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Seeing Christ in the face of the poor

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    If someone asked you, could you explain systemic change without a lot of words? Here is a simple set of resources that go a long way. Three quick slide shows where the pictures tell the story with a minimum of words. A restaurant, a flat tire and a broken ankle – each illustrates what systemic change […]

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    At the Bronx Campus of Mount Saint Vincent College, on February 26, representatives of  several branches of the Vincentian Family met to discuss ways to more effectively work together to help people living in poverty improve their living conditions through Systemic Change. Participants at the meeting included, Teresa Kotturan SCN, Catherine Prendergast DC, Margaret O’Dwyer […]

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    Uncomfortable with systemic change? It is no secret that many people are uncomfortable with systemic change.  It seems to be so hard to get a handle on. On the other hand there are others who are comfortable with what they think is systemic change. Actually what they are comfortable with is simply a new label for […]

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    Vincentian Family International Commission for Systemic Change, Sao Paulo, Brazil From April 19-22, the International Commission of the Vincentian Family to Promote Systemic Change held a two-day meeting in Sao Paulo and a two-day training for four Latin American Vincentians to become regional coordinators for this initiative.  The four included one CM, one Lady of Charity […]

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    The culture of poverty, characterized by feelings of marginalism, dependence and exclusion, originates within the family, starting in childhood. Social and behavioral sciences recognize “poverty stress” beginning at a very young age.  For almost nine years, Dan Torrington, as a member of “Voice of the poor – Western region” (the advocacy branch of the Society of Saint […]

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    We have a great heritage. Sharing that heritage can help the systemic change process and the process of collaboration within the Family. Two men born in April, with feast days in September, but otherwise very different individuals in significant ways. How did two such different men become recognized as apostles of the poor? One was […]

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  • 07/17/16--14:00: Anyone Listening?
  • A Vincentian Reflection on Listening and Systemic Change Someone actively engaged in ministry told me recently that he ran into a person from his former place of service, who thanked him profusely for helping her with a problem years ago. The minister was uncomfortable, remembering that he actually was able to do very little to […]

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    “Whatever else our God does, the first outburst is always compassion” Those striking words were penned by a theologian in the 14th century. Compassion: perhaps no other word goes more directly to the heart of the Gospel message, because it goes to the heart of God’s own identity. “You may call God love, you may […]

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    “A process for Christian Life, a practical way to respond lovingly to the God who first loved us.” You may have heard the expression “a Matthew 25 Christian,” referring to someone who emphasizes the Last Judgment in her approach to the faith. This approach takes the end point, final judgement, as the starting point and […]

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    I wonder how many homilies over the years have urged us to be like the Good Samaritan! Young people making a pilgrimage to Krakow this month are a “summons” to the entire Church to ditch the “bad systems” which encourage a merciless heart, Archbishop Mark Coleridge said. Commissioning more 70 pilgrims at a Mass at […]

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    Prayer and Action go together for Vincentians. There cannot be one without the other. “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.  My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient…” Abraham Lincoln. Doesn’t our work with the impoverished at times […]

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    Father Gregory Gay, CM, former Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, was recently interviewed by the news agency Rome Reports, offering a reflection on how we as Vincentians understand charity from the charism of St. Vincent de Paul, and how we are acting at the root of the […]

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    A recent U.S.A. news headline: “Poor seem far down list on candidates’ agendas.” No real surprise there! In the last presidential campaign in the United States, neither President Obama nor Mr. Romney ever mentioned people living in poverty in major campaign addresses nor in their debates as they emphasized their plans for the middle class. […]

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  • 09/07/16--04:30: Systemic Change in 10 slides
  • Could you explain Systemic Change in 10 slides? Let this presentation on the Ten Principles to Facilitate Systemic Change make the process simple for you.

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    Seeing is the necessary beginning of systemic change. Systemic change requires looking anew at something we see…but do not see. This kind of seeing is really more like reading, reading the “signs of the times.” St. Vincent was a man of the concrete whose starting point is direct knowledge of events about which he reflects […]

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  • 10/12/16--04:29: The difference a lens makes
  • “Seeing” calls for “judging.” But judging presupposes a lens! “Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars!” This quote, variously attributed, seems to express that what one sees depends greatly upon one’s mental model and expectations. An earlier posted based on an article by Fr. Emeric Amyot on the method […]

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    Vincent accomplished so much by simply by seizing the day and doing the next right thing.

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    The International Commission for Systemic Change is holding a regional coordination meeting for Asia in the Daughters of Charity Provincial House in Lam Lukka, Bangkok, Thailand this weekend, November 11-12. Participating were 15 representatives coming from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos together with the three members of the Commission, Mr. James Claffey, Sr. […]

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    “Systemic change is a spirituality, a mindset, a presence that listens, and an experience.” This was the line that encapsulated the first day of the SC meeting. As the second day started with the reflective “Prayer to the Different Directions,” the participants’ mood was set for the day’s agenda. Right after the recap, Jim Claffey […]

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    An article the National Catholic Reporter describes St. Vincent’s Parish in Germantown, Philadelphia as “the social justice parish”.

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