Eastern Province Missionary reflects on Vincentian Virtues
Fr. Thomas Sendlein will address “400 Years of Vincentian Charism – Dynamic Virtues for Today”.
Father brings a wealth of intercultural experience to this year’s Solemn Novena of the Miraculous Medal.
During his 22 years in Panama, he held a number of key positions.
He served as Executive Secretary of the National Mission for the 5th Centenary of the First Evangelization of Panama. In this capacity administered a 9-year program, the reached 150 of the 154 parishes in Panama. In each of these parishes, lay-led teams focused on renewing the five-century-old faith in Panama.
Additionally, he served as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Works in Panama.
Subsequently, he responded to a call for missioners in China. This led to a 21-year apostolate under very trying conditions. For the most part, he was not permitted to be publicly identified as a priest or directly catechize. His work involved teaching English. So he used the Bible as one of his texts in teaching English.
Upon his return from mission territories, he was assigned to the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal as an Associate Director. Here he celebrates Eucharist and hears confessions on a regular basis.
Most recently he returns from another kind of intercultural experience of the historic celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism in Rome . Along with some 11,000 members of the wider Vincentian Family in St. Peter’s Square and other related events he tasted anew the international reach of the Vincentian charism. This provided another insight into the transformative power of Vincentian virtues today.
Father comes to us from Miraculous Medal Parish and Grammar school in Ridgewood, NY. He was deeply influenced by his parents and Aunt. After graduating from St. John’s Prep in Brooklyn he entered our seminary system. During these years he was privileged to live with the saintly Bishop O’Shea who suffered much at the hands of the Communists. He was ordained in 1972 and began his long journey of priestly ministry bringing him to this 2017 Solemn Novena.
He notes that much of his training and apostolic experience drew support from the contributions of the Central Association and attendees of the novenas at the Shrine.
He hopes that people will take the occasion not only to attend but also to evangelize by inviting others to attend.