I wanted to welcome you to my parlor or kitchen table… whichever you prefer. Either hopefully conveys a space where people feel comfortable in talking with friends that matter, about things that matter.

I chose the title Mindwalk because it was a way of capturing the spirit of this site. (See Wikipedia for more background on the movie). The movie never made much at the box office. But it certainly did have an impact on me.  It struck me as a metaphor and example of an exploration that is the spirit of this site.  I hope this site will become an informal space where we can explore what means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, Evangelizer of the Poor today, especially in a post COVID 19 world.

The movie portrays a wide-ranging conversation among three characters: Sonia, a Norwegian physicist who abandoned a lucrative career after discovering that elements of her work were being applied to weapons development,  Jack, an American politician attempting to make sense of his recent defeat as a presidential candidate, and Tom, a poet, Jack’s close friend, and a disillusioned former political speechwriter, while they wander around Mont Saint-Michel, France. The movie introduces systems theory and systems thinking, along with insights into modern physical theories such as quantum mechanics and particle physics.[1]

Political and social problems, and alternative solutions, are a focus of the film. However, the specific problems and solutions are not the primary concern; rather, different perspectives are presented through which these problems can be viewed and considered. Sonia Hoffman’s perspective is referred to as the holistic, or systems theory, perspective. Thomas Harriman, the poet, recites the poem “Enigmas” by Pablo Neruda (based on the translation by Robert Bly) at the end of the movie, concluding the core discussion.

I don’t see this as just another website crammed with news and formation resources. These things are done quite well via the complex of sites under the umbrella of .FAMVIN. I see it as a place where people can engage in a Vincentian Mindwalk through different perspectives.

As I write this it dawns on me that it is third spoke of the mandate that then Superior General of the Congregation, Robert Maloney, presented as his vision for the first iteration of famvin. He hoped famvin would become the digital home for news of the Vincentian Family,  formation resources and now, finally, collaboration.

I am committed to priming the discussion pump on a regular basis with new, and in some cases, earlier versions of posts addressing Vincentian Values as we face them in daily life. You have the option to receive daily reflections or weekly summaries.

Feel free to join in a discussion with others who share similar concerns.  I expect there to be an ebb and a flow in conversations just as in real life. Sometimes people will be active and at other times not. I offer the steady flow of short reflections as thought starters for VincentianFamily Mindwalk.

Jesus the Evangelizer of the Poor and his faithful followers St. Vincent and St. Louise, help us to grow beyond our individual organizations and personal lives. Just as they quietly set in motion a movement in their day, may we foster a Vincentian movement in our day.

May we come to recognize that the Vincentian Family is more than a loose federation of branches. It is a movement helping us to appreciate the scripture  of bringing  Good news to those on the margins rooted in an understanding of “whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me.”