Tag Archives: Vincentian

350 years since the deaths of Sts Vincent de Paul & Louise de Marillac

In the Pope’s Weekly Sunday Angelus Address (September 26, 2010) he spoke of Saint Vincent de Paul. Sunday’s gospel of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus gave Benedict XVI a perfect context by which to teach that us that “God loves the poor and raise them from their abjection; secondly, that our eternal destiny is dependent upon our behavior, it is up to us to follow the path God has shown us in order to achieve live, and this path is love, understood not as emotion but as service to others in the charity of Christ,” and further the Pope said:

“By a happy coincidence, tomorrow (9/26/2010) we will celebrate the liturgical memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, patron of Catholic Charities, which marks the 350th anniversary of his death. In France of 1600, he touched with his hand the sharp contrast between the richest and poorest. In fact, as a priest he was able to attend both the aristocratic circles, campaigns, as well as the slums of Paris. Driven by the love of Christ, Vincent de Paul was able to organize stable forms of service to the marginalized people, giving rise to so-called “Charitees,” the “Charity,” i.e., groups of women who put their time and property available to more marginalized. Among these volunteers, some chose to devote themselves completely to God and the poor, and thus, along with St. Louis de Marillac, St. Vincent founded the “Daughters of Charity,” the first female congregation to live their consecration “in the world,” among all the people, the sick and needy.”

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Strive to live content in the midst of those things that
cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take
care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so
to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently
with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of
what your heart desires
(St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam

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Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Frederic Ozanam

God, our Father, You alone have the power to bestow those precious gifts of yours which we rightly call miracles. If it be Your will, be pleased to grant such a gift on behalf of [mention a person’s name here]. We humbly ask that You grant this favor so that Blessed Frederic Ozanam may be canonized by our Holy Mother the Church. We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.

The name “Frederic Ozanam” may not be well-known to many in the USA, but those who know of or work with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society know well their father in the faith and their founder. Ozanam followed in the foot steps of Saint Vincent de Paul and is a terrific model for all people, particularly the laity because he puts the gospel and the Liturgy into action.

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society has a membership of more than three-quarters of a million people in 47, 000 conferences in 131 countries on 5 continents.

Frederic Ozanam was a married man, a father, well educated, a person who travelled in high society, a man of faith and action. Many people today consider Blessed Frederic to be a precursor to the Second Vatican Council’s vision of the laity in the Church.

Ozanam’s vision of the Church can be seen in an address he gave on the 4 marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic and apostolic). Here is an excerpt of a talk he gave:


One only
means of salvation remains to us, that is, that Christians, in the name of
love, interpose between the two camps (of rich and poor) passing like
beneficent deserters from one to the other … communicating mutual charity to
all, until this charity, paralyzing and stifling the egotism of both parties,
and every day lessening their antipathies, shall bid the two camps arise and
break down the barriers of prejudice, and cast aside their weapons of anger and
march forth to meet each other, not to fight but to mingle together in one
embrace, so that they may form but one fold under one pastor. 


Will we be
satisfied to lament the barrenness of the present time, when each bears in his
heart a germ of holiness, which a simple desire would be sufficient to develop?
It we do not know how to love God as the saints did, it is because we see God
with the eyes of faith alone, and faith is so weak. But the poor we see with
the eyes of flesh. They are present. We can put our fingers and our hands into
their wounds, the marks of the crown of thorns are plainly visible on their
heads. There is no place for unbelief here … You poor are the visible image
of the God whom we do not see, but whom we love in loving you.


Catholic university (Louvain) should be a cause of rejoicing to the Church, to
see raised within her yet another monument to the immortal alliance of Science
and Faith.


You have felt the emptiness of material pleasures, you
have felt the hunger for truth crying out within you; you have gone for light
and comfort to the barren philosophy of modern apostles. You have not found
food for your souls there. The religion of your forefathers appears before you
today with full hands; do not turn away, for it is generous. It also, like you,
is young. It does not grow old with the world. Ever renewing itself, it keeps
pace with progress, and it alone leads to perfection.

More about Blessed Frederic Ozanam can be read here, his chronology, and a brief biography.

Bishop David O’Connell: God gives the grace

Here is the post-communion address of the newly ordained Bishop David O’Connell CM, coadjutor of Trenton, as prepared for delivery (the text does not include the ad lib remarks):

David M O'Connell arms.jpgI have been thinking a great deal in recent months about the role and ministry of bishops in the Church. You might think, sitting here in the Cathedral today in the midst of this beautifully moving ceremony, you had good reason for such reflection! And, while there is real truth to that reaction — at least since the Apostolic Nuncio first met with me on May 24 about coming to Trenton — I did have some other motivations. For the past twelve years, I was president of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C, a place that is known as the “bishops’ university.” I am grateful that so many of my colleagues and friends from Catholic University are here with us today, both in the pews and around the sanctuary. Throughout those twelve years, I had many occasions to get to know bishops from around the country either as university trustees or as visitors to campus. We spoke about many things: their dioceses, their experiences, their joys and their challenges. I came to admire them as good men, good priests and good leaders. Although they all differed from one another in many ways, they all had one thing in common: they loved their people.

Today, through the grace and mercy of God and the sacrament of ordination, I join their ranks as successors to the Apostles. Like them, I approached this day filled with joy and gratitude but also with a sense of humility and awe. Like them, I am profoundly aware of my flaws and limitations, that I am far from perfect.  Like them, I do not know what the future will hold but I am quite sure that the expectations are as many and as different as there are people in and outside of this Cathedral.

When the Apostolic Nuncio spoke with me that morning in late May, he shared much information about the Diocese of Trenton and the process involved in my appointment. But he said something to me that I will never forget: “Father, always remember that there are over 830,000 souls in your Diocese. And you will be responsible for all of them.” What has been very much on my mind since that conversation is simply this: how will I exercise that responsibility?

The other day, someone asked me how long it took to come up with my Episcopal motto, Ministrare non Ministrari — “to serve and not to be served” — to which I responded, “about two seconds.” When I was first ordained a Vincentian priest — and I am so happy to see so many of my confreres here — the Gospel reading for the ordination Mass contained those words of Jesus Christ in Mark’s Gospel. I was struck with the phrase then as being a perfect description of how to follow the Lord as a priest: “to serve and not to be served and to give my life as a ransom for the many.” This was how I wanted to live out my life as a priest. This is how I want to live out my life as a bishop and how I hope to exercise that responsibility.

According to the Second Vatican Council, “Christ gave the apostles and their successors the mandate and the power to teach all nations and to sanctify and shepherd their people in truth (Christus Dominus, 12).” To teach. To sanctify. To shepherd their people in truth. Christ gave this mandate to the successors to the Apostles. Christ gave this power. And with power like this comes great responsibility. Please pray for me.

“To serve and not to be served.” In my letter to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI accepting his appointment, I wrote to him of my choice of a motto. In his response to me read here today, he repeated them.

A bishop serves his people by teaching truth. The truth that comes through the Gospel, the truth that comes through the Church and all its teachings, the truth that lives among us a community of faith, for “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18: 20).” This is how a bishop serves, not by being served through compromise or taking the easy way out, not by being served saying only what people want to hear or what makes them comfortable, striving to be popular. As Pope John Paul II wrote, the truth that we teach “has its origin in God himself … (but) people can even run from the truth because they are afraid of its demands (Fides et ratio, 7; 28).” Christians cannot run from the truth for this reason. Nor can the bishop. This is how he serves.

A bishop also serves by sanctifying his people and by leading them to holiness. And there is only one way to holiness: Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with him, convinced in faith as we must be that he alone is “the way, the truth and the life (John 14: 6).” All three make us holy. Jesus Christ is the Risen Lord. He triumphed over death and every suffering and evil. The bishop is called, it is said, to be a servant of the empty tomb not of the status quo. He leads his people to holiness by bearing witness to what the empty tomb means: joy, hope, the promise of new life, remembering Jesus’ own words: “In the world you will have troubles but take courage: I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” This is how the bishop serves.

Finally, a bishop serves by leading, by guiding, by shepherding his people. This is, perhaps, the most difficult not only for those he governs as bishop but for the bishop himself, marked as he is by human weakness. But lead he must, by word and example. God gives the grace. And follow we must. God gives the grace. The answers that we may seek from him, the answers that we may want from him may sometimes not be what we seek or want. Sometimes the answer is no. “The gate is narrow and the road is long that leads to life (Matthew 7: 14).” This is how the bishop serves and this is where that service leads: to life.

To serve and not to be served. To teach. To sanctify. To shepherd. This is what a bishop does for God’s people and with God’s people: brother bishops, fellow priests, deacons, faithful religious women and men and all the baptized, one community of faith. With a grateful heart I thank you for being here today, too many to call by name. Please know that I care deeply for you all. With humble, faithful hearts, let us go forward, together, “to serve and not to be served.”

Vincent de Paul: Charity’s Saint

Vincent de Paul Charitys Saint.jpgMy primary education was with Vincentian Fathers in New Haven, CT. They were great men, hardworking, faithful and interesting. But the one thing missing was that they never spoke of Saint Vincent de Paul, their order’s founder. More than 25 years later I lament this fact because I am now seeing a terrific richness and beauty of the man and saint, Vincent de Paul. A new video has been produced, “Vincent de Paul: Charity’s Saint.” It gives us a wonderful introduction into the heart of a man who has touched many facets of our life in the Church and in the US.

The trailer is very appetizing, I recommend it because it seems like it will stir the spiritual and apostolic life in you. Plus, it will be an education.
The press release is here.
It is for sale at the DePaul University’s Vincentian Institute.

St Stanislaus Church (New Haven, CT) to host the St Gregory Society

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Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford, in a letter to the Saint Gregory Society of New Haven, Connecticut, gave his permission for the Traditional Latin Mass community to relocate from Sacred Heart Church in New Haven to Saint Stanislaus Church at 9 Eld Street in New Haven.

“He wants to be certain the church is appropriate for your needs,” wrote the archbishop.

He gave permission for the first Traditional Latin Mass at Saint Stanislaus in New Haven to be on The Feast of the Holy Cross, September 13, 2009. The Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal will be celebrated at 2 pm at Saint Stanislaus just as it had been celebrated at 2 PM at Sacred Heart.

In his cordial letter of introduction, Archbishop Mansell encouraged cordial relations with the pastor, Father Roman Kmiec, C.M., pastor of Saint Stanislaus. Father Kmiec has indeed warmly welcomed the Saint Gregory Society.

Archbishop Mansell said he was “glad to help” the Saint Gregory Society in finding a new home for the Community.

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Saint Stanislaus Church is staffed by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) of the New England Province. The Vincentians, an congregation of priests and brothers founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in the 1600s, spread the gospel message of Jesus in championing the needs of the poor.

The De Paul Provincial House is located at 234 Keeney Street in Manchester, CT.

I am happy to receive this news. I spent nine years of my formative years at Saint Stan’s with the Vincentians and the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Saint Stan’s is New Haven’s best looking church maintaining the original artwork and liturgical furnishings.

The Saint Gregory Society of New Haven is a non-profit lay association founded in 1985 to promote the local celebration of the Traditional Latin Liturgy according to the Tridentine Missal in response to the Papal indult of October 3, 1984, Quattuor abhinc annos, which granted the use of the liturgical books in force in 1962.

Since January 1986, the Traditional Latin Mass regularly has been celebrated at the Sacred Heart Church in downtown New Haven. The Saint Gregory Society exists primarily to advocate the preservation of the immemorial rite of the Mass, to work for its celebration on a regular and unrestricted basis, and to disseminate information about and cultivate interest in the classical Roman liturgy and its central importance for Catholic faith and culture.

The Society supports a professional Schola Cantorum that provides the proper Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony for all sung liturgical functions.

For further information: saintgregorysociety@gmail.com.

(this article is edited & adapted)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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