Vincentian Heritage Special Issue: 2020 and Beyond: DePaul University’s Community Responds to Crises

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The year 2020 began an unprecedented era as we faced three intermingled crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the scourge of systemic racism brought further to light by the murder of George Floyd, and a presidential campaign that highly divided our country. These were frightening, strange times, full of sound and fury yet juxtaposed by a silent, deserted campus. How did these crises change us? How did they impact our work and our relationships? How did we respond as a Vincentian higher learning community? And, given what we’ve experienced, how do we now move forward?

To answer these questions the DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute called out to our university community for materials responding to 2020. As a result, we are pleased to announce the publication of our newest peer-reviewed e-book edition of Vincentian Heritage, “2020 and Beyond: DePaul University’s Community Responds to Crises.” This special issue managed by Prof. Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée, the Dennis Holtschneider Chair of Vincentian Studies at DePaul University, features an opening from A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, DePaul University’s president, a theological reflection from Guillermo Campuzano, C.M., vice president of the Division of Mission and Ministry, and a wide variety of contributions from prominent faculty, staff, and university affiliates. From articles, to photos, to poetry, to collections of student artwork, each of these fourteen works is devoted to our Vincentian response to the crises that enveloped us in 2020, and that indeed continues to this day.

We offer this volume of Vincentian Heritage to our DePaul community in hopes that it helps us to better understand the myriad ways all of us have worked to face the challenges of this unprecedented time.

To download the complete book for iPad or PC, please click here.

Individual .pdfs for each article are also available for download here.


Featured in this edition:

  • “Introduction. 2020: DePaul University’s Community Responds to Crises,” Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée, Ph.D.
  • “The Guiding Principles of Leading and Living Through a Pandemic,” A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.
  • “A Vincentian Reading of the Pandemic: Hope Beyond All Reasonable Expectation,” Guillermo Campuzano, C.M.
  • “Creativity Can’t Be Canceled: DePaul Students Express Their Pandemic Experience Through Art,” Lin Batsheva Kahn
  • “Critical Perspectives on Our Current Moment: An Experiment in Teaching for 2020,” Jane Eva Baxter, Ph.D., Sarah Brown, Jenicel Carmona, Val Carnes, Zoe Espinosa, Randall Honold, Ph.D., Cary Robbins, George Slad, Margaret Storey, Ph.D.
  • “Online Community Engagement Enhances Service Learning,” Dan Baron, Kaliah Liggons, MPA, David Pintor, Jonathan Handrup, LSW, and Rubén Álvarez Silva, M.Ed
  • “The Graces of 2020: Catholic Campus Ministry Students Seek Out Blessings Amid a Tumultuous Year,” Amanda Thompson, MDiv, & Dan Paul Borlik, C.M., DMin
  • “‘Learning Not to Despair of Our Own Age’: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in This Time of Pandemic,” Timothy P. Williams
  • “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Homelessness: Depaul International Responds,” J. Patrick Murphy, C.M., Ph.D.
  • “Mass Incarceration, COVID-19, and Race as Exposure to Early Death,” Traci Schlesinger, Ph.D.
  • “Pandemic, Poverty, and Power: Biosocial Ethics of Global Solidarity for Health,” Stan Chu Ilo, Ph.D.
  • “C-Void,” Amaris Casiano-Zoko
  • Opening Images Essay, Olga Rozenbaum, Stefania Cosentino

Vincentian Heritage Journal Vol. 35, No. 2

The DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute is pleased to announce the publication of our newest peer-reviewed e-book edition of Vincentian Heritage (Volume 35, Number 2).

Of note, this edition includes a significant new translation, never before published, of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet’s testimony on the virtuous life of Vincent de Paul. The document, at one time thought lost, follows after those prepared for the canonization process and offers insight from a man who knew the saint during his life. The book also advances our new design and features the following articles:

  • “Pa, Ma, and Fa: Private Lives of Nineteenth-Century American Vincentians,” by John E. Rybolt, C.M., Ph.D.
  • “Bishop John Timon, C.M., Sisters of Charity Hospital, and the Cholera Epidemic of 1849,” by Dennis Castillo, Ph.D.
  • “Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Vision of Ecological Community. Based on Elizabeth Bayley Seton: Collected Writings, Volume Two,” by Sung-Hae Kim, S.C.
  • “BOSSUET: Testimony Concerning the Life and the Eminent Virtues of Monsieur Vincent de Paul (1702),” Translation and additional annotation by Edward R. Udovic, C.M., Ph.D.

To download the complete book for iPad or PC, please click here.

Individual .pdfs for each article are also available for download here.

Publication Notice: Saint: Vincent de Paul: His Perceived Christological Thought Pattern on Charity and Christ in the Poor.

Saint: Vincent de Paul: His Perceived Christological Thought Pattern on Charity and Christ in the Poor.


Michael I. Edem, C.M.

From the publisher:

“The entire work is divided into three parts. Each part has its accompanying chapters with corresponding introductions and conclusions. It is the incarnation that necessitated the self-emptying and self-abasement of Christ. It is the same mystery that underlies his passion and crucifixion and eventual resurrection. The mystery of incarnation capped with experiential events forms the tap root of this global vision of Christ in the poor. It is central to his theology of the poor, Christ in the poor and the poor in Christ. The incarnation and experiential events furnish the inclination and orientation Vincent’s thought pattern possesses. Such penetration and globalization process concerning the word “incarnate” are in line with the Church’s “permanent need of theological reflection.” The special inclination acts as a veneer that links other aspects. It forms a continuum, permeating and illumining the mystical link of the Vincentian Christ in the poor and the poor in Christ.”


  • Hardcover: 686 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corp (February 14, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1796015342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1796015348


New Biography of Bishop John Dubois published

About the Author

Richard Shaw is a Catholic priest of the Albany, New York, diocese, and has degrees in American history and criminology. He has taught high school and is currently on his faculty of Maria College, Albany. Father Shaw is a chaplain at two county jails, and has been engaged in this ministry for ten years. In addition to published articles and short stories, he has written Dagger John: the Unquiet Life and Times of Archbishop John Hughes of New York; and The Christmas Mary Had Twins.


Product details

·       Paperback: 272 pages

·       Publisher: Wipf and Stock (May 10, 2018)

·       Language: English

·       ISBN-10: 1532645104

·       ISBN-13: 978-1532645105


From the publisher:


“St. Elizabeth Seton called him “The Pope”; his students dubbed him “Little Bonaparte.” To Pope Gregory XVI he was “my most particular friend”; while his own Bishop charged him with acting as a “Bishop” rather than as parish priest. The man was Father John Dubois, an exile from France, the founding father of many cherished Catholic institutions in America. Dubois was beloved by the “little people”–the scattered Catholics he served in rural Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania; and he was the amiable friend of Protestants such as James Monroe and Patrick Henry. In 1808 he began his “Mountain” seminary at Emmitsburg, Maryland, and 175 years later Mount St. Mary’s College still serves as his memorial to education. The founder would just as easily pick up an axe to fell lumber for his college buildings, as he would ride through the night on horseback to minister to the sick and dying. He called himself “an ugly little wretch,” but to his students (his children) he was fondly remembered as “old father.” Dubois’ great life’s work was his role as spiritual and physical architect of the Sisters of Charity in the United States. Without him, Elizabeth Seton might never have been known to history. This “American St. Vincent de Paul” wrote the first rule for the American sisters and pushed them out into missions across the country. Dubois was domineering, a tireless workman, often rough and blunt–not at all Mrs. Seton’s choice as a religious Superior. In 1826 the labors of the benevolent dictator ended at Emmitsburg, and he was called to head the immigrant church in New York. John Dubois became bishop of a turbulent diocese, dominated by fiercely nationalistic clergy and laity–“chiefly Irish.” Despite his good will, and although dedicated to all that was “chiefly American,” the French emigre remained a foreigner to his people in New York City. Embattled for sixteen years with insolent clergy and powerful lay trustees, the Bishop shunned public controversy and concentrated on pastoral care. He made frequent visits to the missionary territory in upstate New York, worked through cholera epidemics and went on a begging tour in Europe. In the 1830s, Protestants were beginning to react violently to Catholics and the immigrant Irish, yet Dubois was respected by numerous non-Catholics. He was also a friend to important Catholics: Roger Taney, Charles Carroll, Pierre Toussaint, the black philanthropist, and Mark Frenaye. He had enough faith in one young immigrant to ordain him and give him his start in America: St. John Neumann. As an old man, incapacitated by a series of strokes, he was sadly ignored by his energetic auxiliary, Bishop John Hughes. Before Bishop John Dubois died in 1842, he requested: “Bury me where the people will walk over me in death as they wished to do in life.” Ironically, his gravesite was “lost” for well over 125 years. Now, the stirring and inspiring life of John Dubois is recaptured in his first full-length biography. The author finds Dubois a great and holy man–truly worthy of the title “Founding Father.””

Newsnote: Soeur Angele: Daughter of Charity Detective Novels

“Soeur (Sister) Angèle must have been the first nun-detective in fiction. She is a Sister of Charity (an order, we are told, founded by Vincent de Paul) but is also a medical doctor, attached at first to the French hospital and orphanage in Bethlehem, although we never see her there. She had previously been Dr Angèle Persent d’Ericy, before she had decided to become a nun. “She was of medium height …. Her face, freckled and lit up by two sparkling humorous eyes, was attractive. It fairly radiated intelligence and good will. She held herself very straight …. You knew that she was both kind and intelligent”. She has “a sort of evangelical candour and purity of motive” and “an incurable idealisation of the moral quality of other people”. Or, as her old professor put it, “You’re still the same self-opinionated little devil” She nearly always carries “a large black bag (“there seemed nothing her enormous bag did not contain”) and an immense umbrella” – although, by the second book, the color of the bag and umbrella seems to have changed to slate blue to match her habit.

She was created by the French author Henri (Henry in the English editions) Catalan whose real name was Henri Dupuy-Mazuel (1885 – 1962), who was the author of numerous novels, short stories and screenplays for silent films, and producer of the film Le Tournoi (The Tournament) that was directed by Jean Renoir in 1929. He used the pseudonym Henry Catalan for his Soeur Angèle novels.”

At least three of Catalan’s “Soeur Angele” detective stories were published in English. Both French and English editions are long out of print, but are easily available from sites like Advanced Book Exchange.

Newsnote: Barbara Diefendorf’s latest book to be published on March 15, 2019

“The first thing that Catholic religious orders did when they arrived in a town to establish a new community was to plant the cross–to erect a large wooden cross where the church was to stand. The cross was a contested symbol in the civil wars that reduced France to near anarchy in the sixteenth century. Protestants tore down crosses to mark their disdain for “popish” superstition; Catholics swore to erect a thousand new crosses for every one destroyed. Fighting words at the time, the vow to erect a thousand new crosses was expressed in the rapid multiplication of reformed religious congregations once peace arrived. In this book, Barbara B. Diefendorf examines the beginnings of the Catholic Reformation in France and shows how profoundly the movement was shaped by the experience of religious war. She analyzes convents and monasteries in three regions–Paris, Provence, and Languedoc–as they struggled to survive the wars and then to raise standards and instill a new piety in their members in their aftermath. What emerges are stories of nuns left homeless by the wars, of monks rebelling against both abbot and king, of ascetic friars reviving Catholic devotion in a Protestant-dominated South, and of a Dominican order battling demonic possession. Illuminating persistent debates about the purpose of monastic life, Planting the Cross underscores the diverse paths religious reform took within different local settings and offers new perspectives on the evolution of early modern French Catholicism.” About the Author Barbara B. Diefendorf is Professor Emerita of History at Boston University. She is the author of From Penitence to Charity: Pious Women and the Catholic Reformation in Paris (OUP, 2004), winner of the J. Russell Major Prize of the American Historical Association, and Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (OUP, 1991), winner of book awards from the New England Historical Association and National Huguenot Society, among other titles. Product details Hardcover: 232 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 15, 2019) Language: English ISBN-10:

Newsnote: Rare Vincent de Paul engraving acquired

The Vincentian Studies Institute has acquired a rare 18th century engraving of the apotheosis of Vincent de Paul. See the auction description below:

Description: COCHIN, Charles-Nicolas II [Assumption of St. Vincent de Paul]. 1772 Sanguine chalk, laid paper 26 x 14,5 cm; signed “C.N. Cochin filius delin.” and dated in lower margin (recto sl. and irregularly browning, verso sl. browning, faint stain at lower part with one tiny unobtrusive hole). Framed under glass (unframed). Beautiful finely achieved scene picturing the Saint carried away in the air by 3 gracious angels under the eyes of a number of clergymen, nuns and children. One of the drawings executed by Cochin (1715-1790) for the “Evangeliorum ad usum Capellae Regiae”, a prayer book for the Versailles Royal Chapel. On verso label of the Belgian expert Jean Willems according to whom this drawing is mentioned in Goncourt, “L’art au XVIIIe s.”, vol. II, n. 774: “10 sanguines non gravées, des compositions pour le Missel de la Chapelle du Roi”. Ref. Christian Michel, Charles-Nicolas Cochin et le livre illustré au XVIIIe s., 1987, 163 (bi). Prov. Auction Drouot, 9/2/1972.

Newsnote: New Volume of Ozanam Correspondence

Correspondance Frédéric Ozanam et Amélie Soulacroix Poèmes, prières et notes intimes Léonard de Corbiac (Textes rassemblés par) Magdeleine Houssay (Avec la contribution de) Présentation : Cette édition de la correspondance entre Amélie Soulacroix et Frédéric Ozanam réunit en un seul document les deux voix du couple, les lettres d’Amélie jusque-là inédites et celles de Frédéric, déjà publiées. On connaît Frédéric Ozanam : le principal fondateur de la Société de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, le serviteur de la Vérité, le défenseur de la question sociale, celui qui s’agenouillait devant les pauvres, « images sacrées de ce Dieu que nous ne voyons pas ». Mais on redécouvre l’homme, l’amoureux, le père, l’universitaire, le poète, un homme plus simple, sans autres fards que ceux de son éloquence. Amélie nous était jusque-là presque inconnue : cette correspondance fait sortir de l’ombre une femme attachante par sa simplicité et son naturel, étonnante par ce qu’elle révèle à la fois d’elle-même mais aussi de Frédéric, véritable compagne qui a fait avec lui ce cheminement vers la sainteté. Par-delà ce regard intime qui éclaire une facette plus secrète d’un homme public, c’est un amour conjugal qui se découvre, sans pour autant être indiscret. Comme l’écrit Xavier Lacroix : « ce qu’expriment Frédéric et Amélie est tellement beau, Vrai surtout, juste, que cela en quelque sorte, par le haut, ne leur appartient plus. Le Vrai est universel. Il exprime une vérité de l’humain qui est en chacun de nous. » Don Léonard de Corbiac est prêtre de la communauté Saint-Martin, vicaire en paroisse à Biarritz. Il a consacré ses travaux universitaires de mémoire à Frédéric et surtout à Amélie Ozanam. Date de parution : 16.08.2018 EAN : 9782220095301 Nombre de pages : 864

Newsnote: New Elizabeth Seton Biography Published

In 1975, two centuries after her birth, Pope Paul VI canonized Elizabeth Ann Seton, making her the first saint to be a native-born citizen of the United States in the Roman Catholic Church. Seton came of age in Manhattan as the city and her family struggled to rebuild themselves after the Revolution, explored both contemporary philosophy and Christianity, converted to Catholicism from her native Episcopalian faith, and built the St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Hers was an exemplary early American life of struggle, ambition, questioning, and faith, and in this flowing biography, Catherine O’Donnell has given Seton her due. O’Donnell places Seton squarely in the context of the dynamic and risky years of the American and French Revolutions and their aftermath. Just as Seton’s dramatic life was studded with hardship, achievement, and grief so were the social, economic, political, and religious scenes of the Early American Republic in which she lived. O’Donnell provides the reader with a strong sense of this remarkable woman’s intelligence and compassion as she withstood her husband’s financial failures and untimely death, undertook a slow conversion to Catholicism, and struggled to reconcile her single-minded faith with her respect for others’ different choices. The fruit of her labors were the creation of a spirituality that embraced human connections as well as divine love and the American Sisters of Charity, part of an enduring global community with a specific apostolate for teaching. The trove of correspondence, journals, reflections, and community records that O’Donnell weaves together throughout Elizabeth Seton provides deep insight into her life and her world. Each source enriches our understanding of women’s friendships and choices, illuminates the relationships within the often-opaque world of early religious communities, and upends conventional wisdom about the ways Americans of different faiths competed and collaborated during the nation’s earliest years. Through her close and sympathetic reading of Seton’s letters and journals, O’Donnell reveals Seton the person and shows us how, with both pride and humility, she came to understand her own importance as Mother Seton in the years before her death in 1821. Hardcover: 552 pages Publisher: Three Hills (September 15, 2018) Language: English ISBN-10: 1501705784 ISBN-13: 978-1501705786

Newsnote: “L’Hospital General Charitable a Paris.” 1657 work acquired

The Vincentiana Collection at DePaul Universit’s Archives and Special Collections Department has recently acquired a copy of the 1657 announcement about the establishment of the Hospital General of Paris. This controversial institution sought to assist the masses of the urban poor in Paris, but to do so only by depriving the poor of their liberty. The King, Archbishop of Paris and Parlement announced that the Lazaristes and Daughters of Charity would have spiritual responsibility for the institution. However, they had not consulted Vincent de Paul. After consultation Vincent would graciously decline the offer citing a paucity of confreres and sisters. See for example Coste, CCD: 6:257-258, 268-269, 274-275. The booklet had announced: “Les Peres Missionnaires de saint Lazare dont l’on scait assez la grace, ont este establis pour avoir soin du spirituel, sous l’autorite de Monseigneur l’Archevesque de Paris, & les filles de la Communaute de Madamoiselle le Gras, dont la bonne conduite est aussi connue, one este acceptees por le service du sexe.”