As we celebrate 150 years as a faith community, we recognize and honor the role of St. Vincent de Paul Ministries in our parish. In 1868, one of the first ministries organized by our parish community was St. Vincent de Paul. Since then, the virtues inherent in this work have been fundamental to the fabric of our community.
The spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul has five core characteristics. We are all invited to embrace and reflect these in our life and work.
St. Vincent de Paul teaches, “Jesus…expects us to have the simplicity of a dove. This means giving a straightforward opinion about things in the way we honestly see them…It also means doing things without any double-dealing or manipulation, our intention being focused solely on God.”
With an attitude of a servant, St. Vincent de Paul says, “The poor have much to teach you. You have much to learn from them.” Humility can be described as a predisposition to respect and learn from everyone—especially those out of our comfort zone.
St. Vincent de Paul states, “We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love.” We’re called to recognize the gifts of diversity and listen to the voices of those in need. We find fulfillment as we heal broken relationships and find unity.
Balance between prayer and action
The more St. Vincent de Paul embraced the discipline of prayer the greater his ability to act in love. Through prayer, we receive what we need to be bold in service. Through action rooted in relationship, we find God. St. Vincent de Paul says, “Service without reflection is just work – just another task.”
Creating lasting systemic change
St. Vincent de Paul continually asked the hard questions: Why is there such inequity? Why are so many in need? We are challenged to meet immediate needs. Yet we are also challenged to go beyond service and accompany another to understand their story, and uncover systems that oppress or destroy peace and dignity.
Basilica Serves: Rooted in the spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, we are all invited to consider three service options this spring and summer.
1. Join a service opportunity at The Basilica: We have organized service events for all ages. Come and learn about community needs and take direct action to respond. For example, join the Snack Pack event in the Lower Level today, providing food for summer programs at Ascension Schools or volunteer for Families Moving Forward in June.
2. Participate in a service opportunity at a partner organization: Look for organized ways to serve at partner sites. For example, in June, gather to support the work of Bridging MN as we provide needed essentials for those moving out of homelessness, or participate in Habitat for Humanity in August
3. Serve in your own way that fits your life: Find ways to help in your neighborhood, family or work. Live the values of our faith in your everyday life. Share your stories at The Basilica. Let’s celebrate the ripples of love in our community.
Go to www.mary.org/Basilicaserves for more information.