When I first signed up to be a Vincentian Volunteer, I must confess that I did not completely understand what it meant to be a Vincentian. I knew that it had to do with St. Vincent de Paul who spent his life serving the poor and less fortunate, and that was enough for me. I am now 4 months into the programme and have realized that the term “Vincentian” has different interpretations depending on the individual and the circumstances. So what does the term “Vincentian” mean to me at this point in my journey?
First off I believe there is a slight difference in what a Vincentian does vs what a Vincentian is. Many say a Vincentian is one that alleviates the suffering and addresses the needs of those living in poverty. That is true, but I feel that is more of what a Vincentian does. A Vincentian, to me, is almost more of a state of mind – a different way to see people and the world around us, particularly in regards to those suffering from poverty. Poverty can take many forms. It can mean a lack of money, but it can also refer to a suffering or lack of something crucial in life.
Here are some of my thoughts:
I strive every day to embrace and live up to these ideals, but I am still learning and transforming. It is a life-long journey and my 10 months as a Vincentian Volunteer in the UK is only one chapter in that journey and I am loving every minute of it. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me each and every day!