United under the words: Together we make a difference! the participants at the International Meeting of the Vincentian Family gathered together in Rome from January 22-24, 2016. This was a time that allowed the participants to share the various activities that they had undertaken during the past year (the members of the Congregation of the Mission, the Company of the Daughters of Charity, the Vincentian Marian Youth, Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the AIC and the Miraculous Medal Association as well as members from other Congregations that share our charism). The encounter also provided time for reflection and for work in small groups (the participants were divided into language groups) and the objective was to discover opportunities for collaboration between the branches of the Vincentian Family. This meeting was organized by the Office of the Vincentian Family, an organization that fosters communication and provides help to the various branches of the Vincentian Family. At the present time this Office is directed by Father Joseph Agostino, CM (coordinator), Father Flavio Pereira, CM and Sister Margaret Clifford, DC … its offices are located in Philadelphia, Pa.
As representatives from the various branches spoke we were informed about the activities of the members of the Vincentian Family. The Commission for Collaboration informed the groups about the activities that are taking place in various parts of the world … to mention just a few: Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Croatia, Ethiopia, India, Cameroon, the Philippines. We were also informed about some of the scheduled activities of this commission for the year 2016. The members of the Systemic Change Commission spoke about on-line resources that are available and some concrete strategies that are utilized to achieve their end. The member of the Haiti Initiative spoke about their work with other institutions in Haiti which enables them to satisfy some of the needs of the people of Haiti. There was also a presentation on the web page Famvin which helped us to understand the resources that are available to us and that can support our efforts at collaborations.
The Coordinator of the Office of the Vincentian Family provided Yancarlos Carrasco (International President) and Father Irving Amaro (Subdirector General) with an opportunity to speak to the members of the Executive Committee. We spoke about the fact that the VMY is an Association that shares the same spirituality as the other branches and that we are in need of greater collaboration so that the members of the Association will have the option of continuing to develop their spiritual life in another branch of the Vincentian Family. We also requested that the members of the other branches consider offering their services as Advisors to the local groups of the VMY.
Fr. Irving AMARO, CM
International Subdirector of the VMY