The Wonder of Service in the Catholic Vincentian Tradition The Wonder of Service in the Catholic Vincentian Tradition

The Wonder of Service in the Catholic Vincentian Tradition

July 18, 2019

Visiting from Utah, Sister Martha Garcia returned for a second time to lead an engaging and inspirational In-Service training for all Epiphany staff. The topic was an in-depth study of our Mission and Values with a focus on the Wonder of Service in the Catholic Vincentian Tradition.

Sister Martha pointed out that although the ministries of the Catholic Vincentian Tradition have adapted to the emerging needs of the times, the underlying focus has remained the same, providing service to the poor. Sister Martha addressed the importance of focus and guided staff in creating individual Focus Wheels (a self-discovery tool used to transform negative feelings into positive ones).

Sister Martha invited us to consider the Wonder of Vincentian Charism. Vincentian Charism refers to serving the poor in a holistic way as begun by St. Vincent over four hundred years ago. Vincentian Charism is the center and core of the work we do. This topic led to Sister Martha asking each of us to ponder a reading on the difference between Ministry versus a Job, and to personally consider if our jobs are a place of ministry.

On her prior visit, Sister Martha gave each staff member a kaleidoscope as a reminder that when we feel broken to remember a kaleidoscope is also made from broken parts, but looking through it we see something beautiful. This year, we were given a paper umbrella as a symbol that of the five Vincentian values, Respect is the umbrella, the overarching value, under which the other four Vincentian values – Compassionate Care, Inventiveness to Infinity, Advocacy, and Simplicity – unfold. Without RESPECT the other four Vincentian values could not exist. “Do I have respect?” is the first question Sister Martha advises each of us to ask ourselves.

In order to physically internalize this teaching, Sister Martha had us get up and dance to Aretha Franklin’s soulful song “Respect.” While hearing the lyrics, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me…” staff let go and togeter danced and laughed!

We examined sections of our Mission Statement from the perspective of its action verbs, strengthen, provide, enhance, and how these words reflect the commitment to service that exists at Epiphany.

“Thank You” Sister Martha for enriching us with your service, insight, and humor. This session gave Epiphany Center staff a sense of unity around the common purpose and inherent WONDER of
being of service, not only with our clients but in all our daily interactions, and how that begins
with R-E-S-P-E-C-T!