Vincentian Reflection – Cycle VIII – Charity

[Ávila-Spain] A three weeks course for Vincentian priests, sisters and lay people took place in the Vincentians’ house in Ávila from July 8th to 27th.

The Objective of the Project is to offer a Vincentian reflection from a contemporary perspective in two consecutive courses about the two big ministerial lines that synthesize the Vincentian charism, MISSION AND CHARITY.  The aim is to advance the understanding of our being and acting as Vincentians in our society and in the Church of our time. This year we intensified the understanding of CHARITY; in 2013 it will be about MISSION. The topics treated were:

A) “The Church faced with the problem of poverty, before and after Saint Vincent” (Historical theme to reflect on the problem of poverty and the answers the Church has given; the originality of Saint Vincent in the fight against poverty; his influence in later history until our day, etc.) by Fr. Álvaro Mauricio FERNÁNDEZ, CM.

B) “How a Vincentian should confront our current society: the cultural, religious, economic and political systems in connection with poverty and marginalization”? (Analysis of the functioning of “systems” in this world… Vincentian criteria to be used to analyze all those “systems”, etc.) by Sister María del Carmen RODRÍGUEZ VILLORIA, DC.

C) “Solidarity and globalization of Charity” (Uniting these concepts, analysis and manifestations in our globalized world of the lack of solidarity. Root causes. Solidarity and globalization of charity, Christian answer to lack of solidarity and globalization. Place of globalization in the Social Doctrine of the Church, Biblical and Patristic roots. Consequences for Vincentians…). D. Victor RENES, Cáritas.

D) “Saint Vincent and Saint Louise, Doctrine about Charity” (From our Founders writings, to systematize their doctrine about Charity). Sister Cristina CALERO, DC.

E) “Points of encounter between the current ecclesiastical doctrine on poverty,-charity and our Founders” (The background of this theme is the Social Doctrine of the Church. And from this point of view we analyzed the latest documents of the Church about charity and poverty to reach conclusions for Vincentians.) Fr. Celestino FERNÁNDEZ, CM.

F) “To make the Vincentian way more credible: Useful modern materials presented to exhibit the Vincentian charism”. (Songs, poetry, narrations, modern parables, audiovisuals, commercial video clips that contain a message close to the Vincentian charism. How can all this material be used?). Fr. José Luis CASTLE POYATOS, CM.

G) “The economic crisis and its consequences. How should a Vincentian be positioned in the face of this crisis?” (This affects the situation of many families in Spain and in other countries. Political, social, economic, cultural and religious implications of this situation. A special group suffering the consequences of this crisis is immigrants) Sister Isabel OLAZAGOITIA, DC.

The participants did a written personal reflection either based on the conferences or from a personal concern. In the last two weeks there was time (10 – 15 minutes) to share their written reflection.

We pray, Our Lord, through the intercession of St. Vincent and St Louise, that our help to people we serve be useful, pleasant and effective.  May it be the OIL of comfort, and the WINE of hope, for so many impoverished sisters and brothers, so that, little by little, we will build a new civilization of Global LOVE.

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