Rome, 2 February 2021
Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
Dear Superiors General, International Presidents,
Presidents of the National Councils
or representatives of the Vincentian Family in any given country,
all members of the worldwide Vincentian Family,
May the grace and peace of Jesus be with as always!
I hope and pray that all members of the worldwide Vincentian Family, in spite of so many challenges, difficulties, and tragedies experienced in the past year, were able to start the year 2021 full of never-ending “Faith, Hope, and Love,” rooted in the person of Jesus who can never disappoint us!
The members of the Vincentian Family Executive Committee (VFEC), which coordinates the worldwide Vincentian Family on the international level through its different commissions, task forces, and working groups, are working tirelessly, with extraordinary enthusiasm and dedication, to make our common dream as a Family and as a growing Movement a reality. By developing common spiritual and other forms of formation, communication within the Family and with the world, deepening our common participation in the direct service to the poor, as well other forms of collaboration, we are contributing to the “Globalization of Charity.” Every single branch, whether it is big or small, is an invaluable part of the wonderful mosaic that makes up the Vincentian Family, this growing Movement in the Church.
The VFEC has emphasized that the Famvin Homeless Alliance (FHA), of which the 13 Houses Project is a part, is our unique common project in the area of charity. Therefore, it must be promoted enthusiastically within the Vincentian Family to reach each member’s heart so that everyone becomes a part of this common initiative. Thus, it needs to be expanded and introduced in all 158 countries where the Vincentian Family is present, so that no Congregation or Association will remain outside it, but all will take an active part in the initiative in every corner of the world where we live and serve.
The FHA is presently entering its fourth year of service with many beautiful results. Efforts need to be further developed, intensified, and expanded for the 1.2 billion homeless: people living on the streets, refugees displaced from their homes, and the poor residing in substandard housing. As a consequence of COVID-19, their numbers keep increasing drastically all around the world.
The FHA provides unity within the Family in responding to the overwhelming needs of the homeless. We need to come quickly to the point where homelessness will not be tackled alone, by an individual person or a branch, but together, as a Family on the local, national, and international levels. When the different branches of the VF bring together their long history of service to the homeless, their expertise, professionalism, and resources to face this challenge together, they offer the poor extraordinary wealth.
To this end, I would like to invite and encourage all the Superiors General and International Presidents of the 160 branches of the Vincentian Family, who are not yet participating actively in the FHA Initiative especially the “13 Houses” Project, to make this commitment in the year 2021 once again. I ask the Superiors General, who so far have not been able to do so, to pass on the information to their respective provinces and local communities that it might reach every member of their Congregation. Likewise, I ask all the International Presidents, who so far have not been able to do so, to pass on the information to all your respective regional, national, and local councils so that it reaches every single member. In the same way, I invite and encourage the Presidents of the National Councils or the different representatives of the Vincentian Family in the 158 countries around the world where we are now present to continue or begin active participation in the FHA, especially together with all the branches on the national, regional, or local level in the “13 Houses” Project.
For further information and materials on the FHA, please contact
Mrs. Yasmine Cajuste at: [email protected];
as well as visiting the FHA website: vfhomelessalliance.org
We can become involved actively in the FHA by:
- Starting the “13 Houses” Project on the local, regional, or national levels.
- Sharing the wealth, knowledge, expertise, and resources that each branch has in the field of homelessness.
- Participating in conferences, webinars, online events on homelessness (street homeless, refugees and internally displaced persons, slum dwellers living in inadequate housing).
- Becoming involved actively in advocacy at the local, national, and international levels; etc.
Let us make all possible efforts so that we will be able to announce, with overwhelming joy, on this year’s Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul that the objective of having all 160 branches of the Vincentian Family actively participating in the FHA has become a reality for the glory of Jesus and the good of the poor!
May Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Saint Vincent de Paul, all the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family keep interceding for us and inspiring us on this path!
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM
President of the Vincentian Family Executive Committee