The Vincentian Promises

(posted: September 1, 2017)

The Vincentian Promises

In response to the call of Christ who invites you to follow Him,
do you promise to bear witness to his compassionate and boundless love
for the poor, the lonely, the suffering and the deprived,
 those without faith and those who feel unloved?
I do.

Do you firmly resolve to treasure the warm friendship and unity
which from the beginning has been a hallmark of our Society?
I do.

Do you promise to seek and find those who are forgotten
and to devote yourselves to the personal service of the poor?
I do.

Do you promise to respect and not to judge,
to empower and not to impose,
and most of all, to try to understand the deeper needs of those you serve?
I do.

Do you promise to support the Society’s modest work for social justice,
and to build a civilization of love and a culture of life?
I do.

Do you promise to persevere in regarding your visits as a sacred trust
to be carried out faithfully each week, in the name of Christ,
so far as family and other duties permit?
I do.

Each September, the month of the feast days of Blessed Frederic and Saint Vincent, we Vincentians gather in our conferences or councils and renew the promises that make us members of our beloved Society.  I will be participating in the renewal of my promises twice this month: the first time at the annual celebration of our patron’s feast with members of the Windsor-Essex Central Council and the second, at the ONRC’s fall general meeting in Bowmanville.  Based on past practice, the format will be the same.  Papers and candles will be distributed and Vincentians will respond to questions asked by Spiritual Advisors. 

There is always a danger that the ceremony becomes perfunctory, something to be done before the next item on the agenda.  My prayer is that it will be more than that.  I hope that wherever we are, my brother and sister Vincentians will find time to meditate on and pray about the words we say.  The version above is abbreviated; the full text is in the Canadian Rule, section C.9 Commissioning Ceremony.   If each of us could take time for private meditation on just what it is that we promise to do as Vincentians, I think the coming months might be the best ever for the Society in Canada and for all those we serve.

Blessings to all,