according to Williams, is to bring together the members of the regional St. Vincent de Paul societies, as well as other organizations and agencies, including other members of the Vincentian family, to “concentrate on the nuts and bolts of issues we all face in our mission.”

A mixture of practical and theologically-based workshops will comprise the rest of the day, including sessions on home visitations, grant writing, providing disaster services and bringing those in need closer to self-sufficiency.

The spirit of subsidiarity and grass-roots solutions empowered by localized responses to the needs of communities echoes a quote attributed to St. Vincent de Paul: “Charity is infinitely inventive.”

Patron Saint of Charity

St. Vincent de Paul’s two years as a captive introduced him in a very personal way to the difficulties faced by the marginalized and enslaved. In 1617, he founded the Ladies of Charity, a group of wealthy women of Paris who put their riches towards efforts to found hospitals, care for the victims of war, launch missionary efforts overseas and ransom captive slaves.

It is the 400th anniversary of that founding, Williams said, that this year’s annual conference “is anticipating and looking forward to.”

St. Vincent de Paul was canonized in 1737, 77 years after his death at age 79. He was named the patron saint of all works of charity as well as for the many organizations that trace their founding back to his charitable mission.

Today, the vast majority of people living out the charitable work of St. Vincent de Paul through local societies are volunteers, often helping manage thrift stores or food pantries.

The international council of St. Vincent de Paul societies claims locations in 150 countries over five continents, with 800,000 members helping to serve others.

The U.S. national council, boasting more than 150,000 members across the country, works through 4,441 conference, the basic unit of organization, according to the web site of the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

They report that roughly “12 million people are helped annually by Vincentians in the United States.”

The Eastern Region, which will be meeting in Princeton Theological Seminary June 4, is comprised of councils or chapters in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

In the Diocese of Trenton, St. Vincent de Paul societies run thrift shops in Brick, Union Beach, Medford and Belmar, as well as Berlin in the Diocese of Camden. Additionally, many parishes throughout the Diocese sponsor or organize works of charity through local St. Vincent de Paul activities.

More information about the St. Vincent de Paul Trenton Diocesan Council is available at www.svdptrenton.org.

 

 

 

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