- clear and expressed preference for the apostolate among the poor, since their evangelization is the sign that the kingdom of God is present on earth (cf. Mt 11:5);
- attention to the realities of present-day society, especially to the factors that cause an unequal distribution of the world’s goods, so that we can better carry out our prophetic task of evangelization;
- some sharing in the condition of the poor, so that not only will we attend to their evangelization, but that we ourselves may be evangelized by them;
- genuine community spirit in all our apostolic works, so that we may be supported by one another in our common vocation;
- readiness to go to any part of the world, according to the example of the first missionaries of the Congregation;striving to live in a state of continuous conversion both on the part of each individual member and on the part of the whole Congregation, according to the mind of St. Paul, who counsels us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rm 12:2).
(Constitutions Paragraph 12-18)
Elements of Our Mission Today
Growth in Holiness
The primary mission of a Vincentian is to be holy. By prayer, Eucharist and the sacraments we stand ready for the Lord to use us for His work.
Catholic Social Teaching
The social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith and a natural element of Vincentian Formation. We must first know the teaching ourselves and then, secondly, communicate it to others.
Ten Principles of Catholic Social Teaching – YouTube Presentation
People can become caught within a social system such that if any key element (nourishment, health care, education, jobs, spiritual care) is lacking, other elements are often affected. When we examine root causes and begin to change systems, people may emerge from the cycle of poverty. New training programs will invite us to examine our present service models and move toward systemic change.
Because we work with the poor day in and day out, Vincentians have a tremendous validity which essentially qualifies us to take a seat at the public policy table as experts on solutions to poverty. We must speak out clearly against unjust situations, always with charity; contributing to and demanding improvements.
Representation at the United Nations
Together with other NGOs at the U.N., we work for the realization of a more just society where people can live lives free from fear and want, and are free to build for themselves sustainable human communities.
Communication, Sharing Best Practices
A number of global issues are at the root of poverty. We need many more people to understand these issues and act on them. A regular and rapid exchange of news and information enables cultural change. The Famvin websites bring poverty analysis, news and strategies to anyone with an internet connection. Readers are invited to share ideas via comments and social media. Famvin’s online conferencing brings Vincentians together in discussions, seminars and expert panels.
Vincentians gravitate toward education because it enhances the humanity of the poor, and it sensitizes us all to human dignity and worth.
The Vincentian charism is lived out today in many projects in direct service of the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, street children, those in prisons, hospitals, clinics, and orphanages; with HIV-AIDS patients, drug-dependent persons, refugees, migrants, victims of war, and those culturally segregated; and in our schools and universities. The AIC, DC, and SC often work particularly with poor women, either in improving maternal health, caring for their children, or in literacy and livelihood programs.
Fundraising is a ministry that enables us to do our work with the poor. By building collaborative relationships with donors, we joyfully invite them into the work of the Kingdom of God through gifts of prayer, time, or money. Those who have funds and those who seek funds are drawn together by God; there is a call to conversion that happens for both parties. Recent innovations: Vincentian micro-loan projects like Zafen andG.L.O.B.E.