Emmaus – a lesson for Vincentian ministries.

Jesus with disciplesEmmaus – a lesson for Vincentian ministries.

Frequently I celebrate Eucharist with one of the Vincentian priests who journeyed with me over 60 years when I was trying to make sense of life as a high schooler. As often happens when if reflect on my favorite passage of scripture I found myself thinking of the Vincentian priests walked with me on that less well-known road of my early life during my years at St. Johns Prep (then on Lewis Ave).

I thank Fr. Lou Trotta and the deceased confreres Frs. Fred Gaulin, Joe Dunne, and Tom Concagh, for the hours they spent listening to me outside the classroom. They helped me connect the dots of my young life and opened my eyes to the possibility that God was calling me to be a VIncentian priest. The joy in their lives was real and contagious.

Listening and connecting the dots.

I have also been chewing on what happened on the road to Emmaus. I now realize that what these confreres did was also the way of Vincent. He walked with people, especially the poorest and most marginalized. He listened, understood and helped them connect the dots of their lives with the Good News of the Gospel. It raises some questions.


  • Are there people we need to thank who walked with us at critical points in our journey?
  • Are our minds open to hearing the people who are walking with us in these very days?
  • For those of us who have been walking the road for some time, we might think about paying it forward at this point in our lives.

Footnote: Emmaus has always been my favorite passage in scripture. So I was thrilled some years ago when I came upon what for me is the best dramatization of that journey.

Parts of it still takes away my breath despite having seen it literally dozens of times. (I have used it in a variety of retreat settings.)

The website has ordering information and a link to the movie on YouTube. The 30-minute video has been viewed some 170,000 times. Some 200,000 DVD’s are in circulation.

It is available in 7 languages and has well developed free resources for use in a variety of settings.

I have just discovered that they have developed another  video “Come Follow me”

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