Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And in my free time . . .

Last September I was asked to serve as the Spiritual Advisor to our Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Below is a video from the National Council giving a bit of an overview and history for the Society in the United States.

When I accepted the role, I really thought I knew all there was to know about the Society.  After all, every parish I've been in has had a local Conference.  They help people with food and other needs, direct Charity, very good, very nice, end of story.

Oh but I was so very, very poorly informed.  As it turns out, the Society has a rule, much like the rule of a religious order, that very definitely spells out that the goal is the spiritual growth of the members (also called Vincentians).  The way they help in the spiritual growth of the members is through the charitable activities.

That puts a much different spin on things for me, especially as a pastor.  These people seek to grow in a relationship with Christ, and through that relationship, serve the needs of others.  But it works both ways.  Some might come just out of a sense of charity, and through the Society, then come to a better relationship with Christ.  Any way you want, it all works, since the goal is the relationship with Christ.

I think I'll be writing more on the Society, and using some of the great social media work they've been doing at the Phoenix Council.  You'll probably get tired of it.  That's OK, just as long as you see the Society a little bit differently.  And if this gives you the itch to volunteer or donate, so much the better!