Fr. Dennis Holstchneider, President of host DePaul University, reminded the General Assembly recently of the powerful image of the first Vincentians crossing the ocean 200 years ago to a new world. These days mark “the 200th anniversary of the Congregation’s arrival in the United States, which we celebrate this year. Those first four Vincentians from the province of Rome left Europe by ship on June 12th and arrived in the U.S. on July 23rd.”
“Think of that. Exactly 200 years ago, on these same dates of this Assembly, those missionaries were at sea. They did not know what would await them here, but they were filled with faith and determined to build up the Church in the new territories. Like those missionaries at sea, you too have traveled far to be here, and you too are wondering and reflecting about the future of our Congregation’s work. Thank you for taking these weeks for that reflection and for your leadership as you help all of us bring the work of St. Vincent de Paul to a new and always-changing world.”
In the coming months, there will be a flurry of special events celebrating 200 years of ministry.
Fr. Carroll, Provincial of the Eastern Province, recently provided a list of significant events.
- September 22, St. John’s University will mark the anniversary during the Vincentian Convocation. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M. will deliver the Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Lecture during the ceremony.
- September 24, the Eastern Province will mark the Anniversary in Germantown with Bishop David O’Connell, C.M.
- September 26, the Miraculous Medal Shrine will focus all of the Monday activities on the anniversary of the arrival.
- September 29, Niagara University Vincentian Convocation will award John Rybolt, C.M. and honorary degree and welcome his reflections as a historian
- November 11 and 12, Niagara, St. John’s, and DePaul will co-sponsor a higher education leadership conference: Beyond the Bicentennial: The Promise of Vincentian Higher Education.
- May 22 to 26, 2017 – Bicentennial Inter-Provincial Retreat, Marriottsville, MD. Robert Maloney, C.M. and John Rybolt, C.M.