Fathers Fenelón Castillo and Marlio Nasayó from the Province of Colombia shared with us the conclusions and resolutions taken at the Seminar on Studies of the Charism organized by the Congregation of the Mission of the Province of Colombia at the Buenos Aires House in Chinauta.
From 16-21 July, we conducted the SEMINAR ON STUDIES OF THE CHARISM organized by the Province of Colombia on the occasion of the IV Centennial of the Vincentian Charism. To celebrate this Jubilee Year, we wanted to organize this Seminar so as to deepen our knowledge of the events that gave rise to this charism in order to receive a new impulse as the Vincentian Family to promote bringing the Kingdom of God among the poor today.
We came from different branches of the Vincentian Family: The Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians Fathers and Brothers), The Daughters of Charity, The St. Vincent de Paul Society (Ozanam), The International Association of Charity, The Association of the Miraculous Medal, JUCOVI, Vincentian Marian Youth, and Former students of the Vincentian Fathers. The multicolored composition of the groups spoke to us of the unity in diversity: and this is further accented if we consider the international composition of the group (Colombia, Peru, Venezuela) and the ages that mixed together, from 90 years old to just crossing the 20-year-old threshold. This message goes out in the name of this group of persons who represent what we call the Vincentian Family which studied, bonded and celebrated together; and goes to all those who thought of us and maybe followed us with your prayer.
1° We have lived as family and we call you to live as family. The charism of Vincent de Paul unites us and challenges us. Those who encounter us ought to notice that we are brothers and sisters and for that reason call ourselves Family. And not only each group in particular but all the 225 branches that make up the immense tree that receives its sap from the fruitful Vincentian tree.
2° We want to live a common spirituality. We are not a Not-For-Profit, but there flutters in us this spirit that has generated over the centuries a way of thinking, feeling and living that has made saints of many of the followers of Saint Vincent. With no spirituality, we would not be members of this family. The word of God guides us and prayer make us live a true missionary communion.
3° There have been outstanding figures in this family, besides Vincent de Paul. Louis de Marillac, Frederick Ozanam, Rosalie Rendu, Catherine Labouré and others, who in certain moments have been at the origin of new branches of vitality. We have felt this variety in these days and it invited us to open our doors to those who are knocking on them, to be welcoming with those who approach us, to have the ministry of recruiting others to our groups and to the other groups of the family. We certify with joy that the charism is alive and that we would be unfaithful if it came to death in our hands.
4° We will be open in our groups to these new modes in which the spirit manifests itself: systemic change, collaboration of various groups in the same work, with the inventiveness that characterized Vincent de Paul. To work in a network is not only a fashionable trend but it is a constant historical fact in our family and a need in our time.
5° And we have to make stronger the structures of unity that are JUCOVIS, the assemblies of the family, the meetings, the congresses, the Schools of Learning, the Seminars, like this one organized by CEVCO, the World Wide Organism of Unity and Direction of this great family.
6° Vincent de Paul, our founders, and all those who have gone before us in the faith, the charity and the charism challenge us to take advantage of the new Means of Social Communication, the blogs, etc. so that we can be knowledgeable and share with others what we are thinking and what we are living in our apostolic activity.
7° The last day we venerated very piously the relics of Vincent de Paul and of Louise de Marillac. That, being faithful to our founders and their charism four times centenary, we would follow with the torches lit in this Church which the pope has actually defined as a Church going forth, who does not have fear and does not stop being humble in the joyful and generous service of our brothers and sisters.
Delegated by the participants to send you this message: Fathers Fenelón Castillo and Marlio Nasayó, C.M.