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REFLECTIONS ON NATIONAL CELEBRATION OF GAY PRIDE AND JUNETEENTH

REFLECTIONS ON NATIONAL CELEBRATION OF GAY PRIDE AND JUNETEENTH 156 148 Pam Hudson

In this month the nation celebrates Gay Pride Day and Juneteenth Day, the day the last enslaved Africans were emancipated. Let us take this moment to celebrate the openness of Pope Francis to begin the dialogue of welcoming all of God’s people at the table of God’s salvation and mercy.

In the book of Genesis, we read in the first chapter of God’s creation of the world and all the species that God had created in six days. We read that God saved the creation of humans on the sixth day, and we read that God created all humans in God’s image. All of us reflect the image of God, and Jesus commanded us at the Last Supper to have and show love for one another. St. John and St. James in their letters warn us that if we say we love God whom we cannot see and yet hate our neighbor whom we can see, then we are liars and hypocrites.

Love is of God, and Jesus was the perfect lover. Jesus welcomed sinners, the marginalized, those whom no one could love or were worth the time to show them God’s love. Jesus healed, rose those who were dead, and took time to speak of the mercy and love of God to all. Everyone was included at the table.

As Pope Francis states, “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

He who raised the dead to life with no regard to status or station in life, commands us to do likewise—raise those who are dead in real prisons and prisons of isolation and loneliness, those who are oppressed because of differences of sexuality, those living in poverty, victims of unjust racist systems and those without homes or even countries and bring them to life in the community of God whose love is infinite and life giving.

So, in this month that celebrates differences while also challenging and questioning the true liberation of each person, we pray that we remain open to all of God’s people and their gifts and welcome all at the table of God’s community.

Serving With Compassion: The Inspiring Work of 103 Saints Korean Catholic Center Vincentian Conference

Serving With Compassion: The Inspiring Work of 103 Saints Korean Catholic Center Vincentian Conference 225 169 Jill Pioter

In April, the PR and marketing team of the Los Angeles Council interviewed a local District President and posted the interview in their blog site. As we begin the celebration of Asian/Pacific American History month, the Multicultural Diversity Committee is sharing the work of Ken Lee, President of 103 Saints Korean Catholic Center Vincentian Conference. Thanks to Gabriel Perez and Katti Fernandez for sharing this story with us.

In the heart of Los Angeles lies the 103 Saints Korean Catholic Center Vincentian Conference — a beacon of compassion and service to those in need. Led by individuals like Ken Lee, this Conference exemplifies the spirit of charity and outreach, making a tangible difference in the lives of their neighbors in need throughout the local community.

As President of the 103 Saints Korean Catholic Center Vincentian Conference, Ken Lee oversees and coordinates all of their charitable activities. His role involves planning their outreach efforts, mobilizing volunteers, and ensuring that their resources are used effectively to help those in need in the community. Lee has actively served within the Vincentian Conference for six years. Throughout this time, he has had the privilege of collaborating with dedicated conference members and contributing to various community service initiatives.

Lee notes that the Conference focuses on providing essential support to their unhoused neighbors, including preparing and distributing meals like sandwiches and hamburgers to the hungry. Additionally, they offer essential goods and clothing based on seasonal needs, ensuring that their assistance addresses the most pressing concerns of those they serve.

Since involving young people in the activities of a parish is a challenge, Lee includes the middle and high school students from their parish in their charitable projects. He observes that they play a vital role in preparing and distributing meals, learning firsthand the value of service and the joy of helping others. This involvement fosters a sense of responsibility and charity from a young age, nurturing compassionate individuals within the community.

Lee is motivated to make a difference — even if the effort is small — to those around him. Seeing the grateful expressions on their faces each time reassures him that he needs to keep going.

Lee notes that each time he and his team deliver meals or essentials, the thankful expressions and gestures from each recipient really stick with him. He explains that it is also incredibly moving to see them step up to help other neighbors who are even more in need. This chain of kindness not only supports the community but also strengthens the bonds within it, making each act of service profoundly impactful.

    

Reflection

You may want to share your reflection with your Conference members at a meeting.

  1. What does this story about Ken Lee and the members of his Conference inspire in you as a Vincentian?
  2. Did you notice that Ken Lee attempted to meet the needs of his neighbors without judging their circumstances or predicaments? Can you and I say the same when we go on Home Visits or serve in our pantries?

April Advocacy Update: Child Tax Credit, Affordable Connectivity Program, and a Supreme Court Case

April Advocacy Update: Child Tax Credit, Affordable Connectivity Program, and a Supreme Court Case 1600 615 Kristen Blacksher
Please read the April Adovocacy Update below by Voice for the Poor Chair, Bobby Kinkela:

 

Fellow Vincentians,

I wanted to share what we are working on and what we are watching.

First, as a member of the Circle of Protection, a broad faith-based coalition, President John Berry signed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging them to pass the Child Tax Credit.  The House passed their bill with an overwhelming majority. The Senate is bogged down over politics and not on the merit of the issue.  Thank you to the 2,700+ Vincentians that have sent emails to Congress on this issue.  If you have not weighed in, you can still send your message!  Because the legislative calendar is compressed due to the November election, if the Senate does not act soon, the bill will die.

We are monitoring the Affordable Connectivity Program.  The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a $30 discount on internet bills to income qualified households.  This is one of many programs that helps to reduce the internet costs for individuals. While funding for this program is in jeopardy, several similar programs remain including programs that provide cell phones to people who meet certain requirements.

The Supreme Court is hearing a case this week regarding criminalizing homelessness – Grants Pass v. Johnson.  The city argued that the ordinances merely bar camping on public property by everyone, while the challengers contended that the laws effectively make it a crime to be homeless in the city and therefore violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Monday’s arguments mainly focused on a 1962 Supreme Court ruling Robinson v. California which held that the 8th amendment forbids states from making laws punishing those addicted to drugs. The current challengers to the Oregon case likewise contend that the city’s ordinances, like the state law in Robinson, punish people who are involuntarily homeless.  We anticipate a decision will be made in late June.

Thank you for your advocacy and prayers.

In Christ,
Bobby Kinkela
Chair, Voice for the Poor Committee

National Twinning Commission

National Twinning Commission 1080 1080 Jill Pioter

Purpose

To support and promote twinning with other superior councils and to work collaboratively with other twinning partners (e.g. Superior Council of Canada)

Reports To

National President

Twinning Is

Fulfilling the preferential option for the poor, Twinning is the mutual exchange of resources, both spiritual and material, between Conferences and Councils — domestically, nationally, and internationally, so as to fulfill the vision of our Founders — that a network of charity, in fraternity and solidarity, encircle the whole world.

It is the awareness of acute poverty in a great number of countries and the Vincentian preferential option for the poor, spurs Conferences and Councils to assist others with fewer resources. The activity between two Conferences/Councils, a fundamental activity of the Society, is the expression of Vincentian fraternity and solidarity.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Promote and monitor twinning activities in the United States and in Superior Councils within America 1.
  • Work collaboratively with the International Territorial Vice President for America 1.
  • Maintain a database on all twinning activities in the U.S.
  • Provide semi-annual reports on twinning activities to the National Board of Directors.
  • Provide semi-annual reports to the International Twinning Commission.
  • Assure compliance with the U.S. government and other countries where funds are electronically transferred.
  • Prepare and maintain a Twinning Policies and Procedures Manual consistent with that of the International Twinning Commission.
  • Meet periodically, as needed(via ZOOM, Mid-year and National).
  • Prepare an annual budget for the Twinning Commission.
  • Keep our twinning partners in our prayers.
  • Any other appropriate matters that may be requested by the National Board of Directors.

2024 Committee Charges

2024 Committee Charges 1080 1080 Jill Pioter

Development & Communications Committee

The Development & Communications Committee is charged with raising the national profile of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul by leveraging the ideas, resources, and best practices of its members in fundraising, marketing, and communications. Through collaboration and learning, the Committee will develop the resources necessary to grow the Society’s works and pave the way for future growth.

Membership & Leadership Development Committee

The Membership and Leadership Development Committee is charged with defining best practices for membership growth, the onboarding process, spiritual enrichment, identifying and advancing Vincentian leadership in a society and Catholic church that is changing rapidly.

Multicultural Diversity Committee

The Multicultural Diversity Committee is charged with prayerfully creating an inclusive culture by means of researching, developing proposing ideas, and leading projects that will give each member of the Society the opportunity to contribute and express their charisms.

Vincentian Spiritual Growth and Enrichment Committees

Formation Committee

The Formation Committee supports the formation of members and leaders in the Society in the interconnected human, spiritual, intellectual, and ministerial dimensions of formation, as defined in the Society’s Foundation Document, and reflecting the fullness of Vincentian tradition. The Committee creates and provides:

  • Printed and digital materials
  • Presentations
  • Guidelines
  • Active nourishment to all members and leaders in the Society.

The Hispanic-Latino Formation Subcommittee defines priorities to properly support the Hispanic-Latino community in all aspects of Formation. The Committee will:

  • Define the necessary resources
  • Develop a plan at an accelerated pace
  • Create effective documentation, materials, and tools to ensure the intercultural expression of faith and language is reflected and emphasized
Formation Renewal & Delivery Committee

The Formation Renewal & Delivery Committee provides training and Formation, in partnership with local Councils, using existing methods, and finding new effective means and channels for the use of Formation materials and tools. The Committee supports Regions and Councils by:

  • Developing plans and schedules for teams and partnerships
  • Training those teams to make effective use of Formation materials
Spirituality Formation Committee

The Spirituality Formation Committee is focused on the spiritual dimension of formation, in order to encourage and support personal growth in every Vincentian’s relationship with God.
The Committee provides active nourishment to all members in:

  • Personal spiritual formation
  • Devotion
  • Prayer life

The Committee supports and encourages Spiritual Advisors and leaders by:

  • Developing materials for use in Councils and Conferences
  • Establishing direct channels of communications

Vincentian Programs & Services Committees

Poverty Action Committee

The Poverty Action Committee is charged with the coordination and collaboration among the National poverty programs and committees, the development of National poverty programs identified by the National Council Board, and with disseminating systemic change mentality among Society members to engage more Councils and Conferences in transformative initiatives that empower those we serve to make their way out of poverty to self-sufficiency.

National Voice For the Poor Committee

The National Voice For the Poor Committee is charged with advocating on behalf of people in poverty, and with education and information-sharing to strengthen and grow Council and Conferences’ involvement with advocating for policy solutions to local, state, and national leaders and legislators. The committee reports to the National Council President.

Homelessness Prevention Committee

The Homelessness Prevention Committee is charged with providing guidance and best practices in homelessness prevention and shelter diversion to Councils and Conferences, strengthening efforts to stop homelessness before it starts for those most at risk of losing their home.

Stores Committee

The Stores Committee is charged with helping paid and unpaid personnel to develop and maintain successful thrift stores, and with providing consulting services to Councils and Conferences that desire to start thrift stores.

Youth, Young Adults, and Emerging Leaders Committee

The Youth, Young Adults, and Emerging Leaders Committee is charged with growing young Vincentian leaders while ensuring that the spirit of our young founders is always present within the Society. This committee seeks to promote the formation, recruitment and engagement of young people, and the constant rejuvenation of the Vincentian Conferences both locally and nationally.

YYAEL will play a crucial role in identifying and developing individuals capable of leading with compassion, innovation, and dedication. Helping to support Youth, Young Adults, Emerging Leaders, and their coordinators, YYAEL will create opportunities, programs, and resources to support, connect, and train Youth, Young Adults, Emerging Leaders, and their coordinators, preparing them to integrate into the Society to lead, serve, and inspire generations to come.

 

2024 SVdP Events Calendar

2024 SVdP Events Calendar 576 216 Jill Pioter

Journeying Together
Adapt to a Changing World

Save the Dates!

  • March 14 – 16: Midyear Business Meeting
    Hyatt Regency at the Arch
    St. Louis, MO
  • April 19 – 21: Southeast Regional Meeting
    Embassy Suites Greenville
    Greenville, SC
  • May 3 – 5: Northeast Regional Meeting
    Hilton Albany Hotel
    Albany, NY
  • May 16 – 18: West Regional Meeting
    Doubletree Hilton Sacramento
    Sacramento, CA
  • June 14 – 15: Mideast Regional Meeting
    Radisson Hotel Cincinnati
    Covington, KY
  • June 19 – 22: South Central Regional Meeting
    Omni Las Colinas Hotel
    Dallas, TX
  • June 20 – 22: North Central Regional Meeting
    Holiday Inn Sioux Falls
    Sioux Falls, SD
  • June 28 – 29: Midwest Regional Meeting
    Embassy Suites Des Moines
    Des Moines, IA
  • July 10 – 14: Invitation for Renewal
    Pallottine Retreat Center
    Florissant, MO
  • July 12 – 13: Mid-Atlantic (Eastern) Regional Meeting
    Bon Secours Retreat Center
    Marriottsville, MD
  • August 14 – 17: 2024 National Assembly
    Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
    Phoenix, AZ
  • November 13 – 17: Invitation for Renewal
    Pallottine Retreat Center
    Florissant, MO
  • TBD: Mountain Regional Meeting
    Info Coming Soon

Click here for more information and hotel booking.

Please note that our regionals have changed this year. Please see the regional map to be certain you know your current region.

Members Portal Upgrade

Members Portal Upgrade 1080 1080 Jill Pioter

We’ve made important changes to the Members Portal, providing a more secure space for member data, bringing us inline with current data security measures, and providing administrators with faster access. At the request of national leadership, the following changes have been made to the Members Portal.

  • Only Administrators shall have login permissions. Members will no longer be able to log in. This change limits the number of logins with access to member information.
  •  Administrators will only see member information for groups they have administrative access over. They will not be able to see member information of other groups. Grouping contact information and leadership remain available to administrators.
  • Password requirements have been changed to meet current minimum standards. All passwords must be 12 characters or more in length and have the following: one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one numeral, and one symbol. In order to ensure all passwords meet this standard, administrators will be required to reset passwords at the first post-upgrade login. This reset will only be required once and applies to administrators at all levels.
  • A ‘Forgot Password’ feature has been added, allowing administrators to reset their password at any time. The function sends the user a link via email to reset the password and requires administrators to have an email in their member record.
  • To emphasize data privacy, a privacy policy has been added. The policy is available for review at any time. Administrators must agree to the policy each time they login.
  • Minimum member data required has changed. The number of required fields to add a member has been reduced. First name, last name, member type and member status are the only fields required to add a member. Administrators have additional required fields (email, username, and password) that are essential for logging in and resetting passwords.
  • When adding new members, administrators must confirm that members are aware that their information is being entered into the Members Portal and that the new members are aware of the privacy policies governing the application. A template policy is available on the Need Help? page within the Members Portal for local administrators.

We thank you for your patience during this process. If you have any questions, please email the National Council Information Technology department at techsupport@svdpusa.org.

2022 Systemic Change Grant Awards Announced

2022 Systemic Change Grant Awards Announced 900 900 Jill Pioter

The National Council is pleased to announce the 14 Councils and Conferences who have been awarded Systemic Change Grants in 2022.

Systemic Change is a core value of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Systemic Change is not a substitute for meeting the “demands of charity” that Vincentians undertake, but rather a complement to that work. Systemic Change projects target root causes of poverty to achieve a transformation in the lives of those struggling with poverty and in the community.

Please join us in praying for the success of these systemic change programs!

Let Us Break Bread Together

Let Us Break Bread Together 1080 1080 Jill Pioter

The Multicultural & Diversity Committee is excited to announce Let Us Break Bread Together, a program aimed at celebrating the different cultures, skills, abilities, and talents that strengthen our vocation and how we serve the poor.

We believe that by celebrating the different ways we approach feast days or why we choose one set of prayers over another we can better understand our One Society.

Let Us Break Bread Together will officially kick off at this year’s National Assembly in Baltimore. On Wednesday, August 31, when dinner is “on your own,” we invite alumni from Invitation for Renewal and past National Assemblies to strengthen our Vincentian spirit of friendship by having dinner with a first-time attendee.

If you plan on attending, here’s a guide to local dining in downtown Baltimore. We hope to see you there!

National Presidential Election Update

National Presidential Election Update 450 450 Jill Pioter
The SVdP National Council Presidential election process is now underway.
Each National Council Member is expected to activate the involvement of his/her Council in the nominating phase of the election. You are responsible for notifying affiliated Councils and Conferences of the pending nomination process and should invite their thinking and recommendations about potential nominees.
Questions regarding the election of the next National President should be directed to Elections Chair Ray Sickinger: RSICKING@providence.edu.

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