First meeting of confreres responsible for vocational promotion in the Congregation of the Mission
CIF – Paris, 19 November – 1 December 2018
Rome, 22 June 2018
To the Visitors, Vice-Visitors, Regional Superiors, and Superiors of the International Missions
May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!
With tremendous joy, zeal, and enthusiasm, I write to you today to announce the first meeting of confreres responsible for vocational promotion in their respective Provinces, Vice-Provinces, Regions, and International Missions of the worldwide Congregation of the Mission. It will take place at the International Formation Center (CIF) at our Motherhouse in Paris from 19 November to 1 December 2018.
The celebration of the 400thAnniversary of the Vincentian Charism last year gave us an impulse to go out to the peripheries of the world to share the Vincentian spirituality and charism that we have received as a gift, spreading them to the ends of the world. As we begin the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism, it is of utmost importance and a priority to do all in our power to help the young around the world respond with a clear “Yes,” to the call of Jesus to follow Him as a brother or priest in the Congregation of the Mission, in the footsteps of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Jesus is calling today as He called in the past on every continent and in every country, city, and village of the world, regardless of political, social, economic conditions, etc. The “Here and Now” of Jesus’s call and invitation to consecrated life is born and flows from the “Heart of the Gospel.”
Initially, Saint Vincent was reluctant to pray for vocations, as he explains, I thank God for the special devotions you are planning in order to ask God, through the intercession of blessed Saint Joseph, for the spread of the Company. I ask His Divine Goodness to accept them. For more than twenty years I have not dared to ask this of God, thinking that, since the Congregation is His work, its preservation and growth should be left to His Providence alone. Reflecting, however, on the recommendation given us in the Gospel to ask Him to send laborers into His harvest (cf. Luke 10:2) I have become convinced of the importance and usefulness of this devotion.
However, having reflected on the need, he encouraged others to do the same.
We also need men for Scotland and the Hebrides. We’ve been asked for them in some other place in the Indies as well, but we can’t take on all that at the same time, since we don’t have enough men; for now, we’ll simply try to give some for Madagascar, while waiting until God is pleased to send us workers.
That, my dear confreres, is a beautiful field of action, as you can see; that’s why we ask God to be pleased to send good subjects to the Company.
We should lament before God at seeing so many needs in the Church, and ask the Divine Goodness to be pleased to remedy them and to send good workers into His vineyard (cf. Matthew 20:1).
From this deep-down conviction that Jesus’s call is “Here and Now” and that we are instruments and collaborators in the harvest, we are organizing a meeting of confreres from around the world who are responsible for vocational promotion. Preparation for this meeting has been in the works for many months. A lot of prayer, thought, reflection, and planning has gone into organizing it. It will encourage, support, give new ideas to, and help those responsible for vocational promotion in all the corners of the world where the Congregation of the Mission is present, so that, God willing, the harvest will yield more laborers.
To this letter, I am attaching the program. The meeting will include simultaneous interpretation into different languages, so that every confrere will be able to participate actively.
Dear Visitors, Vice-Visitors, Regional Superiors, and Superiors of the International Missions, I ask each of you to send one confrere who is responsible for vocational promotion in your area to this meeting at CIF in November 2018. In case some of you do not have yet a confrere dedicated to vocational promotion in your area, please choose one to participate in the meeting. I ask you to make it a priority to send a confrere to the meeting.
We are going to meet in the surroundings where everything began. The Motherhouse in Paris will be the site of our reflections, sharing, planning, and common dreams. I am very excited, full of hope, and convinced that this coming event will bring an overflow of blessings.
I ask those requiring a visa to enter France to begin the application process as soon as possible. For those who may have some difficulty in covering the travel costs, as well as the expenses related to participation in the meeting, please write to the Director of CIF, Father Andrés Motto, who will try to find a way to help you. In this regard, I especially have in mind our Regions and International Missions. I also encourage you to begin registering immediately, so that the organizing committee can have everything prepared on time.
I am looking forward very much to meeting all those responsible for vocational promotion in the worldwide Congregation of the Mission on the first day of the meeting.
We place this event in the hands of Divine Providence, through the intersession of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Saint Vincent de Paul, and all the other Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of our Little Company, as well as of the whole Vincentian Family!
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM
CCDV, 468-469; Letter 1956 to Étienne Blatiron, Superior in Genoa, 12 November 1655. CCDrefers to the series, Vincent de Paul, Correspondence, Conferences, Documents, translated and edited by Jacqueline Kilar, DC; and Marie Poole, DC; et al; annotated by John W. Carven, CM; New City Press, Brooklyn and Hyde Park, 1985-2014; future references to this work will use, as above, the initials, CCD, followed by the volume number, then the page number.
CCDXI, 294; Conference 146, Repetition of Prayer, 27 February 1656.
CCDVII, 559; Letter 2837 to Jacques Pesnelle, Superior in Genoa, 9 May 1659.