This meeting was organized at the International Center for Vincentian Formation in the Motherhouse of the Congregation of the Mission, (Paris, France).

Father Andrés Motto, CM (Director) and Father Emmanuel Typamm, CM (Vice-Director) welcomed the participants and outlined the program that would be developed during our time at the Center. Participants are from different branches and associations of the Vincentian Family.

Language has not been a barrier as a result of the translators. More importantly, we all speak the language of love.

This Vincentian formation session is intended to revitalize and strengthen us in the spirituality of our charism in order to encounter the living Jesus in the poor. This will be achieved through

  • A series of presentations intended to deepen the participants in the rich Vincentian heritage;
  • Guided visits to various Vincentian and Marian places where the Vincentian charism left its mark;
  • Personal and community prayer as a faith experience … we prayer together in order to accomplish a common work;
  • Community/communion in which our differences become a richness through the faith that we share (a common foundational charism which is a gift from God).
  • A formational experience in every aspect that encompasses our whole being and all that we do … this enables us to engage in a struggle for our own sanctification and that our brothers and sisters who are most in need.

On Monday, August 5, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, accompanied us. This was an opportunity for each of the participants to greet and introduce themselves. As Father Tomaž greeted each of the participants, he also thanked them for making such a effort to be present at that gathering. It is hoped, of course, that all the participant, with renewed spirits, will share this formation with others in their place of ministry.

During the first part of his reflection, Father Tomaž invited us to be clear about our Vincentian spirituality and charism because it is those realities that unite us as a Family. Father motivated us to introduce ourselves in a new way. Instead of saying: I am a member of the Congregation of the Mission, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, etc. to say instead: I am a member of the Congregation of the Mission which is part of the worldwide Vincentian Family; I am a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society which is part of the worldwide Vincentian Family … such an introduction is much broader and is a clearer statement about who we are.

During his presentation, Fr. Tomaž took up some of the points that had been emphasized during the 400th anniversary of the birth of our charism. From this perspective Father spoke about:

  • The pilgrimage of the relics of St. Vincent de Paul to the peripheries … Father spoke about people in various places who are interested in receiving these relics;
  • A book is being prepared about the pilgrimage of the relics;
  • He recalled that Pope Francis was the first to venerate the relics in Rome during the 2017 Symposium;
  • Vincentian Film Festival was a success and enable us to share the charism in a new way;
    • In addition to the Film Festival, Father spoke about the 13 houses project. This initiative involves the whole Vincentian Family as together we attempt to eradicate homeless from the face of the earth.

After his presentation there were various questions that in reality helped each of us and will enable us all to minister in a strategic manner on behalf of the human and spiritual promotion of those who are poor.

After this sharing we celebrated the Eucharist and were able to place on the altar our hopes and desires. May Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal bless us so that we might continue to be sign of God’s love as we minister in the midst of those persons who are poor.

By: Sister Isabel Iris Luna Montes, DC
Province of Peru
Charles T. Plock, CM<
Eastern Province, USA