WHO WE ARE
As Vincentians, we serve the poor and the forgotten with Christ’s fire of love. We walk in the footsteps of Christ and aim to serve Him in everyone we encounter. Daily, we act upon the call to go forth to the edges of society and share God’s love.
Like St. Vincent de Paul, we hold in our hearts a special love for the poor.
In 1816, a small group of Vincentians arrived in Baltimore, Maryland. Filled with St. Vincent’s fire of charity, they came to America to preach the Gospel to the poor and train priests for the Church. The bishop of the Louisiana Territory had asked them to come to his diocese, and they braved a long and difficult journey —traveling by boat, wagon, and horseback—to reach the heartland of America. They were from Italy and spoke very little English, but they were determined to achieve their mission. When they reached Missouri, they bought land, established a seminary, and built a college. With the Daughters of Charity (their sisters in the Vincentian Family), they responded to the many needs of the Catholics they served.
Sixteen years later, the bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Kenrick, asked the Vincentians to staff and manage the Seminary he recently created (and named after St. Charles Borromeo).
After the Civil War, the Vincentians needed to build a seminary in Germantown to teach and house their own seminarians. As they developed plans for the seminary chapel, Bishop James Frederick Wood, the then-bishop of Philadelphia, asked them to construct a chapel that would be available to the public, instead. That chapel— now the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal—was solemnly dedicated in 1879.
THE VINCENTIAN CHARISM
“Our vocation, then, is not to go to one parish, or even to one diocese, but throughout the whole world, and for what end? To inflame the hearts of men, to do what the Son of God did. He came to cast fire on the earth, to inflame it with His love.” -St. Vincent de Paul
As Vincentians we strive to follow Jesus Christ in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, a disciple who looked to Jesus as the one sent from God to bring Good News to the poor.
THE VINCENTIAN MISSIONS
WE FOLLOW THE FIVE VIRTUES WHICH VINCENT PROPOSED AS HALLMARKS OF ANY SERVANT OF THE POOR:
- Simplicity: being honest and forthright.
- Meekness: striving to be gentle and approachable.
- Humility: acknowledging our true place before the greatness of God.
- Mortification: disciplining ourselves for the sake of the spreading the gospel.
- Zeal for Souls: getting swept into the fire of – Christ’s love for the world