“Let us love God not with words alone,
but with the strength of our arms
and the sweat of our brow.
For love is creative
and love is enduring
even to the end of time.”
Joyous melody fills the room as over 200 members of the North American Vincentian Family gather for an opening prayer. Many voices blend into one this past Friday evening, June 9, for the start of the Vincentian Family Gathering in San Antonio, Texas. Over 35 organizations make up the Vincentian Family in North America. They are a rich mixture of young and old, daughters and sisters, brothers and priests, lay and vowed, Mexican, American and Canadian, and many, many others – harmonizing together in voice and in heart in a single Vincentian tapestry.
This melody continues on: “We are the body of Christ; we’ve answered ‘Yes’ to the Lord.” In our ‘yes’ to Jesus, each of us came seeking ways of welcoming the strangers in our midst. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” This verse from the Gospel of Matthew served as a guide for table conversations and session topics throughout the days of the 2017 Vincentian Family Gathering.
May this melody of our hearts rise in the days to come, “bringing the light of God’s mercy to others.” For “God is revealed when we love one another.” Brothers and sisters, let us love one another. Let us welcome all, so that none may be strangers among us.
On June 9-12, members from over 35 organizations in North America sharing in the Vincentian charism gathered in San Antonio, Texas for a biennial conference to foster communication, collaboration among the many branches of what is known as the Vincentian Family. The theme for the 2017 gathering is “Welcoming the Stranger.” 2017 marks the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism.