An orchestra can be viewed as many people doing their best at different things to produce beautiful music. The image struck me as I reflected on Fr. Robert Maloney’s first chapter in “Some Hopes For The Vincentian Family At The Dawn Of Its Fifth Century”. The image of a symphony orchestra tied together the eight hopes in Chapter 1. We are all playing the symphony of the Good News of Jesus Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor.
Each of his hopes is food for a separate post. In this post, I can only list these hopes and single out one that resonates with me in a special way.
Which of the following resonate with you?
- I hope that we will continue to develop an organizational structure that will enable us to focus more effectively on the worldwide needs of those living in poverty.
- I hope that we will soon map our worldwide membership in detail, so that, knowing who we are and where we are, we can plan more effectively as a Family
- I hope that we will soon engage in a megaproject as a Family
- I hope that we will educate and form our members well.
- I hope that we will develop ways of speaking with a united voice on key issues at the United Nations.
- I hope that the Family will continue to develop a vibrant communal spirituality which blends prayer and action
- That is wholly Christocentric
- That makes simplicity central
- That is grounded in humility
- That expresses itself in creative charity
- I hope that we will establish national and international advancement office.
- I hope that we will develop the enormous potential of the International Miraculous Medal Association
As a member of the Eastern Province, I was particularly caught by his last hope that we would awaken the enormous potential of the sleeping giant called the International Miraculous Medal Association. For over 100 years the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal has been one of the premier ministries of our Province. Recently Pope Francis referred to shrines as “powerhouses of evangelization“.
I hope that we will develop the enormous potential of the International Miraculous Medal Association.Over the course of its history, the Miraculous Medal Association hasplayed a very significant role in our Family’s growth. The visions of St. Catherine Laboure, and the medal and youth groups that flowed from Marys message to her, were a powerful force in revivifying the Family after its dispersion and diminution during the French Revolution. In recent decades, the Miraculous Medal Association has written International statutes that clearly define its mission. The revised statutes, approved by the Holy See in 2010, describe the purpose of the Association as follows:
1) To follow Jesus Christ with the strength of the Holy Spirit and after the example of Mary, the disciple and model of the Christian life.
2) To honor and encourage devotion and commitment to the Virgin of the Miraculous Medal.
3) To spread Marian devotion through the message of the Miraculous Medal.
4) To encourage the sanctification of its members through union with each other, the spiritual life and the apostolate.
5) To evangelize and serve: the ways of exercising the apostolate are multiple.
Traditionally, the Miraculous Medal Association in many countries has carried out its apostolate with the family, for example, visitinghomes or spreading the message through magazines, popular publications, personal contact or mailed material. The service of charity is exercised by means of projects undertaken on behalf of those who live in poverty and carried out with other branches of the Vincentian Family or by themselves. Each National Miraculous Medal Association engages in both evangelization and service according to the ways that appear to them to be most effective.’
The Association is huge and very loosely structured. One can only guess at its total membership, which seems to be somewhere between one and two million devoted Catholics. Has the Association fully realized its potential? In some countries, its members are active in carrying out the fifth aspect of its purpose, evangelization and service in collaboration with other branches. But in other countries, this aspect of the Association lies largely dormant. I sense that the International Association of the Miraculous Medal is a sleeping giant. I hope that it can soon be awakened.
What do you think?
I hope you are stimulated to buy and read A New Century Dawns: Hopes for the Vincentian Family
Fr. Robert Maloney -Catalog #2017 $10.00