Spring 2017

Opening our hearts and minds

Reflection five

In recent months we have invited you to share with us the challenges and successes you see and experience as a part of the Society in this day and age. We’d like to thank you for your openness and honesty in your responses, and invite you to reflect on one of the themes that sung out to us; how can we cherish our history and heritage in a way that inspires diversity rather than restricts?

As Vincentians, the heritage of our Society and the faith that underpins it are a central source of strength, community, and inspiration. However, as a Society, we are becoming increasingly aware of our weaknesses when it comes to youth engagement and diversity—a challenge that we cannot ignore if the spirit of the Society is to flourish and grow.

As we move further into the 21st Century, we must open our hearts and minds to those who can continue to champion our mission for years to come. We are at a point in time in which we need to move forward, yet we have a heritage that we do not want to lose sight of. This challenge is a deeply personal one to us all, and one that all Vincentians deserve a voice at the table when it comes to discussing.

On the Saturday of congress, we have set aside some time for panel discussions. These panels will assemble a small group of great thinkers from both within and beyond the Society, and will centre on some of the key themes that have emerged from our research.

Please take this opportunity to reflect on our past, our present, and our future as a Society, and how we might shed our restrictions and step into the future, stronger, more inspired, and more diverse than ever before. The following reflection questions can be answered via this link: https://mentallyfriendly. typeform.com/to/hmLrtG

  1. How does our heritage inspire you and the work you do as a part of the Society?
  2. What elements of our heritage do you feel are critical to not lose sight of as we consider our future?
  3. Inspiration can often surprise us in its source and its form. Has there been an occasion in which you have been inspired in an unexpected way or through an unexpected source? If yes, tell us more.
  4. How do you feel that we, as a Society, could broaden our horizons and embrace greater diversity—in our membership as well as our sources of inspiration?
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