The Vincentian Family Gathering was an inspiring event for students and adults alike.

Mount St. Joseph News

(The Mount is a “Vincentian” university, since its founders, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, trace their roots to St. Vincent de Paul.) The conference served as a way for individuals in the Vincentian and Focolare family to congregate in hopes of encouraging one another and collaborating to find ways to improve our communities. The title of this year’s gathering was “Harmony in Diversity: Working for Social Justice & Fostering a Culture of Encounter through the Arts.”

Mount St. Joseph was represented by eight Mission Ambassador students, and two Mission and Belonging administrators. This event spanned Oct. 16 to 29 at DePaul University in Chicago, Ill.

Attendees of the convention picked one of two routes to be involved with over the weekend. One was a conference track, and the other was a performance track. Individuals on the performance track got to work with the Focolare group, Gen Verde. This group performed and spoke at the convention throughout the whole weekend, and it was a blessing to hear their voices being used to spread unity and love.

Alyssa Ferguson, one of the Mission Ambassadors on this trip, said this about Gen Verde: “God’s love was evident in them as they performed what they were called to do!”  

The performance track also had two subgroups in it, which were dancing and singing. Each group learned a song to dance or sing to, and they were able to perform it at a concert that Gen Verde held on Saturday night.

Lucy Wurzelbacher, a Mission Ambassador, said this about her experience on the performance track: “Dancing with Gen Verde was an empowering experience. I am by no means a dancer, and I prefer to hide in the shade. However, Gen Verde helped me embrace getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have never felt so loved, empowered, and confident.”

Those who took the conference track were broken up into groups based on specific areas they were interested in, for example education or healthcare. The day started with a presentation given by one of the members of Gen Verde, and then the presenter would give the groups questions to answer. The groups would talk and then share with everyone about what they had discussed. This was an amazing opportunity to hear about different subject areas that attendees may not have been well educated in, and they were able to take away new ideas.

I picked the conference track, and I can say that it was such an inspiring experience for me. As a future educator, I loved getting to hear other individuals’ insights on the field of education and what we can do to make it more unified and beneficial for students.

The Vincentian Family Gathering was a blessing to all those who attended it. It brought about a multitude of insightful points and conversations that nobody will forget. From singing, dancing, and even to conversing, everyone created special memories and friendships at this conference.