Last month I began a journey with 20 middle school students. My principal asked me to be the formator for our Vincentian Marian Youth group. Vincentian Marian Youth is an international branch of the Vincentian Family that traces its roots back to St. Catherine Laboure’s creation of the Children of Mary. These young people dedicate themselves to prayer and service as well as study of the Vincentian charism and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today it has around 200,000 members in 40 countries around the world.
In our little town of Emmitsburg, our students were aware of the history, but didn’t realize what they were a part of. They could tell the stories of St. Vincent dePaul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton or even St. Catherine Laboure, but they did not know today’s story of their legacy. They didn’t realize they were now part of a larger Vincentian Family that included priests, sisters, and lay people of all ages and races. I felt called to open their eyes to how wide this family spread. I wanted them to get a chance to glimpse inside the Motherhouse in Paris or a rural village in the Congo.