Lunch with Vincent: Who is My Neighbor?

Resources, News, Events and Happenings related to the integration of DePaul’s Vincentian mission into the ongoing life and work of the university community.

Mission Monday

Accepting Who We Are

When is it hard for you to be fully honest with others? Conversely, when are you most fully yourself?…

…read more

 

 

 

 

Mission-Related Events and Happenings This Week

Lunch with Vincent: Who is My Neighbor?

In response to the continued arrival of migrant families to Chicago, Mousin (former university ombuds and current professor of asylum law) will reflect on the Vincentian imperatives, and opportunities, these unique circumstances present us.  Please join us for community building, meaningful conversation and a tasty lunch!

RSVP Here!

 

2024 Foundation Day: The Shared Coin Tradition

On January 25 in celebration of Foundation Day, a new edition of The Shared Coin was released.  This tradition is an invitation for all DePaul students, faculty and staff to celebrate individuals living DePaul’s Vincentian mission by sharing a coin with them. Any DePaul student, faculty or staff member can go to one of our distribution locations and pick up coins to share with a person or several people they witness living DePaul’s mission.

Click here for more information!

 

Bereavement Notices

Remembering Maria Elise Jabon

It is with great sadness that we share that Maria Elise Jabon, daughter of David Jabon, Chair of the STEM Studies Department, died on February 13th at the age of 38 after being struck by a vehicle while cycling in Los Altos, California.

DePaul University Bereavement Notices will now be found here.

Accepting Who We Are

Nothing causes me to examine myself, and my relationship with God, more closely than the Christian season of Lent, when the earthly and divine aspects of our human existence come together in their fullest, most challenging expressions. In my imagination, I see myself standing alone on a mountaintop for the 40 days of Lent, with one hand holding a mirror to my face, reflecting my authentic humanity with all of its fear and vulnerability. The other hand is stretched out, grasping for something that I cannot see, but that I hope is there. It is something that will help strengthen me, sustain me, and keep me safe. The divine presence in the midst of the human struggle.

Lent has taken on an even more personal and intimate significance for me over the last few years. For it was on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, in 2018 that my father died. He went peacefully, surrounded by his family, with remnants of the ashes symbolizing his faith and his humanity still faintly visible on his forehead. It was a poignant embodiment of the traditional Ash Wednesday blessing “remember, from dust you came and unto dust you shall return.”

Recently, I came across a story from Vincent de Paul about his own father that, although centuries old, mirrors my own experience and serves to illustrate our ongoing need for what Vincent called simplicity. Today we might call it authenticity or integrity.

The story goes that once, when Vincent de Paul was a young seminarian, his father came to visit him. Vincent was self-conscious about his humble background and had not shared with his classmates that his family were poor farmers. When the porter announced that a plainly dressed man was asking for him, Vincent looked out the window and saw that it was his father, wearing shabby work clothes, standing outside waiting at the door. Vincent was so embarrassed at the sight of his father that he pretended he did not know him; he said there must be a mistake and told the porter to send the man away.[1]

I feel a guilty connection with Vincent around our fathers as  once, when I was a young attorney working at a large law firm, my father came to visit me at my office. As was the case with Vincent’s father, my dad had been a farmer. Years of working in the sun had taken their toll and, on this particular day, my dad was wearing a big bandage on the side of his nose where he had just had a benign skin cancer removed. Just as my dad and I entered the elevator to head up to my office, one of the partners from the law firm got on with us. The older attorney smiled and nodded hello to us and my dad followed suit. But I, embarrassed by my dad’s appearance and insecure around my superior, could only mumble something like “you’ll have to forgive my dad … he’s just been to the doctor.” The rest of the elevator ride was painfully awkward. Years later, I still cringe at that memory.

Vincent told the story of his own embarrassing behavior towards his father multiple times in his later life. In part, I suspect he did so to pay belated homage to the simple, loving man who had gone out of his way just to see his son at seminary. But Vincent also used the story for instruction. He was teaching his community an important lesson, one that is as relevant today as it was then: challenging as it may be, we must be willing to know and accept our lives and ourselves. This means not just the good and pleasing parts, but also the tough and embarrassing parts, and the times we may have made mistakes or even failed at something important. Without this self-awareness and acceptance, we will find it next to impossible to accept those around us. We will also not be able to bring the integrity, honesty, authenticity, and in Vincent’s words, the simplicity that is necessary to win hearts, build relationships, and impact lives.

This quality of integrity or authenticity that Vincent prized so greatly was clearly not on display the day his father paid him a visit at the seminary (nor, for that matter, when my dad visited me). But it is gratifying to remember that with time and practice it can develop as it so clearly did for Vincent. With intentional effort to accept our entire selves, flaws and all, we will find it easier to offer our lives to the service of others.

Reflection Questions:

  • Are there aspects of yourself, and your life, that you find difficult to accept? Why do you think this, and is there anything you can do to change it?
  • Here at DePaul, do you find that you are usually able to be your authentic self? Are there ways that you might be able to contribute to helping make our community a place where all members can be their full and authentic selves?

 Reflection by: Tom Judge, Assistant Director and Chaplain, Faculty and Staff Engagement, Division of Mission and Ministry

[1] Quoted in Pierre Coste, The Life and Works of Saint Vincent de Paul, trans. Joseph Leonard, C.M. (New York: New City Press, 1987), 1:14. Available online at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/coste_engbio/3/.

2024 Foundation Day: The Shared Coin

On January 25 in celebration of Foundation Day, a new edition of The Shared Coin was released.  This tradition is an invitation for all DePaul students, faculty and staff to celebrate individuals living DePaul’s Vincentian mission by sharing a coin with them. Along with the coin, givers are encouraged to personalize this experience by using the back of the card given out with each coin to write a message to the individual they are acknowledging.

This is a special way to tell someone else, “I see you! I see DePaul’s mission and the Vincentian spirit within you.  That light is radiating out to me. Thank you.  I think it is important that I acknowledge you.” It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to pause, look around, and recognize the many gifts at DePaul.  

The Shared Coin is modeled after Vincent’s metaphor of the scarred coin, which represented the individuals he served, their inherent dignity, and the investment he made in honoring and uplifting that dignity. 

The 2024 edition of the Shared Coin uplifts a quote by St. Louise de Marillac to celebrate the 400th anniversary of her lumiere experience. On June 4, 1623, Louise de Marillac, filled with doubts and anxiety about her life, entered the Church of Saint Nicholas-des-Champs in Paris. As a young wife with a child and a sick husband, she prayed for her future. Something extraordinary happened there. She experienced a moment of light that changed her life and filled her with a trust that there was a plan for her life. She was freed from her anxiety and doubts and received inner peace. Louise’s “lumiere” experience is an invitation for all of us to root ourselves in trust and to hold on to the light within and around us.

Everyone within the DePaul community is encouraged to integrate this tradition across campus, whether through weekly meetings, gatherings or one-on-one settings. Recipients often feel grateful for the recognition of their good work and their commitment to DePaul’s mission. 

Coin recipients may elect to keep it or may choose to pass it on when they see someone else living the mission in a meaningful way. Any DePaul student, faculty or staff member can go to one of our distribution locations and pick up coins to share with a person or several people they witness living DePaul’s mission. Coins are available on a first come, first-served basis. They are available in limited quantities and once depleted, they will not be available until the following year.  You may pick up coins at the following locations: 

Lincoln Park Location
Division of Mission and Ministry
Student Center, Suite 311
10-4 PM, Monday through Friday 

Loop Location
DePaul Center 125, Loop Life Office
10AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Division of Mission and Ministry - by request
14 E. Jackson, Suite 800  

For more information on this tradition, visit go.depaul.edu/sharedcoin

“Encourage one another and may your mutual good example speak louder than any words can.” St. Louise de Marillac

Bereavement Notice – Maria Elise Jabon

Maria Elise Jabon

It is with great sadness that we share that Maria Elise Jabon, daughter of David Jabon, Chair of the STEM Studies Department, died on February 13th at the age of 38 after being struck by a vehicle while cycling in Los Altos, California.

Maria studied electrical engineering at Stanford University and then worked as a trailblazing engineer at LinkedIn and Netskope, leaving a legacy of excellence and having served as an exceptional mentor to junior team members and interns. Known for her keen intellect, Maria was an exceptionally kind and considerate person who cared deeply about all those in her life and found meaningful ways to connect with others.  She was an avid backpacker and cyclist who loved the outdoors, a competent outdoorswoman who took pleasure and solace in pushing herself through challenging terrain while still pausing to appreciate alpine wildflowers.  Her death occurred less than three months before her wedding to her fiancé, Matthew.

She is survived by her parents, David and Therese Jabon; her fiancé Matthew Hoffman; her brother Michael Jabon, her sister-in-law Maya Koenig-Dzialowski, and her nephews Rémy Jabon and Maxime Jabon; her sister Sarah Wilder, her brother-in-law Kevin Wilder, and her nephews Finn Wilder and Roman Wilder; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST at Willow Glen Funeral Home (1039 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125). An additional visitation in the Chicago area is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 25, from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM.

For more obituary and service information, Click Here.

Online condolences may be submitted to https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/san-jose-ca/maria-jabon-11669900/add-memory

The Journey to Simplicity

Resources, News, Events and Happenings related to the integration of DePaul’s Vincentian mission into the ongoing life and work of the university community.

Mission Monday

The Journey to Simplicity

Honesty with ourselves and each other can be a key to individual and communal growth. How can we encourage this Vincentian virtue?

…read more

 

 

 

Mission-Related Events and Happenings This Week

Lunch with Vincent: Who is My Neighbor?

In response to the continued arrival of migrant families to Chicago, Mousin (former university ombuds and current professor of asylum law) will reflect on the Vincentian imperatives, and opportunities, these unique circumstances present us.  Please join us for community building, meaningful conversation and a tasty lunch!

RSVP Here!

 

Build Diversity Certificate

DePaul faculty and staff are invited to join us February 22nd for a BUILD session titled Religious Diversity in the Workplace.

RSVP Here!

The Journey to Simplicity

“For myself I don’t know, but God gives me such a great esteem for simplicity that I call it my gospel. I have a particular devotion and consolation in saying things as they are.”[1]—Vincent de Paul

Recently I had the opportunity to address a group of students about nurturing mental wellness during law school. Knowing intimately some of the emotional challenges we shared during that period in our lives, one of my close friends from that time messaged me; I enjoyed the fact that we both had enough perspective now to laugh at the idea that I would be addressing others on such a topic. At the best of times, while accompanying students on their journeys I sometimes feel like saying, “I know and honor that this is really challenging for you now, but you are going to look back and really miss these times!” At other times I know students are faced with challenges that are more serious. But, in any case, I hold onto hope that there is room for perseverance and growth through all circumstances.

One of the reflections I had upon addressing this group of students was that, in many ways, law school was for me a time of emotional solitude. Since I planned to talk about the importance of a supportive community in nurturing mental wellness, I wanted to be honest that my own experience was often characterized by its absence. Still, I felt that was a tremendous opportunity for growth. As someone who was making major changes in my life during that time, as young adults often are, I found large amounts of time alone to have great benefits. While a healthy community is one in which we can embrace what Vincent called simplicity, or what we might call sincerity or authenticity, social relations inevitably involve some challenges to sincerity. Relations with others often invite the questions, Am I saying what I truly believe or what I think will raise me in the esteem of those around me? Do I present myself as I truly am or as others would like me to be? (Or as I would like to be?)

In a university environment, we pride ourselves on cherishing values such as academic freedom as essential to the pursuit of truth. However, a recent survey showed that among college faculty, whom we often think of as enjoying the height of such freedom and protections, more than 80 percent feel the need to “self-censor” their true views on at least one especially contentious issue.[2] While I don’t think all issues are that contentious, I don’t believe this is limited to one issue, nor is this only a recent phenomenon.[3]

In academia, as in other spaces, those who succeed can sometimes be those who learn best how to know what others expect them to think or say and learn to meet those expectations. It can be developmentally appropriate or indicative of an appropriate humility to tailor one’s self-presentation to the expectation of others. As I often explore with students, however, it is one thing to selectively choose to share what one thinks at the appropriate time and place. It is another thing to realize that one is so good at saying or doing what is expected that one no longer has an authentic sense of self that is independent of what is rewarded in a certain environment. In pursuit of such authenticity or simplicity, important tools can include solitude in which dialogue with the self or the Divine takes place, and a supportive community where one is free to explore ideas in a challenging but safe way. Christians in our community have entered the Lenten season, and Muslims will soon enter the month of Ramadan. These blessed times are filled with time honored traditions which blend individual and communal encounters with the self and the transcendent in ways which invite us to cultivate our best, most authentic selves.

Being people who can truly know what we think (what we might think of as sincerity with ourselves) requires certain conditions. Being able to share heartfelt and considered views with others requires other conditions, such as trust and charity toward each other. Some might argue that the primary condition required in all such circumstances is courage, and I agree. I would join that with a call for examining the environments and cultures we create, and the ways in which we nurture sincerity or encourage conformity and groupthink.

For Reflection:

Do you feel that you are able to bring your authentic self to your work at DePaul? What practices help you to establish and maintain a connection with your true opinions and desires? What do you think is the most essential characteristic of individuals or communities in fostering simplicity or authenticity?


REFLECTION BY: Abdul-Malik Ryan, Assistant Director, Office of Religious Diversity, Division of Mission and Ministry.

[1] Conference 52, “The Spirit of the Company,” February 24, 1653, CCD, 9:476.

[2] Manuela López Restrepo, “’Fear Rather Than Sensitivity’: Most U.S. Scholars on the Mideast Are Self-Censoring,” NPR, December 15, 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/12/15/1219434298/israel-hamas-gaza-palestinians-college-campus-free-speech.

[3] See this thoughtful exploration of the intellectual costs of such self-censorship from thirty years ago: Glenn C. Loury, “Self-Censorship in Public Discourse: A Theory of ‘Political Correctness’ and Related Phenomena,” Boston University, accessed February 15, 2024, https://‌www.brown.edu/‌Departments/‌Economics/‌Faculty/Glenn_Loury/‌louryhomepage/papers/Loury%20(Politcal%20Correctness)_02.pdf.

 

 

Ash Wednesday & Lenten Groups

Resources, News, Events and Happenings related to the integration of DePaul’s Vincentian mission into the ongoing life and work of the university community.

Mission Monday

Sometimes, We Forget Who We Are

Human beings are creatures who can drift away from who we are at our best …read more

 

 

 

 

 

Mission-Related Events and Happenings This Week

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the traditional start to Lent for Christians worldwide, is Wednesday, February 14th!

Learn more here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lenten Groups

During the six weeks of Lent, participants will be invited to reflect on Lenten scriptural readings through the lens of Vincentian spirituality.   Groups will meet once each week via Zoom throughout Lent (a total of 6 times). Choose between Mondays (February 19-March 25, 12pm – 1pm) or Thursdays (February 15-March 21, 12pm – 1pm).

RSVP for Monday meetings here

RSVP for Thursday meetings here

 

Sometimes, We Forget Who We Are

Photo by Erik Eastman on Unsplash

Human beings are creatures who can drift away from who we are at our best. We make mistakes, show poor judgment, or operate from a wounded place. In such moments, we add to the world’s dysfunction and even unwittingly contribute to harm and injustice, despite our best efforts not to. This dynamic seems to be part of our human experience, which suggests that we would be wise to walk through the world with an ample supply of humility and that we need a community to hold us accountable.

Recognition of this human tendency that plays out in our individual and collective lives is at the root of the Christian practice of Lent, which begins this coming Wednesday, February 14, with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. The annual season of Lent is a communal practice that invites Christians to a time of intentional pause to reflect on ways that we may have gone astray in our habits and caused harm to our relationships. Lent is a season when we join our mindful attention and willpower together with the healing and restoring mercy and love of God. Through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we seek to realign our lives with what we value most. (Learn here about plans for DePaul Ash Wednesday Services and Lent.)

I wonder what regular practices and habits in our work environment might play a similar role in helping us rectify ways we have fallen off course. Perhaps we might benefit from auditing how we have strayed from our mission, developed habits of relating and working together that are ineffective or even harmful, or allowed ourselves to drift into a state of “just going through the motions.” Perhaps, as an institution founded in the Catholic tradition, we might also use this season of Lent for organizational purposes to reflect on how we can refresh our work with new positivity, creativity, and efficacy.

The season of Lent runs from Ash Wednesday on February 14th through Easter on Sunday, March 31st.

Questions for reflection:

What might you commit to doing over these 6+ weeks (40+ days) to put your own house back in order, individually or collectively? How can you realign how you are living with what you value most?


Reflection By: Mark Laboe, Associate VP for Mission and Ministry

Ash Wednesday and Lent This Week

Ash Wednesday, the traditional start to Lent for Christians worldwide, is Wednesday, February 14th.

At the Lincoln Park Campus:
MASS
8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. (Choir) | St. Vincent de Paul Church
1010 W. Webster Ave.

ASHES AND BLESSING
8:30–3:00 p.m. | Student Center Atrium

ECUMENICAL WORSHIP
5:00 p.m. | Interfaith Sacred Space LPSC

 

In the Loop:
MASS
8:00 a.m.| Miraculous Medal Chapel, Lewis Center, 1st floor
12:00 p.m.| DePaul Center Concourse Level

ECUMENICAL WORSHIP
12:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. | DePaul Center, 11th Floor

Need more info? Contact rkramer3@depaul.edu.


 

During the six weeks of Lent, participants will be invited to reflect on Lenten scriptural readings through the lens of Vincentian spirituality.   Groups will meet once each week via Zoom throughout Lent (a total of six times). Choose between Mondays or Thursdays.

RSVP for Monday Meetings
(February 19–March 25, 12 p.m.–1 p.m.)

RSVP for Thursday Meetings
(February 15–March 21, 12 p.m.–1 p.m.)

Service Day with Vincent

Resources, News, Events and Happenings related to the integration of DePaul’s Vincentian mission into the ongoing life and work of the university community.

Mission Monday

Building a Strong Foundation

At DePaul, and in our lives, we meet critical challenges every day. Having a foundation that grounds us will always help us through.

…read more

 

Mission-Related Events and Happenings This Week

Service Day with Vincent

Join us for “Service Day with Vincent” available to all DePaul faculty and staff!  Our day will begin with a light breakfast and fun kick off then we head out to spend time at our sites.  Service sites will include agencies engaging with children, migrants, the elderly and people with special needs.  After service, we will return to campus for lunch and shared reflection.  Join us for this unique opportunity to experience DePaul and Chicago at their very best!

RSVP Here

 

Lenten Groups

During the six weeks of Lent, participants will be invited to reflect on Lenten scriptural readings through the lens of Vincentian spirituality.   Groups will meet once each week via Zoom throughout Lent (a total of 6 times). Choose between Mondays (February 19-March 25, 12pm – 1pm) or Thursdays (February 15-March 21, 12pm – 1pm).

RSVP for Monday meetings here

RSVP for Thursday meetings here