The arrival of a new fiscal year is a good time to remind ourselves that loving and supporting one another while serving the poor is an integral part of our Vincentian mission.
Our Conference meetings are where we help each other fulfill that mission of growing spiritually, developing friendships and having face-to-face encounters with those in need. Meeting at least twice monthly as we should provides the opportunity to continually strengthen those supportive relationships.
Our Councils have a Board of Directors to guide our efforts and oversee our performance. We challenge you to realize that even the best Councils and Conferences can be better and more effective. Our Council Boards and our Conferences should always seek to foster and facilitate improvement. Given the importance of good governance, perhaps this should be your primary resolution for this new year.
Why not start using your Council Board as a support group to review and update your policies and procedures and clean up your record-keeping? Encourage your Conferences to do likewise.
Review your Bylaws. This is a document that spells out your mission, how you operate procedurally and the need for compliance with IRS requirements for nonprofit organizations. They are not meant to be inflexible when circumstances signal a need for revision. Assess your programs to see if they remain relevant and are operating efficiently with the right priority. Take a good look at how your Special Works impact all Vincentians in all of your Conferences. Look at your succession planning. It is of vital significance at all levels of our Society. If your operating procedures, which are a key part of good governance, need changing, take advantage of the Governance Training DVD and program provided for you by our National Council.
Throughout the year we will address some of these important matters further in the E-Gazette. We urge you to read that information and resolve to enhance your effectiveness. In so doing you will be heeding the exhortation of Blessed Frederic Ozanam to always seek to be better in our service to Christ’s beloved poor.