Executive Committee meetings are underway this week, those present for the sessions: SCNs Susan Gatz, Sangeeta Ayithamattam, Brenda Gonzales, Adeline Fehribach, and Basanti Lakra. Members of the Extended Executive Committee, Vice Provincials Rhoda Kay Glunk, Tonya Severin, Philomena Kottoor, and Sheela Palamoottil are also in attendance for meetings and discussion.
Though unable to attend meetings due to illness, Ann Palatty, SCN, is very much present in spirit this week, as a photo of her sits at the table during EC meetings. She has been sending messages to those at the meetings, and in turn, members of Leadership took a photo where they are wearing Mardi Gras masks, to share with Sister Ann. She is being held in prayer.
Monday, February 20, 2017, members of Leadership gathered for a day of prayer at St. Joseph the Worker House, the new facility for housing volunteers on Nazareth Campus. It was a day of prayer and reflection around the theme “Praying our Goodbyes.”
As Tuesday’s meetings began, those gathered noted the ambience in the conference room at the SCN Center and thanked Shirley for the creative Mardi Gras themed decorations. Sister Susan led the group in a time of meditation and prayer. She shared a PowerPoint about the life and ministries of Vincent de Paul and the 400th anniversary of Vincentian Charism. To view this PowerPoint, please click on this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzONoWDvqibmUy1JR0MzRW80TDZRR0VickN3cUdOUDFzWTM4
After reviewing the reflection together, the members of the group were asked to reflect upon, “What struck you about St. Vincent’s life?”
Among the observations shared by those present about St. Vincent: he was always about carrying out the mission;he was committed to carrying ministries out collaboratively; St. Vincent recognized the importance of being faithful to the mission and the people in the mission; St. Vincent’s sense of advocacy and how courageous he often was during his time; St. Vincent’s saying that “love is inventive,” and how nothing is impossible with God; his charism of hospitality, and how he worked to bring about systemic change, and how during these times especially given what immigrants and their families are facing, we are called to be welcoming; his gift and keen ability to connect those ‘who have’ with those ‘who don’t’ – St. Vincent was a bridge.
Following Tuesday’s reflection, the group read a letter from the Vincentian Family asking that as part of the 400th anniversary, the various branches of the Vincentian Family join in a mega-project focusing on homelessness. In preparation for undertaking the project, members of the Vincentian Family have been asked to reflect upon the ways they are already in ministry to those in transition, including refugees and the homeless. Members of SCN Leadership were asked to share examples of these ministries, among examples discussed: Doors to Hope, Room in the Inn, Village I apartments, St. John’s Center, Camp Maria hosting the homeless, Sisters Place, Rendu, the sharing of furniture and items from the Dunbar House to those who lost everything in recent floods, Sisters at St. Louise making mats for the homeless and sandwiches, use of the Stone House at St. Louise for a refugee family, outreach to farmworkers through SCNA Felix Garza, Nepal earthquake recovery efforts, Catherine Spalding Center in Ranchi, India, response to flood victims in India, outreach at Asha Kiran and Rajgir, in Belize – our SCN volunteers building homes for the homeless in collaboration with Hand in Hand ministries, and in Botswana – proposed ministry to the Bush people, as well as SCN Community Economic Development Investments aimed at helping lift people up.
Following prayer, the minutes were reviewed and discussed, and Leadership called for a break to attend liturgy.
The Consent Agenda included the following items:
Charity Federation/Vincentian Family
Global Justice Committee/UN/NGO
In the afternoon, Marlene Lehmkul, SCN, shared the Ministry Fund Report. Two questions were presented for consideration later this week: What has worked well? What could work better?
Those gathered next entered into a time of sharing around two other questions. Since we met in July, what have been some of the significant moments/pains/joys/delights in your life? Where have you experienced God’s presence during these months?
Tuesday came to a close with prayer and words of congratulations for Sister Basanti as she celebrated her birthday.
To view photos from this week’s meetings, click on this link: