The 2023 Vincentian Family Gathering in Chicago was a remarkable pilgrimage that filled our hearts with the spirit of Charity! This year’s theme was “Harmony in Diversity: Working for Social Justice & Fostering a Culture of Encounter through the Arts.” The SCL delegation included Sisters, Associates, and the SCL JPIC team.
We heard powerful testimonies of people impacted by our Vincentian charism, built relationships with Sisters, lay people, and university students. We shared many stories around meals together. To the delight of all, we were joined by the international performing arts group Gen Verde, who uplifted us with their incredible musical talent throughout the gathering!
Those who opted for the conference track were blessed with the opportunity to dialogue in small groups, processing through the year’s theme by listening and supporting each other in carrying on the work of St. Vincent in diverse ways. Those who opted for the performance track explored the theme with Gen Verde by weaving their variety of musical talents into a harmonious work of art. It all culminated with Gen Verde’s concert at a local theater, where the performance track exhibited their talents alongside this amazing group of women.
In reflecting on the journey, the opportunity to gather with the wide breadth of the Vincentian family has illuminated a certain optimism for the future. As Gustavo Gutiérrez said, “The poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.” We all came from diverse backgrounds and vocations, and it is in this very diversity coming together that we can uncover the creativity and courage needed to build a different social order. Together, we embody the charism in exceptional, innovative, and unprecedented ways!