Congress of the Vincentian Family of Spain
in commemorating the 350th anniversary of the death
of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac
Madrid, from 5 to 7 March 2010
VMY International Secretariat together with more than 400 participants from all branches Vincentian Family of Spain attended the Congress, held in the Lecture Hall of the Paul VI Foundation in Madrid. The theme of this event was, “Faith and experience of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, Yesterday and Today” and motivation “Charity and Mission are the fruit of faith.” So says St. Vincent: “This is my faith and my experience” when talking about his commitment to charity toward the poor.
Each day of the Congress began with the Lauds; that always had a profound gesture (land, seeds and water) and served us for personal and common reflection. The conferences of the Congress have enriched our knowledge and understanding of many things about our founders. Always well prepared speakers discussed the following topics:
The first day conferences were focused on Saint Vincent, his faith in a disbelief society and his charity and ecclesial experience. In the afternoon, the experiences of Charity and Mission were presented by following VF branches: AIC, CM, HC and VMY. The Eucharist was presided by the Visitor of Barcelona, Member of the VF National Coordination, Fr. José Vicente Martínez Muedras, CM.
In the morning of the second day, the speakers spoke about Saint Louise, her faith in the face of an individualistic society and other conference was focused on Mission and Charity from the teaching of the Church and the context of global crisis. After the conferences, arrived the finalists of the Competitions of the 350th anniversary, and showed us the pictures and songs of the winners. In the afternoon there were other branches of VF presenting their experience of Charity and Mission: SSVP, AMM and MISEVI. After dinner and the Eucharist presided by the Superior General, Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, we enjoyed a musical montage of excellent drama about the legacy of St. Vincent and St. Louise for us today. The performance is called “A renewal fire”, represented by the group SIQUEM.
On Sunday, the last day of the Congress, the conferences were following: “Pastoral urgencies and criteria for the Charity and Mission today” by Father Celestino and after the break the conference on “Charity and ecclesial experience of St. Louise de Marillac, yesterday and today” by Sr. Angeles Infante. Before the Eucharistic Mass, the Congress was closed by the Superior General, Fr. Gregory Gay, CM. As a specific gesture of the Congress, the National Coordination of the VF gave to Father General a check of 29 thousand Euros. This money will go to projects carried out in Haiti. Also during the Mass was organized a collection, made especially for this purpose. The Congress ended with the Closing Mass presided by His Eminence Mr. Cardinal and Archbishop of Madrid D. Antonio María Rouco Varela. The liturgy during the entire Congress was careful in detail, and highly participatory.
We thank God for this Congress, full of special moments that we could feel as members of one big family. Our Mission and Charity is very important in the world. We wish to all the Vincentian Family, especially in this jubilee year of 350th anniversary of the death of our Founders that we are aware of the greatness of our heritage and we are responsible and creative to infinity to witness God’s love to everyone.
We recommend written or recorded conferences (Spanish only):