Our Lady of Angels Association focuses on four ministries of the Province in its Fall Appeal-letter. The letter describes the work of Fathers Emmet Nolan, Jack Timlin, Tim Lyons and Aiden Rooney.
St. John the Baptist Parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society. The parish is situated in the heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. Pastor, Father Emmet Nolan, C.M. explains that the parish is one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. The residents of the area are plagued by joblessness, homelessness and violence. The parish runs a thrift store and food pantry to help relieve some of the immediate needs of the area’s residents. In addition, the St Vincent de Paul Society attempts to meet some of the needs not addressed by other social service agencies, e.g. rent, utilities, and help with funeral expenses.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Father Jack Timlin, C.M. is pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Greensboro, North Carolina. He explains that this program brings together the seniors from the parish and the surrounding neighborhood. The gathering provides the seniors with a hot meal, some spiritual nourishment, social and fun activities. There are talks by a nurse about healthy eating and appropriate ways of exercising. The program provides friendships and needed mental, physical and spiritual stimulations. Volunteers who visit the homebound provide social interactions for those who may have been forgotten.
My Place Germantown. St. Vincent de Paul Parish, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, helps sponsor My Place Germantown, a new model for addressing homelessness. Father Timothy Lyons, C.M. said that the program was founded in 2007 to provide community-based permanent housing for twelve disabled men in Germantown. The housing consists of twelve efficiency apartments with kitchenettes. Two units are wheel-chair accessible and a third is accessible for the hearing and /or visually impaired. The staff consists of a director/case manager and three full-time and one part-time advocates who provide on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week support for residents. Volunteers provide maintenance and support services.
Vincentian Bolivian Altiplano Mission. Going where God calls us has always been a vital element in our lives as Vincentians. It continues to be a part of our mission today as we live our vocations with a vision beyond borders. Father Aidan Rooney, C.M. from the Eastern Province, and two other Vincentians, Diego Pla Aranda, C.M. and Cyrille de la Nanteuil de la Barre, C.M. are serving two large rural parishes with over 80 communities in the Altiplano area of Bolivia.
Most of the people live at or below the poverty level. Almost at birth the struggles begin: poor nutrition breeds poor health. Nutritional deficiencies are evident. If there is an illness or injury, needed resources are either absent or beyond the family’s economic means. The priests and lay volunteers have started several programs to meet the spiritual and material needs of the people. Despite the many problems the people are facing, there is a sense of hope due to the commitment of the Vincentian Community.
As you can see, the Vincentian Community carries on the tradition of St. Vincent de Paul through a variety of ministries. St. Vincent teaches us to see Christ in the faces of the poor. We serve the poor among us with humility and simplicity honoring the dignity of each person God places before us. I invite you to do the same!
Our Vincentian priests are meaningfully involved in serving the needs of the elderly, the disabled, and the materially and spiritually poor. Please pray for them and for their various ministries. I also ask that you please pray that more men will respond to God’s call to serve as priests and brothers in the Vincentian Community. “The harvest is great but the laborer’s are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into his vineyard.”
Please help Our Lady of Angels Association continue to help programs which are receiving grants from the Vincentian Community. I sincerely thank you for being an important part of our Vincentian Family!
Devotedly in Our Lady of Angels,
Rev. William J. O’Brien, C.M.
P.S. As a sign of my gratitude for your generosity, I will remember you and your intentions in the Association’s Holy Rosary Novena (September 29th through October 7th). I will also have a votive light lit for you and your family during this Novena.