Out of Many, One

The motto on which the U.S. is built, its very foundation, is the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum: “Out of many, one.” This motto has never been more relevant and urgent than today.

I have been insisting in different forums over the past couple of years that equity at DePaul is not simply a social, cultural, or political option. It is a concrete way for us to understand who we are. Our identity and our mission need to refer to equity intentionally and systemically. Our work to end all inequities within our institutional and social fabric is a basic consequence of this same principle.

“Out of many, one” only happens when the singularity of each member of the many is recognized, respected, and protected. Then all the singularities weave together naturally to become a beautiful pluralistic One. There is no space today for any ideology that denigrates the right to be any of the infinite forms of the Many that enable the One to be authentic, embracing all.

I am convinced that this is precisely the beauty of DePaul and our Vincentian DNA, which is connected to the national motto. I am also convinced that legislation or policy alone cannot solve the many problems we have with intolerance, hatred, exclusion, or violence. I have worked on political advocacy with other members of the Vincentian Family to promote systemic change and the eradication of all forms of social and environmental injustices. We believe this is also something that each one of us needs to incorporate into a personal way of being and relating.

In the 70s and 80s, the focus on social work and Catholic Social Teaching was almost exclusively on poverty. However, poverty is a consequence of a bigger systemic problem. Our focus is changing. Today the focus is on inequity. Attention to equity is attention to sustainable models. Equity is essential for DePaul, for society, and for humanity to be sustainable.

At the beginning of this new academic year, from my position in the Division of Mission and Ministry and from my identity as a Vincentian, I invite us to always preserve the dignity of each one and of all in everything we say and do. We must preserve the dignity of the Many so that we can honestly be One.

Each one of us should be aware of the healing, restorative power of our words; the transformative supportive power of our listening; and the compassionate, fulfilling experience of our presence in our relationships.

In Vincent de Paul’s teaching, there is a movement from religious devotion to transformative ethical actions that defend the most vulnerable and threatened. This ethical relationship with the Other, especially the vulnerable, can give us a full understanding of the mystery of life. So let us all, individually and collectively, use this new academic year as an opportunity to heal, to rebuild relationships, and to create new networks of support and care, always in the spirit of equity and the motto it embraces—out of many, one. We are all equal in our dignity. We are all worthy in our many, many differences. What a beautiful expression of our collective humanity in this microcosm that is DePaul University.

As we welcome the new members of our community, let’s all act in the spirit of hospitality, which calls us to embrace new members as our own. We are one family, a family that is always growing and being transformed, not just by new faces but also by new decisions, new opportunities, and by our decision to be new people in the way we see and treat each other.

Happy New Academic Year, DePaul University.

Let’s continue to work together. We are DePaul. Go, DePaul!

 

Reflection by: Fr. Guillermo Campuzano, C.M., Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Purposeful Self-Care

We must be full reservoirs in order to let our water spill out without becoming empty, and we must possess the spirit with which we want them to be animated, for [we cannot] give what [we do] not have.[i]

There are times at DePaul when we think working in a “Vincentian” way means remaining tirelessly active, without regard to our own needs or what is actually effective. However, this is decidedly not what Vincent de Paul taught. In addition to the quote above, Vincent wrote to Louise de Marillac circa 1632, “It seems to me that you are killing yourself from the little care you take of yourself.”[ii] Their correspondence often included encouragement in both directions for tending to their mutual health and well-being.

We have learned much over the past couple of years about the importance of self-care and of remaining healthy. The pandemic has forced us to reconsider and reflect on work-life balance norms and habits as well as what it means to work effectively.

There are many ways in which hyper-activity can be harmful to us individually and as a university community. Sound decision-making and the fostering of innovation are far more difficult when we are tired or feeling burned out. We are also much less likely to cultivate the quality relationships that make for a supportive environment and that reflect hospitality and care for others, both of which are so essential to the “Vincentian personalism” we value. We may lose touch with the deeper sense of meaning and purpose that motivates our work. Furthermore, workaholism and the absence of self-care can accentuate an ego-driven pride within us about working longer and harder than everyone around us—and this serves no one in the end. When we are always busy, what we are modeling to others, particularly the students we seek to educate and serve?

In contrast to such a worker-bee mentality, Vincent’s image of the reservoir may serve us well. Sustained and quality work during busy times often requires us to “dig deep,” and therefore it is essential that we maintain healthy reserves to draw from. Our relationships are vital sources of energy and support when we face vexing problems, and therefore cultivating friendships and collegial networks is a life habit that makes our work more effective and sustainable. We might also imagine the life-giving reservoir replenished by remaining connected to a shared sense of mission or purpose through regular moments of reflection.

As we come to the end of the summer months, the intensity of our work and task lists are no doubt beginning to build up again as we approach the new academic year. Might we transition into the fall with a plan to integrate self-care, relationships, and ongoing reflection? Perhaps we might even work together with others to shape our collective organizational culture in a way that models these things, thus benefitting all in our community, including the students we serve.

One thing will remain certain: any mission worth working toward is not a solo act. We will achieve it only by regularly renewing ourselves through rest, reflection, and friendship—and with some intentionality these things can certainly extend well beyond the summer weeks!

  • What is a regular habit of rest or reflection that can enrich your ability to be creative and to remain energized in the workplace?
  • How might you integrate the cultivation of relationships more intentionally in and through your work?
  • What might you do—even for a few minutes a day—to remain rooted in and nourished by a deeper sense of the mission and purpose that sustains your work?

Reflection by:                    Mark Laboe, Assoc. VP, Mission and Ministry

[i] Letter 1623, “To a Seminary Director,” n.d., CCD, 4:570. Available online at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/29/.

[ii] Letter 95, “To Saint Louise,” n.d. [c.1632], CCD, 1:145. Available online at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/25/.

Summer is here!

“May you be forever a beautiful tree of life bringing forth fruits of love.”[1]

Summer is here! Officially. Finally. Though technically summer begins and ends at the same time every year as our planet circles the sun, the spirit of summer can sometime come earlier or later. What marks the beginning of summer for you personally? Is it when the chilly, fresh mornings of spring turn to hot, humid afternoons as you look for cool shelter under leafy trees (or in air conditioning)? Or is it when the days stretch longer and longer, and the sun lingers well past the time it would normally set, creating glowing evenings of fireflies and laughter with friends?

What does summer mean to you? Is it a time of rest and recovery, of slowed-down days in the shade, where your mind can wander, imagine, and create? Or is it a time of hustle and bustle? Do you try to fit in everything you wanted to do throughout the year but didn’t have the time for? Do you try to squeeze every last drop of fun and work from the long sunny days? Maybe a little of both?

Here at DePaul, what marks the beginning of summer for you professionally? For faculty, is it when the last final is submitted and graded? For students, is it when you leave campus, either going home, or to summer jobs, or graduating, going off into the world to chart your future? For staff, is it when all the dreaded financial bureaucracy is wrapped up in BlueSky, when annual reports are polished and published, when the programming for the year is concluded? Whatever the case, summer feels both like an ending and a beginning—a chapter (or book!) is concluded, and the next starts fresh with a new page.

As campus becomes quiet again without the constant buzz of students, the vast, open horizon of sun-soaked days stretches ahead. We’ve just finished a marathon of a year, filled with stress, grief, and exhaustion. Many of us have been looking forward to the relief that summer provides. Others seek time to assess and clean up unfinished business while looking ahead. That is the beauty of summer. It provides the space for closure and recovery, and that clearing brings an opportunity to sow seeds for the future. As we draft our ambitious lists of summer projects and begin to envision and implement plans for next fall, let’s lean into that spirit of summer. We can approach our work with hope, knowing that the seeds we plant during this time can grow, in Vincent’s words, into “beautiful tree[s] of life bringing forth fruits of love” to benefit the whole community.


Reflection by: Alex Perry, Program Manager, Division of Mission and Ministry

[1] Letter 27, “To Saint Louise,” [believed to be July 30, 1628], CCD, 1:46. Available at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/25/.

A Hall of Fame Journey

Recently, while DePaul University celebrated Commencement in style—and in person—for over 4,500 students, some members of our community had their attention focused on a different celebration: the induction of DePaul women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. On June 11 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Coach Bruno received the coveted Eastman Trophy and the Baron Championship Ring, signifying membership in an elite club. Surrounded by family, friends, and Blue Demon fans, he joined the likes of basketball legends Pat Summit, Geno Auriemma, and over 150 other previous inductees in being recognized for his exemplary impact—past, present, and future—on women’s basketball and on the game itself.

This milestone is a reminder that the connection between DePaul’s mission and our Athletics Department is long, deep, and uniquely personified in the journey of Coach Bruno. His relationship with DePaul began as a student athlete under the tutelage of legendary men’s basketball coach Ray Meyer (himself a Hall of Famer). Bruno was first named the head coach of the DePaul women’s basketball program in 1976, and he has led them for the past thirty-four years, twenty-five of which have seen the Blue Demons advancing to the NCAA tournament. Coach Bruno has guided teams to championships and star players to the WNBA. At the same time, he has supported his squads as they have earned the Big East Team Academic Award in nine of the last eleven seasons for having the top team GPA. He has assembled a talented coaching staff who are as dedicated as he is to team success on and off the court. His players are known for their commitment to academics, community service, and hard work. Clearly, Coach Bruno has taken Vincent de Paul’s words to heart: “Doing good isn’t everything; we have to do it well.”[1]

Vincent left us this inspiring quote, and many more, while heeding God’s call to serve the poor and to gather companions to serve with him. Despite the worthiness of this aspiration, Vincent and his followers faced grueling challenges. Toward the end of his life and with wisdom based on experience, Vincent said, “Rarely is any good done without difficulty.”[2] Experience also taught him that with faith, community, and an abundance of perseverance and constancy[3] difficulties would be overcome and his community’s goals would be attained.

Vincent probably wouldn’t have had much of value to share with Coach Bruno about the X’s and O’s of basketball. Yet Vincent’s insight about the need for faith and perseverance when meeting challenges and working toward worthy goals is just as sagacious now as it was almost 400 years ago, especially when viewed through the lens of a Hall of Fame coaching career.

Indeed, Vincent said many things in his era that seem to travel through the ages and resonate with our time. For instance, in bidding farewell to a community member, Vincent assured him that “with God’s help, you will continue to succeed in your leadership and in your duties.”[4] May the same be true for you, Coach Bruno!

Questions for reflection: Who are the “Hall of Famers” that you know at DePaul? Who are the people whose commitment to our community and whose perseverance in the face of challenges have inspired you or changed DePaul for the better? How or what could you learn from them? Is there some way you may let them know the gift they have been for you?


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

[1] Conference 201, “Simplicity and Prudence (Common Rules, Chap. II, Art. 4 and 5),” March 14, 1659, CCD, 12:148. Available at https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/36/.

[2] Letter 1487, “To Philippe Le Vacher and Jean Barreau,” [1652], CCD, 4:361. Available at https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/29/.

[3] “God allows this to give rise to the practice of two beautiful virtues: perseverance, which leads us to attain the goal, and constancy, which helps us to overcome difficulties.” See Letter 1228, “To Guillaume Cornaire, in Le Mans,” June 15, 1650, CCD, 4:36-37.

[4] Letter 863, “To Jean Martin, in Genoa,” September 27, 1646, CCD, 3:66. Available at https://‌via.‌library.‌‌depaul.edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/28/.

The Constancy of Community

Springtime in Chicago is a tricky season. One day the weather is warm, the sun comes out, and everyone goes outside; there is a sense that we are coming out of hibernation. Then there are the days when winter seems to be keeping Chicago firmly in its grasp, warmer weather feels a long way off, and it seems like maybe we should hibernate just a little bit longer. This springtime dance happens every year, but I feel more ready than ever for sunshine and flowers in bloom and going outside without multiple layers to keep me warm.

I think I am also feeling the need for sunshine and warmth because at the beginning of this month, I had to say goodbye to one of my dogs, Finley. She had been diagnosed with a tumor at the end of March 2021 and the prognosis was dire. The vet thought she probably only had days, maybe weeks, to live. Yet she defied the odds, shocking the vet, and me, by living one year and two days past her diagnosis.

In reflecting on the last year with Finny, as I usually called her, what is most clear to me is the constancy of support I had from my family, my friends, my DePaul University colleagues, and even the staff at our vet’s office. Sharing how she was doing became an almost daily part of some conversations, and I am so grateful for the ways in which people cared enough to check in, especially as our world continues to grapple with the massive grief caused by the pandemic. The constancy of community helped me get through Finny’s time in doggie hospice, which is how I often described the last year. Without community, I know that it would have been a much more difficult journey.

As my other dog and I adjust to Finny’s absence, I am acutely aware that there is no way around grief. Grief impacts all of us. I also know from past losses that finding ways to connect with others is one of the things that helps me navigate the grieving process. At this moment in my work at DePaul, I am planning for Vincentian Service Day 2022, which is set for Saturday, May 7, and will have in-person service opportunities for the first time since 2019. Preparing for this DePaul tradition is not without its difficulties, but the planning process helps me right now because it involves connecting with community partners, mentoring students on the Service Day Team, and inviting the DePaul community to a space where we can live our Vincentian mission. It is my hope that through the relationships that we are able to build and sustain together, our DePaul community may be a constant for our community partners and their needs.

Registration for Vincentian Service Day 2022 closes on Tuesday, May 3, at 11:59 PM. For more information about participating in VSD, visit: http://serviceday.depaul.edu; or email: serviceday@depaul.edu.

Reflection by: Katie Sullivan, Program Manager, Vincentian Service and Formation, Division of Mission and Ministry

Increasing Your Impact

There is great joy to be found in working as a community of people who are dedicated to serving others; it is both humbling and inspiring to see the depth of genuine care and commitment. With so much good being done, how do we ensure it is being done well? One answer is self-care.

When we are at our best, we maximize our impact. Selflessness—putting the needs of others ahead of our own needs—seems like a virtue. But isn’t it more laudable to increase our impact by taking care of ourselves so that we are able to serve others to the best of our ability?

Self-care is not selfish, it is essential; it is not a luxury, it is a necessity. As Vincent de Paul said, “We must be full reservoirs in order to let our water spill out without becoming empty, and we must possess the spirit with which we want them to be animated, for no one can give what he does not have [emphasis added].”[1]

We are served best by a balanced and individual approach to wellness, as self-care will vary for every person. Start with eating well and getting enough hydration, sleep, and movement in your day. Layer in fresh air, human connection, creative expression, communication, learning, and reflection.

Spend some time considering what you need to be your best self, and then commit to it. If it is difficult, post reminders that taking care of yourself means you can better serve others.

What will help you be better? Read a book. Write a letter. Walk among the trees. Meditate. Sing a song. Play a game. Get enough sleep. Eat more plants. Tell a joke. Share a personal goal with a friend. Dance to a favorite song. Drink enough water. Take a yoga class. Compliment others. Compliment yourself. Go for a swim. Donate your time or money. Hike a trail. Express gratitude. Listen deeply. Watch the clouds. Ask for help. Write a poem. Learn something. Call a friend. And, maybe, exercise at The Ray!


Reflection by: Maureen McGonagle, Director of Campus Recreation and the Ray Meyer Fitness Center, and a serving DePaul Mission Ambassador

[1] Letter 1623, “To a Seminary Director,” n.d., CCD, 4:570. Available at https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌‌_ebooks/29/.

 

Care for Yourself: DePaul Busy Person’s Online Retreat. Week of February 21st.

Life can be exceptionally busy and overwhelming, moving at an ever-accelerating pace, leaving you wondering if you can keep up or how you can remain grounded and at peace in the midst of the constant shifts and challenges coming at you. During the week of February 21st, the DePaul Busy Person’s Retreat will offer daily 15-minute reflections, inspired by our Vincentian tradition, exploring the richness of intentional time for pause, for meditation, and silence in the midst of the noise and busy-ness. We hope that you’ll find new meaning, tools, and inspiration to anchor your life and work, to deepen your understanding of yourself and your community, and to re-connect to what brings you peace.  REGISTER NOW.

 

Be a Community Builder in 2022!

“What a blessing to be a member of a Community because each individual shares in the good that is done by all!” — Vincent de Paul[1]

When we pause to consider all that the world needs as we begin the year 2022, many would agree that, among other things, we certainly could use more people who are motivated and able to act as community builders. This holds true not only for broader society and in our neighborhoods and families, but also within our DePaul community. The challenges of the past 20+ months of the pandemic, including our increasingly virtual and remote existence, have frayed the relational fabric of our communal life. If we at DePaul are to continue as a “community gathered together for the sake of the mission,” then we need community builders to help weave together new bonds of connection that ultimately benefit us all.

Among your New Year’s resolutions, I invite you to ask yourself: What can I do in the days and year ahead to build or rebuild relationships, bridges, bonds, shared memories and experiences, shared understanding, a greater sense of belonging, and a common purpose among my DePaul colleagues?

A strong sense of community among us creates a healthier and more vibrant workplace and an educational environment that better serves students. In our broader society and in our neighborhoods and families, a little bit of intentionality in connecting with others and weaving relational bonds improves the quality of life for all.

Vincent de Paul recognized that the mission he envisioned was only possible through a community. It was not something he could do on his own. The same is true of the Vincentian mission we envision at DePaul—and perhaps also of the big-picture vision you have for your own life and work. We need others to join us, support us, and challenge us in positive ways if we are to succeed. This is made possible largely through and because of the relationships we have taken the time to cultivate and sustain.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to be a community builder in some concrete ways. Here are ten suggestions. Just pick one and do it, or come up with your own!

  1. Serve as a hospitable, cheerful, welcoming host to a newcomer or simply to people who have been away for a while and whom you haven’t had the chance to see in person.
  2. Affirm or give thanks to a colleague for something they have done or just because of who they are and what they mean to you.
  3. Connect to other people across departments/divisions/silos during or through meetings, a coffee or lunch gathering, a handwritten card, or a simple phone call or email offering a random hello or “thinking of you.”
  4. Make note of the significant life events of others and follow up with them later to see how they went.
  5. If you are feeling irritated or out of sorts, make a commitment to hold your tongue and consider possible constructive solutions and words first, rather than bitter or harmful ones.
  6. Make more of a conscious effort to stop what you are doing and truly listen when interacting with a colleague or neighbor.
  7. Follow through on an idea that emerges for you regarding how you might show compassion and care toward another.
  8. Just simply show up for the life events, programs, presentations, or celebrations that are important to others and for which your presence would be a show of support.
  9. Find ways to share fun and laughter with friends and colleagues.
  10. Read and share a meaningful quote, article, or book with another person.

None of these alone will “build community” once and for all. They are clearly not shared as a panacea or solution to some of the complex societal and institutional challenges and structural problems that we face collectively. However, if we follow these ideas, they will put us all in a better position to work together to do “what must be done.”


Reflection by: Mark Laboe, Associate VP, Division of Mission and Ministry

[1] Conference 1, “Explanation of the Regulations,” July 31, 1634, CCD, 9:2. Available at https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/34/.

Sharing Our Trials as Well as Our Joys

“I received your letter yesterday; as always, it gave me fresh reasons for praising God. Still, it troubled me a little because, from what you tell me in your last letter, it seems to me you are suffering from something, although you did not state this clearly. Please share with me, Monsieur, your trials as well as your joys.”[1]

Moses (Peace be upon Him) is one of the most important figures in all three Abrahamic traditions,[2] and historically in American culture.[3] The Qur’an devotes more time to the life of Moses[4] than to any other person. In the Qur’anic telling, when Moses flees Egypt and the Pharaoh he arrives in Midian in a desperate situation. He hasn’t had anything to eat other than leaves, is physically drained and exhausted, and he remains deeply fearful that there are powerful forces seeking to capture and punish him. He is separated from all that was once dear and familiar. Moses comes across a large group of men watering their animals at a well, but his attention is drawn to two women who are said to be holding back theirs. Moses approaches them and asks “what is the matter?”[5] After they explain that their father is old and can’t come to the well, and that the men will not let them water their animals, Moses assists them and waters their animals himself. Moses then leaves to rest and pray to God, but this is the beginning of an unexpected blessing that will radically shift the course of his future.

Many of us have experienced, especially in times of loss, anxiety, or other suffering, the blessing of having someone listen to our story or to our feelings. In some cases they may be able to assist us in material ways. At other times, perhaps they can only accompany us in our grief or hardship. Either way, it often feels that sharing our burdens lessens them. This is what profoundly struck me in the excerpt above: “Please share with me Monsieur, your trials as well as your joys.” As Marilynne Robinson says in Gilead, “There’s a lot under the surface of life, everyone knows that.”[6] When we are able through words or actions, let those close to us know that they can share with us what is normally kept under the surface, their trials as well as their joys. This can be a powerful step towards creating real community. We strive to make DePaul more than just a workplace. We strive to create a community joined together for the sake of mission. Let us ask ourselves how we can be open to those around us, whether it be students we serve, those we supervise, or the fellow employees we encounter and work alongside.

There are many ways people respond to the brokenness of our world. One of the most memorable characters in literature is found in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. Mrs. Jellyby fills her every moment with “work” towards an idealistic project in Africa, which she thinks will do enormous social good. Yet this project never comes to fruition. All the while she is ignoring the sufferings of those close to her, including her husband and her own children. In truly listening to the trials and joys of others, that which is under the surface, we begin to discern how we can best respond to those challenges that are within our sphere of influence. We see changes that can be made and realities that can be faced together.

For Reflection: Is there someone in your life with whom you can truly share your trials as well as your joys? Are there people for whom you provide that deep listening? What are some of the reasons we may be reluctant to share with others, or open ourselves to others sharing with us? How can we overcome these barriers to deeper community?

Reflection by: Abdul-Malik Ryan, Muslim Chaplain and Assistant Director of Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care, Division of Mission and Ministry

See also our past Mission Monday reflection “Being Fully Present” by Emily Lahood-Olsen, based on a quotation from Saint Louise de Marillac: https://blogs.depaul.edu/dmm/2019/10/21/being-fully-present/

We remind all of you that one of the ways you are invited to share with the DePaul community, whether sharing news of weddings, births, adoptions, or bereavements in your immediate family, is through the Newsline Family Events column: https://resources.depaul.edu/newsline/contact/Pages/life-events.aspx

You are also invited to share any requests for prayer with the Division of Mission and Ministry at: https://offices.depaul.edu/mission-ministry/religious-spiritual-life/Pages/Prayer-Requests.aspx


[1] Letter 1823, To Charles Ozenne, Superior, In Warsaw, 1 January 1655, CCD, 5:255.

[2] Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As I remarked in a recent interfaith dialogue event about Moses, perhaps they could just as accurately (if not more so) be referred to as the three Mosaic faiths or traditions.

[3] Moses serves as one of the most popular superhero archetypes in popular culture and historically has been a touchstone for all Americans regardless of their political beliefs.

[4] In Arabic, Musa.

[5] Qur’an 28:22-24.

[6] Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), p. 6.

Division of Mission and Ministry – Welcome Days


The Division of Mission and Ministry, in an effort to reach out and engage with sophomore students, that did not have an introduction to campus as freshmen, have created a series of events to help them meet, reflect, and heal.   The events will range from playful and contemplative to fun and engaging, encouraging the students new to DePaul’s campus to explore it and their own thoughts. Here is the lineup of events:   

Pause DePaul
Monday, September 13 – Friday, September 17 | 11 am – 5 pm
Interfaith Sacred Space: (Student Center 1st floor, inside St. Louise Chapel doors)

How are you, really? Take a moment to pause and reflect in the Interfaith Sacred Space as we begin a new school year. Reflection writing walls will be set up all week to provide a space for the DePaul community to connect with themselves and others through a shared reflection space.

DePaul Community Ritual of Healing & Connection
Monday, September 20 | 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Location: St. Vincent’s Circle with 314AB as rain location

As part of Mission and Ministry Welcome days, we invite you to gather as a community for dialogue and ritual that will acknowledge where we’ve been, consider where we are today, and look forward with hope.  As we start this academic year, join us for this moment of reflection and connection.

Self-Guided Ritual of Healing & Connection
Monday, September 20 – Wednesday, September 23 | 9 am – 5 pm
Location: St. Vincent’s Circle

As an extension of Monday’s guided healing ritual, a self-guided ritual of letting negativity sink away and lifting up our hopes and prayers for the year to come will be available for the DePaul Community from Monday to Wednesday. Look for the healing water!

Where at DePaul is _______?
Monday, September 13 – Thursday, September 30

Want to get to know the people who work with students in Mission and Ministry? You’ll have to find us first! From Monday, September 20 to Thursday, September 30, 2021, we’ll be scattered around campus with prizes and fun. Follow Mission & Ministry on Instagram (or any of our amazing program accounts) to get clues and get to know our staff team. We’ll feature staff from Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care, Vincentian Service and Formation, and Catholic Campus Ministry. See you around! If you spot us, that is.  

Vincentians in Action Instagram
Catholic Campus Ministry Instagram
Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care Instagram 

A Summer of Sustenance

As a child growing up in London, before I would head out to school, my mother would often seek to entice us to finish up our breakfast by saying, “Eat up all of your breakfast before you leave. You’ll need energy for the day. It’s like a car; if you don’t give it petrol it can’t run.” Her words still give me pause for reflection these many years.

Where do we find sustenance for life?

In our time the importance of self-care is frequently emphasized. It makes sense. If you don’t take care of your body, mind, and spirit, how can they take care of you?

During their time, in their own way, both Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac embraced such seeds of wisdom. Because their ministry could certainly take a toll and came at a personal cost, these longtime, caring friends sometimes challenged each other and their communities to take a step back to replenish dwindling reserves. Indeed, as Vincent himself knew, “[I]t’s impossible for us to produce good results if we’re like dry land that yields only thistles.”1 After all, “no one can give what he [or she] does not have.”2

How will you replenish your reservoir this summer? As we combat a global pandemic, this question seems all the more poignant now in light of what has been, and continues to be, one of the most challenging periods in living history.

How are you being invited to nurture your mind, body, and spirit? And how will you recharge the spirit within yourself that invites all to flourish? The invitation awaits. How will you respond?


1 Conference 202, Gentleness (Common Rules, Chap. II, Art. 6), 28 March 1659, CCD, 12:157. See: https://via.library.depaul.edu/coste_en/

2 Letter 1623, To a Seminary Director, CCD, 4:570.

Reflection by: Siobhan O’Donoghue, Director of Faculty/Staff Engagement, Division of Mission and Ministry