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VFCAP 2014In a post entitled “St. John’s University Helps Create A Foundation for Vincentian Family Collaboration” describes the very significant program preparing the Vincentian Family for more collaborative action.

More than 50 Vincentian family members from 24 countries gathered at the Maison Mère in Paris to attend the Vincentian Family Collaborative Action Program (VFCAP) on June 8–13, 2014. Created by the Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission, the program responds to the need for more innovative ways to engage the branches of the Vincentian family and encourage them to work together on global, regional, and local levels to transform the lives of those living in poverty. The program seeks not only to nurture and develop participants’ Vincentian spirituality and leadership qualities and skills, but also to provide a tangible experience in collaboration, i.e., how the Vincentian charism is alive today and how it can be projected into the future.

The VFCAP design team was led by Rev. Joseph Agostino, C.M., international coordinator of special projects for the superior general and coordinator of the Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission. Joan Vivian, St. John’s director of training and development, was a member of the design and implementation team that also included participants from the five Vincentian universities, a Daughter of Charity and member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and a Vincentian priest based in Paris. Since the team’s inception, three St. John’s University members have participated in the VFCAP: Lucy Pesce, Office of the Mission; Rev. Patrick Flanagan, C.M., Department of Theology and Religious Studies; and Rev. Astor Rodriguez, C.M., vocation director of the Eastern Province.

In collaboration with the design team, Rev. Patrick Griffin, C.M., opened the program by presenting the key founders of the Vincentian tradition, or charism, and sharing their successful collaborations. He then led the group on a heritage trip to Saint Laurent and Saint Lazare, the respective birthplaces of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity. Ms. Vivian, along with members of the design team, co-facilitated the weeklong program, which culminated with a graduation ceremony at Clichy officiated by Rev. Gregory Gay, C.M., superior general.