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Embracing Change: Highlights from the SVDP South Central Regional Meeting

Two weeks ago, we attended the first meeting of the newly reconfigured South Central Region, and what an inspiring event it was! The theme, "Removing the Veil," captured the spirit of our discussions perfectly as we step into the future of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The innovative bilingual formation and training sessions were a standout feature, along with engaging keynote presentations and spiritual reflections, providing a holistic and enriching experience for all attendees.



Introducing "Vision SVDP" Amid Changing World Conditions


As we adapt to changing world conditions, a "Vision SVDP" was emphasized for the Society's commitment to evolving with the times while staying true to its core values of compassion and service. In his spiritual reflection, Fr. Milton Ryan, a Vincentian priest, highlighted the importance of "passing the torch" to future generations of Vincentians. He stressed that this transition should not be about handing over responsibilities but rather about guiding and mentoring younger members to ensure the continuity and growth of the SVDP mission.


Listening to Our Vincentians


The national Council introduced "Vision SVDP" as a prominent feature committed to listening to the members of the society. It emphasized the importance of dialogue and respect and was presented with the following words:

“We’re going to do it by talking, listening, respecting every person’s views, and then planning how we move forward. We are going to talk for a long time. We are going to talk for at least a year at every level in the Society — because EVERY VOICE MATTERS.”

This forward-thinking approach resonated deeply with the Vincentian leaders attending the regional meeting. It provided them with a space where they felt heard and valued. The inclusive environment fostered meaningful dialogue and connection among the participants.


Special topics discussed during the national meeting included strategies for navigating change through the new "Vision SVDP." Participants engaged in conversations about how to best implement this vision in their local communities, addressing challenges such as increasing engagement among younger adults and enhancing the development of our Conferences. The meeting concluded on a high note, with a renewed sense of purpose and a shared commitment to embracing change while honoring the timeless mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.


 

Established in 1871, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is a 501(c)3 faith-based organization with a mission for members to grow spiritually through person-to-person service in our community. The Society serves 10 counties throughout the greater Houston area through a network of 54 parish-based chapters ("Conferences"), more than 1,700 volunteers ("Vincentians"), and a food network of localized pantries. Assistance is given to neighbors in need throughout the Galveston-Houston area through its Home Visit Program, Food Network, Clothing Vouchers, Resiliency Programs, and Disaster Response.

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