Recentering on Our Vocation

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

Recentering on Our Vocation

The summer offers time and space to remember, discover, and recenter on what matters most and why we do what we do.

…read more

 

 

Life Events: Notice of Birth and Bereavement 

With a mix of profound joy and sadness, we share news of the birth of twins to Tyneka Harris Coronado, associate director in Information Services, and her husband, David, on May 2, three months before their due date, followed by the eventual loss of their son, Daniel, eight days later.  

Daniel Juan Ricardo Coronado was born on May 2, 2024, one minute after his twin sister, Daniella Vira Aliean Coronado. Daniel then passed peacefully in the arms of his loving parents due to a lung infection on May 10, 2024, at the Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago.  

Daniel’s life was a profound gift to his parents, family, and loved ones and it has changed them forever. He leaves to cherish his memory Tyneka and David and seven siblings, Sonia, Sophia, Zoe, Zyana, Mateo, Micah and Daniel’s twin sister, Daniella, as well as his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of other relatives. 

DePaul University Bereavement Notices will now be found here.

Recentering on Our Vocation

“Holiness consists in this: doing well what you do, in conformity to your vocation.”

  Vincent de Paul

We have enough on our plate. And please remember, no one is asking us to be Saint Mother Teresa. We are all challenged enough each day with the ongoing invitation to become most fully and authentically who God has called us to be. That is, to become self-giving, for our own fulfillment and joy, as well as for the benefit of others. Therefore, what I do ask is that you consider what you must do to attend to your unique talents and how to offer them to a world greatly in need of them.

This ever-present call to honor our unique vocation is true for individuals—and it is also true for institutions. We are not Harvard, nor Notre Dame, nor a public state-sponsored university, nor are we called to be. Rather, we are DePaul University, with our own unique history, present-day context, and reason for being. Institutionally, we, too, can benefit from remembering who we are and thereby growing more into who we can become for the world’s sake.

It has long been my contention that this focus on vocation—or purpose, mission, reason for being, or contribution to the world—is at the heart of what our Catholic and Vincentian mission is for all those who work and study here at DePaul. It is a threshold concept that moves or reframes our thinking about who we are into a transcendent dimension while grounding us in the realities of the present moment. It is a concept that can be articulated or understood in different ways appropriate for the diverse community we are and seek to serve. It is relevant to every academic discipline and area of work. It names a profound aspect of the human experience that is essential to the “integral human development” and the “way of wisdom” that we profess are central to our institutional mission. What is the unique contribution we can make to the world and those around us—in this moment, and in the entire arc of our lifetime? This question always beckons us forward.

This summer, all those around you at DePaul and beyond will benefit if you do what you must to reconnect to who you are most deeply, to that which you know you have to offer our community, and to what makes you come alive. If you work for the university, take a moment to re-center on what you know that you and DePaul have to offer to our students and to society. Envision your work within this larger frame of reference.

It is a simple concept, but that does not mean it is easy to do or to sustain. Yet taking time and space now and again to remember who we are, and to re-center ourselves in our vocation, makes a world of difference to our lives and to those around us. Therefore, I encourage you, in the words of Vincent de Paul, “Please be steadfast in walking in the vocation to which you are called.”

Reflection Questions:

  • When you engage the question, “What must be done?” in your own life and growth as a person to become who you are called to be, what comes to mind for you?
  • How do you understand DePaul University’s institutional vocation?
  • How can you use the summer weeks—individually and with those you work most closely—to re-ground yourself in your own vocation or connect your daily work more consciously to DePaul’s mission?

Reflection by: Mark Laboe, Interim Vice President, Mission and Ministry

Life Events: Notice of Birth and Bereavement 

With a mix of profound joy and sadness, we share news of the birth of twins to Tyneka Harris Coronado, associate director in Information Services, and her husband, David, on May 2, three months before their due date, followed by the eventual loss of their son, Daniel, eight days later.  

Daniel Juan Ricardo Coronado was born on May 2, 2024, one minute after his twin sister, Daniella Vira Aliean Coronado. Daniel then passed peacefully in the arms of his loving parents due to a lung infection on May 10, 2024, at the Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago.  

Daniel’s life was a profound gift to his parents, family, and loved ones and it has changed them forever. He leaves to cherish his memory Tyneka and David and seven siblings, Sonia, Sophia, Zoe, Zyana, Mateo, Micah and Daniel’s twin sister, Daniella, as well as his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of other relatives. 

Daniella is doing well in the NICU after overcoming challenges during the first month following the premature birth. She is now 4lbs 9oz and continues to progress. 

Tyneka and family are deeply grateful and feel blessed by the outpouring of love, thoughts and prayers towards their family. They appreciate your sympathy and concern as they navigate this difficult time. Even with all they have endured, they remain thankful to God for Daniel’s life and grateful that his sister, Daniella, is doing well.  

In lieu of flowers, the family strongly encourages you to donate to either of the following organizations. Both have provided invaluable resources during their time in the NICU. If you are not able to donate to either of these foundations, please know that your thoughts and prayers are most important and deeply appreciated. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities – www.rmhccni.org/nm-prentice/  

Located on the same floor as the Prentice NICU, Tyneka and David have been able to stay for a few nights at a time in one of their 5 rooms designated for families with children in the NICU, free of charge! This enabled them to spend more time at Daniel’s bedside throughout the day, night, and early morning. There is also a kid-friendly community lounge stocked with food and other amenities where lunch is served daily at no cost to the parents and families of NICU patients. The Coronado family use the lounge daily, especially on the weekends when we bring the kids up to visit Daniella. It makes it easier to manage meals and accommodate visitors.  

To make a donation, visit this link: https://rmhc.org/donate. You will have the option to dedicate your donation. If you choose to, please dedicate your donation in Memory of Daniel Coronado, with recipient email: dcoronad3@hotmail.com 

Jackson Chance Foundation – https://www.jacksonchance.org/ 

With help from this foundation, the Coronado family has been able to park near the NICU, free of charge! This is a tremendous help, because they are at the hospital every day. This support has easily saved them hundreds of dollars over the last few weeks, especially considering the need to go in and out multiple times during the day.  

To make a donation, visit this link: https://www.jacksonchance.org/donate/You will have the option to ‘Donate in memory of”. If you choose to donate here, please include the following:  Tribute Recipient: Daniel Coronado. Tribute Notification Name: David Coronado. Address Label for Tribute Notification: David & Tyneka Coronado. Tribute Notification Email: dcoronad3@hotmail.com 

Bereavement Notice: Dr. Doug Bruce

It is with a heavy heart that we share news of the death of our DePaul colleague, Dr. Doug Bruce, professor and former department chair in Health Sciences in the College of Science and Health. He passed away this past week after losing his difficult battle with cancer.

Doug made an indelible impact on the Department of Health Sciences, the College of Science and Health, and DePaul University as a whole. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence have left a memorable legacy. He was not only a brilliant public health scholar and a dedicated educator but also a kind and generous person who touched the lives of many students, faculty, and staff. His research focused on the health behavior of persons living with chronic conditions, receiving numerous grants for his work supporting local, national, and international organizations.

As department chair, Doug led with vision and compassion, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment that allowed both faculty and students to thrive. His innovative approach to public health and his commitment to social justice were reflected in his work and inspired all who had the privilege of working with him.

Doug was also an alum of the Vincentian Mission Institute program and his commitment to our Vincentian mission was evident in the quality and focus of his work and his dedication to personal and professional relationships. He was a remarkable person, full of warmth and wisdom, and his legacy will continue to influence and inspire us.

Please keep Doug’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

A virtual tribute wall, an obituary, and more information can be found here:  https://www.inclusivefuneralcare.com/m/obituaries/Robert-Bruce-35/Memories

At the Heart of Our Mission

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

At the Heart of Our Mission

Recently, I was asked, “What is at the heart of DePaul and its mission? …read more

 

 

Spirit of DePaul Award Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Spirit of DePaul Award. The following will be recognized at the Fall 2024 Convocation ceremony on Thursday, August 29th, for the ways they have modeled the best of our Vincentian mission through their life and work at DePaul.

Carrie Don, Business Operations Manager, College of Communication

Courtney James, Director, Student Involvement

Jack Magaw, Adjunct Faculty, The Theatre School

Jacqueline Kelly-McHale, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, School of Music

Valerie Johnson, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor, Political Science

Yesenia Sanchez-Giancola, Director, First-Year Academic Success

Congratulations to our award winners for their many years of committed service to DePaul!

 

Bereavement Notice: Dr. Doug Bruce

It is with a heavy heart that we share news of the death of our DePaul colleague, Dr. Doug Bruce, professor and former department chair in Health Sciences in the College of Science and Health. He passed away this past week after losing his difficult battle with cancer. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence have left a memorable legacy.

DePaul University Bereavement Notices will now be found here.

At the Heart of Our Mission

Recently, I was asked, “What is at the heart of DePaul and its mission?” After a brief pause, I responded that, for me, what best captures the heart of our mission is the concept frequently referenced here: Vincentian personalism.

In my thinking and experience, Vincentian personalism is the foundational building block for all else that we understand our Vincentian mission to be about as an institution. However, as frequently as the term is used, I believe it requires further explanation and nuance if it is to be understood in its fullness. So, bear with me. As this is the last regular Mission Monday for the academic year, I hope you will permit me a longer reflection on this topic … you do have all summer to read it!

I put Vincentian personalism at the heart of our mission because I clearly see its vital relationship to all of mission’s dimensions that so many care about. For example, I can see how the following flow from and are sustained by Vincentian personalism: effective education, caring and inclusive community, collaboration, service, social and environmental justice, systemic change, and sustainability.

On its own accord and most simply, Vincentian personalism involves recognizing and caring for the unique personhood and sacred dignity of the other. In the concrete and everyday realities of our life and work, it demands that the person before us be treated respectfully, even reverently. It is about affirming their unique personhood and vocation, understanding their story, and appreciating the way they contribute to our community and world through who they are and what they do. From our Vincentian perspective, the idea of “radical hospitality” naturally stems from a focus on Vincentian personalism, as does our understanding of inclusive community and the roots of our work around diversity and equity. We are distinguished in our Vincentian mission by creating and sustaining a culture of care for each other, first and foremost. All else grows from this foundation.

While Vincent de Paul didn’t use the term, at DePaul University we trace the concept of Vincentian personalism back to his recognition of the sacred dignity of those who were poor and abandoned and to his faith-inspired belief that they deserved to be treated honorably and with great care. As practiced by Vincent, personalism requires attending to the obstacles that prevent a person from flourishing and that prevent their God-given potential from being realized. Barriers may be systemic at the societal level, but they may also be intra- or interpersonal in nature. Therefore, Vincent’s example of personalism included attending to the spiritual and physical needs of those he sought to accompany and recognizing and affirming their unique personhood.

Theologically, from a Vincentian Catholic perspective, this commitment is rooted in modeling God’s love, the love of Jesus, and the work and movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God always invites us into a way of being which fosters and embodies loving and life-giving relationships and systems, and that heals and restores relationships that are broken, hurting, or causing harm.

History suggests that the concept of Vincentian personalism was first coined at DePaul by a Jewish member of our community, Howard Sulkin, founding dean of DePaul’s School of New Learning (now the School of Continuing and Professional Studies). In trying to capture the heart of the Vincentian mission through his Jewish lens and experience, Sulkin connected Vincentian personalism to an I-Thou relationship, a concept developed by renowned philosopher Martin Buber. Buber contrasted an I-Thou relationship with an I-it relationship, or one which merely objectifies others rather than honoring their distinctiveness and dignity. Interestingly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also grounded his own philosophy in personalism, apparently deriving it in a substantial way from Buber.

COVID and the work-from-home realities emerging since 2020 have made cultivating relationships in the workplace more challenging, and therefore, we have learned we must be more intentional in attending to them. Human connection and the business outcomes of effective relationships are still as valid and as needed as ever. When Vincentian personalism is remembered and reinforced at DePaul in how we go about our work and our relationships with one another, it is deeply impactful in terms of the quality of the workplace and the effectiveness of our work.

When Vincentian personalism remains primary, our relationships with one another are more likely to be loving, life-giving, and joyful. We remember that we are ultimately a community of human beings seeking to do something meaningful and good together, and that we are dependent on each other to do so. Our work involves actively and intentionally creating environments and ways of operating that affirm, support, and at times, challenge each other to be our best. With Vincentian personalism, we recognize our capacity for compassion for those who struggle, who feel on the outside, or who need additional encouragement or assistance.

Vincentian personalism most frequently plays out in small ways and in regular practices that help us to remember and reinforce the centrality of relationships in our lives. It may be practiced in how we greet one another, by thoughtfully remembering to check in with those who may be struggling, or caring enough to ask them about their needs and hopes. It may come in building regular time and space within our teams and among our colleagues to stay caught up on the goings-on of each other’s lives and work projects, or for moments of deeper personal reflection and sharing. Or perhaps, it may mean that advising or managerial sessions go beyond the surface level to also include a recognition of the other’s unique personhood and their deeper sense of vocation in relation to their academic choices or career pursuits.

Vincentian personalism also involves a commitment to look deeper, beneath statistics and headlines to the nuances of individual human lives and stories, or to look systemically to find ways of operating that serve the needs of those who are often excluded. It invites us to actively collaborate with others in meaningful ways, rather than go it alone. It might surface in holding one another accountable to agreed-upon expectations, whether for a class or job. For us, Vincentian personalism means acknowledging that everyone is a whole person living a whole life, and that their time at DePaul is just one part of that larger whole.

Here at DePaul, the heart of our mission is centered in Vincentian personalism. If you’d like to learn more about it, there are many past reflections on Vincentian personalism on our Way of Wisdom blog site. (It’s been a popular theme over the years.) For a summer reading list on the topic, you might also try entering other related terms into the search box on the site, such as relationships, community, care, or charity. (Or just explore your own themes of interest.)

Now, let’s put the question to you to ponder over the summer: What do you think is at the heart of DePaul and our Vincentian mission? [If you’d like to write a blog post detailing your answer this summer, let me know! 😊]


Reflection by: Mark Laboe, Interim Vice President, Mission and Ministry

Embracing Change: A Vincentian Reflection for Graduates

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

Embracing Change: A Vincentian Reflection for Graduates

Consider Saint Vincent de Paul’s wisdom regarding love and openness to change. …read more

 

 

Mission-Related Events

Join Us for Baccalaureate Mass

DePaul’s commencement weekend will begin with an opportunity to gather in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving with graduating students, their families, and DePaul faculty, staff, and administrators. Those of all faith traditions are invited and encouraged to attend as we celebrate our graduates at this special mass. Please also join us for a reception immediately following. Please RSVP here.

Embracing Change: A Vincentian Reflection for Graduates

Graduation season is a time of celebration and reflection. As we stand on the threshold of new beginnings, we are reminded of the words of Saint Vincent de Paul: “Love is inventive to infinity.”[1] This quote resonates deeply, especially during this season of transitions and growth.

I can remember walking onto DePaul’s campus for the first time in 2004. The experiences and knowledge I gained during my time as a graduate student and as a staff member helped shape the person and professional I am today. Returning to DePaul in a different capacity, now serving part-time in the Division of Mission and Ministry, has felt like a full-circle moment. It’s a testament to how life’s journey can lead us back to our roots, often bringing us closer to the things that matter most—family and faith.

Just as it was when I was a graduate student, my connection to DePaul has been a blessing during a private season of change. It has given me flexibility for family, a chance to serve the greater good, and many supportive voices accompanying me while I redefine the path forward. People at DePaul care. Just as I experienced twenty years ago.

Saint Vincent de Paul’s teachings encourage us all to consider love in action and to remain open to change. Love doesn’t give up; it adapts, innovates, and perseveres. Love will always find new ways to express itself. Saint Vincent understood this, calling us to demonstrate faith and treasure community and family through life’s many transitions. Moving forward in this way allows us to boldly embrace seasons of change with confidence.

For the graduates stepping into their own exciting new seasons, remember that even if the journey ahead takes an occasional unexpected turn, it is in these moments that you will discover your true purpose and resilience. Consider committing to memory Saint Vincent’s encouragement to embrace the infinite inventiveness of love. ​It is a love that guides us through life’s challenges, urging us to trust the process and positioning us to make our own positive and unique impact on the world.

Congratulations, Class of 2024! I hope you will find, as I did, that you are a cherished part of the DePaul community no matter how many years may pass. Stay connected. Wherever life takes you, carry with you the values, lessons, and love you gained here to light your path forward.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How has your journey through DePaul University shaped your personal and professional growth?
  2. In what ways can you embrace the changes and transitions in your life to find deeper meaning and purpose?

Reflection by: Jannie Kirby, MA, Mission & Ministry Marketing and Communications Specialist

[1] Conference 102, “Exhortation to a Dying Brother,” 1645, CCD, 11:131.

Baccalaureate Mass

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-Related Events

Join Us for Baccalaureate Mass

DePaul’s commencement weekend will begin with an opportunity to gather in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving with graduating students, their families, and DePaul faculty, staff, and administrators. Those of all faith traditions are invited and encouraged to attend as we celebrate our graduates at this special mass. Please also join us for a reception immediately following. Please RSVP here.

 

 

Mission Monday

Finding the Holy Spirit in Chaos

In times of disarray and chaos, is there something you can do to make a challenging situation better? …read more

 

Finding the Holy Spirit in Chaos

Recently, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity invited academician and scholar Maureen H. O’Connell to speak about her book Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness.[1] In her remarks, which drew from her own personal history as well as the history of the American Catholic Church, O’Connell examined Catholic anti-blackness and its mournful legacy of slave ownership, segregation, inequity, and exclusion. She also did something unusual and juxtaposed this history with the Synod of Bishops currently taking place in the Catholic Church.

For those unfamiliar, a Catholic synod is a body made up of selected bishops from around the world. Their purpose is to advise the Pope on myriad issues pertaining to the Church and to help the Pope grow closer in understanding and relationship with the bishops, clergy, and indeed, all members of the Catholic community. This current synod was called by Pope Francis and is scheduled to last until late 2024. Its themes revolve around communion, participation, and mission, as Pope Francis endeavors to make real his vision of a more inclusive Church—one that is open, collegial, and supportive; a Church that walks with its members with mutuality and care.

It is provocative that O’Connell chose to review one of the darkest chapters of American Catholicism through the lens of a forward thinking, hope-filled synod. For whether we are looking back at our history or taking stock of our present reality, it can be difficult to build a convincing case that humans, Catholic or otherwise, can live as Pope Francis dreams. The scourge of enslavement and racism, inequity and exclusion, the ongoing wars in Gaza, in Sudan, and Ukraine, and even the unrest on our own campus are but some examples that illustrate the long reality of discord throughout both the Church and the world.

However, O’Connell offered a radical response to the tumultuous and disordered reality of the human condition: the Holy Spirit can be found in the chaos. If we are people of faith and hope, then somewhere within us is a belief that disarray in the world may be transformed into something beautiful and good. In a letter to Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac herself proclaimed this belief when she said: “I see such disorder everywhere that I feel overwhelmed by it. Nevertheless, I continue to hope, and I wish to place my trust in Divine Providence…”[2] Likewise, Pope Francis has acknowledged the brokenness of the world and the role of the Church when he said, “We have to learn to live in a church that exists in the tension between harmony and disorder, provoked by the Holy Spirit.”[3]

Saints Vincent and Louise, Pope Francis, and Maureen O’Connell share this in common. Each holds fast to the belief that chaos can be transformed into something good; that the Holy Spirit can be found in the brokenness. From this shared belief, each has worked in their own way to realize this hope. Vincent, Louise, and their followers have done so by serving those most in need of spiritual and material support, while Pope Francis and O’Connell have used their gifts to help bring needed reform and reconciliation to the Church and the world.

At DePaul, we are the fortunate beneficiaries of the faith and wisdom that Vincent, Louise, Pope Francis, and O’Connell pass on. Like them, we can choose to believe that good will make its way through the chaos, and that the Holy Spirit, however understood, is alive in us even during our most stressful and disordered times. And, like them, we can commit to do all we can to bring these hopes to life.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Have there been times of chaos in your life or, like Louise, times when you have felt overwhelmed? How did you get through those times? Looking back, are you able to see any good that came from the chaos?
  2. If you believe, like Vincent and Louise, that challenging and tumultuous times may be transformed into something better, what is something you can do to help that transformation occur? How can you help make a challenging circumstance better?

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

[1] Maureen O’Connell, Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness (Beacon Press, 2022), 272 pp.

[2] L.10, To Monsieur Vincent, (Between 1639 and 1647), Spiritual Writings, p. 335.

[3] Austen Ivereigh, “An Interview with Pope Francis: ‘A Time of Great Uncertainty,’” Commonweal Magazine, 12 March 2023, at: www.commonwealmagazine.org/time-great-uncertainty.