SHARE:  

Conference News and Notes

for Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Sent to all Vincentians & Staff

Vincentian Reflection for the

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

December 30, 2022


Gospel: (Matthew 2:13-15. 19-23) When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called my son.

Reflection: As parents, Joseph and Mary were not preserved from hardships. These simple parents surely had apprehensions as they traveled to Egypt. Yet they responded faithfully and obediently to God’s messages. They trusted God’s ways. We too all face challenges in responding to God faithfully and obediently. The holiness of a family is not dependent upon perfection or an easy road. Whether we are a traditional family or a single parent family, whether we have biological or adopted or foster children or no children, whether we live in an expensive home, or a subsidized rental unit makes no difference for living as a holy family. What does make a difference is hearing God’s messages and doing God’s will. Trust in God’s ways. You, too, are a holy family. (Living Liturgy, p.28)


Vincentian Meditation: In his faithful response to God’s commands, Joseph also knew how to “listen to the word of God and act on it.” Joseph stands with eager expectation at the threshold of transcendence. From the darkness of his own limited understanding, he is continually peering into the mystery of God. Surely, he cannot fathom the mystery of God’s plan, but with loving compassion he bows in reverence to God’s incomprehensible ways. There is something very beautiful about Joseph’s contacts with the transcendent mystery of God. He was not a monk. He was a carpenter, and he raised his son in the same trade. Yet in the midst of his daily manual labor and family life, Joseph was surrounded by the mystery of God and he penetrated it with faith. He trusted in God’s daily providence. When he read the signs of God’s will, he rushed to put them into practice. (Maloney, Seasons in Spirituality, p.52-53)


How have you found “God’s daily providence” in your family life?

And how about within our Vincentian family?


Our Call to Prayer


O God, You bless us with the gift of faith,     

continue to strengthen our trust in you.             

O God, You bless us with the gift of family,

keep them always in your love.

O God, You bless our Conference in countless ways,

we ask for your continued grace and guidance.

Amen.

SOLEMNITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Sunday, January 1, 2023


Gospel: (Luke 2:16-21) The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in a manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


Reflection: Like the shepherds, we wish to remember the incarnation event “glorifying and praising God” and with Mary we “keep these things, reflecting on them in our hearts". Like Mary, we must assume a contemplative stance toward God’s marvelous deeds of salvation. God revealed the divine will and plan to Mary for her part in the plan of salvation; she responded with a yes that she contemplated throughout her life. Christmas reveals God’s will for our salvation and asks of us our contemplative yes. When we wish each other “Happy New Year” as Christians, we are really wishing each other a grace-filled year of responding to God’s revelation and a year of contemplating what we have seen and heard so that we can come to understand life with more depth and insight. May our “Happy New Year” be a pledge to, like the shepherds and Mary, embrace in joy and peace God’s presence to us and in us. (Living Liturgy, p.32)


Vincentian Meditation: “Give me a man of prayer and he will be capable of anything. He may say with the apostle, ‘I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” St. Vincent de Paul (McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p. 110)


2022 was quite a year and 2023 certainly holds challenges to be contemplated and opportunities to be acted upon.

How have you discovered that as Vincentians we are called to be “contemplatives in action”?


Our Call to Prayer


Mary, you who are the Mother of God, we now pray:

teach us how to be contemplatives in action.

Mary, wellspring of peace,

be our fountain of grace.

Mary, model of risk,

help us overcome our fears.

Mary, mother of the poor,

give us compassion in our service.

Amen.

Celebrating the Blessing of a Holy Child and the Joy of Family

A New Year Awaits


The Scriptures, reflections, and prayers above appropriately invite us to identify more closely with the Holy Family...and to emulate the Holy Family in our contemporary families.

Giving voice to our neighbors individually, and our community collectively, we thank you for the generosity, love, zeal, and hope you have shared in the good works of this Vincentian family in 2022.

We aspire; we listen; we pray in word and action; we draw inspiration; and we hope to inspire.

We wish you a warm, peaceful, healthy, and fulfilling week as we venture into this gift of a new year. If you are contemplating resolutions, we invite you to join us in considering how faith, friendship, and service are manifest in our journey with and to God in this year ahead.

We will walk together.

New Year's Holidays Impact Upon Our Operating Hours


Please note the following operating hours revisions for our New Year's holidays, as currently scheduled:

  • Our Neyer Outreach Center (NOC) and Liz Carter Center (LCC) will be closed on New Year's Eve (Saturday, 12/31), New Year's Day (Sunday, 1/1/2023), & Monday, 1/2; reopening Tuesday, 1/3, for normal 8am - 4pm hours.
  • Our Thrift Stores' schedule (other than the Clothing and Home Resource Center in our Liz Carter Center) is not impacted by New Year's; stores will be open for normal hours on New Year's Eve (Saturday, 12/31) & New Year's Day (Sunday, 1/1/2023).

News from our Charitable Pharmacy


Smoke-Free in 2023

With January come New Year’s resolutions, making this an ideal time to discuss quitting smoking with our neighbors. While smoking costs on average nearly $2,000 per year, research also shows that every cigarette someone smokes reduces their life by 11 minutes. You can save lives and resources by referring neighbors who smoke to our Charitable Pharmacy. Our Charitable Pharmacy is accepting new neighbors to participate in its expanded tobacco cessation program. This program includes:

  • FREE nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges)
  • Weekly text reminders
  • Biweekly phone calls
  • Monthly face-to-face counseling

To enroll, neighbors can come to either location of our Charitable Pharmacy (Neyer Outreach Center or Western Hills Thrift Store) to meet with a pharmacist. They do not need to be certified for other Pharmacy services to participate; this program is open to all who are serious about quitting tobacco products. The next time you discuss budget with our neighbors, try asking the question, “Would you like to be smoke-free in 2023?”

We can help!


Free COVID Tests Available

Last Wednesday, 12/14, President Biden approved another round of free COVID tests for all American households. With the holidays quickly approaching and the recent increase in COVID cases, you might consider having COVID tests on-hand just in case. You can order four (more) free tests at https://special.usps.com/testkits .

Wrapping Up This Holiday Edition


As of today, we have approved 135 Conference Assistance Fund (CAF) applications in December, thereby extending $59,000 in CAF assistance to 135 neighbor families/households. We are still actively processing and approving applications this week. We still have funding available. And we will carry over unused funding to January - which we anticipate will be a busy month.

You can find much more about January resources and opportunities in last week's edition. Next week's edition will feature more info to empower your good works in 2023.

In Loving Memory


We remember now our fellow Vincentians, family members, friends, and neighbors who were called home to God and left our earthly company in 2022. Among those we have cherished is Janice Ryan, Spiritual Advisor of Our Lady of the Rosary / St Matthias Conference, who passed on Christmas Eve.

Their legacy lives on in us.

Today truly is a gift.

Our Mission


A network of neighbors, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.

STAY CONNECTED
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram