The General Curia of the Congregation convoked this gathering which is being held in Rome at the house of the Daughters of Charity (January 8th-17th, 2018).
This has been a very positive and very opportune experience because as we undertake this ministry of service to the Congregation in the various provinces, it is necessary to be aware of the fundamental importance of the mission of the Visitor. Only in that way can the purpose of the Congregation be made effective during this historical era in which we live, that is, at the beginning of the fifth century of our charismatic life.
The Little Company is a work of God. That is what St. Vincent felt and experienced throughout his life and therefore we should have that reality in the forefront of our minds. That same reality should motivate us to have ever greater trust in Jesus Christ. If we are united in Jesus Christ (cf. John 15:7-12), then all our plans will move forward (despite any obstacles that might arise) and those plans will produce abundant fruit that will enable the Vincentian mission to continue in existence and to be fulfilled ever more effectively throughout the world.
We know that the secularization of humankind has affected our missionary labor and therefore we have an even greater responsibility and commitment. We also realize that we must allow the Holy Spirit, the Author of all that is good, to guide our hearts, thoughts, emotions and will (cf. Luke 22:42). In that way the Lord becomes the protagonist of the Mission and we, as members of the Congregation, becomes the Lord’s fragile instruments … as such, however, we become effective instruments in the building up of the Kingdom of God.
During these days we have had the opportunity to reflect on our Vincentian roots and therefore, this has provided us with an opportunity to renew our vocation as Vincentian missionaries.
As Visitors we are called to live the charism of Vincent in a faithful manner and also called to be animated by his spirituality. In this way we will then be able to lead and to accompany the members of our distinct provinces in fulfilling the mission that has been entrusted to them.
Vocational promotion, initial and on-going formation as well as accompanying the larger Vincentian Family … all of these need to be strengthened. Hope and trust in God ground us in these fundamental aspects which, at the same time, give growth to our beloved Congregation.
Each missionary is called to give a generous response to the vocation that he has been called to live. If we are faithful Vincentians, we will gain heaven here on earth precisely because mercy is the path to salvation and the Congregation is the place where we encounter the Lord and where we work out our salvation. May the Lord continue to bless our Congregation!
Charles T. Plock, CM
Eastern Province, USA