Holistic Wellness and Spirituality for Vincent’s Feast Day!

          Take care DePaul entails taking care of yourself, others and our community. This idea of care and wellness is nothing new to the Vincentian tradition. Over 400 years ago Saint Vincent de Paul shared this same vision of holistic wellness and understood the importance of taking care of communities. In fact, the Vincentian mission grew from a recognition of the spiritual poverty in rural France. Vincent grew to understand that spiritual and physical needs both required care and attention – they were not separate. This holistic approach to relationships and responding to the needs within a community is part of the DNA of our DePaul tradition. This week in celebration of that tradition it’s Vinny Fest!

          Vinny Fest is DePaul’s annual celebration of the feast day of Saint Vincent de Paul on September 27th! Saint Vincent de Paul was alive over 400 years ago. You may be wondering what could possibly be relevant from his life to our world today? It turns out there are a lot of parallels to Saint Vincent’s world and ours. Saint Vincent and his followers always served and cared in a holistic manner; addressing both physical, as well as, spiritual needs. Holistic care is important for ourselves and those around us. We can engage in holistic care by…

  • Starting by listening to people’s needs
  • Building long term, sustainable relationships
  • Taking the time to really ask and listen to how someone is really doing 
  • Building a community committed to a broader vision of the world
  • Community care & self care are key to sustainability 
  • Contemplation, time for solitude, re-rooting self in values
  • Friends

          In the spirit of holistic Vincentian care and wellness, some staff in the Division of Mission and Ministry were asked what comes to mind when you hear spiritual wellness? Here is some of what they shared…

  • Balance: finding a healthy balance in life between different areas. This means nurturing and developing not just our physical or intellectual wellness but being sure we also give attention to our emotional, spiritual, psychological and social health.
  • Transparency: being transparent yourself as much as possible. One of the Vincentian virtues is simplicity. This can mean physical simplicity in our surroundings however, it also means simplicity in our being; being true to ourselves, being honest and being direct with ourselves and in our relationships.
  • Connection: creating and maintaining a connection to oneself, to others and to something greater than you.
  • Community: community with all beings and environments around us – we are not meant to be solitary beings! Finding a community is important to nourishing our spiritual health. Often, we find deep meaning and spiritual nourishment in the love we share and receive in our communities. 
  • Vision: last but not least is vision. Vision of another world that we know is possible. We hope to better ourselves, the people around us and our communities and create a world based on love, acceptance and growth as we move forward. However, to do so, we must have a vision for what that world may look like; a vision of that world which we know is possible and achievable.

          Our focus is often placed on physical wellness however it is important to remember we are whole people and we must care for ourselves and others in a way that recognizes and respects every aspect of our beings. Spiritual wellness can look very different from person to person. Often, spirituality is linked with religiousness and while this may be true for some people, spirituality is very personal and may not be related to religion in any way. As we move deeper into the school year, remember to take time to look after your spiritual health as well as the other areas of your life in addition to your studies.The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is here to support you now and throughout the year. We are here to listen, help and meet you where you are. Finding a healthy balance and learning to nurture your whole self can be difficult. If you would like support or resources please reach out at any time via email, phone or social media (see below), we’d love to hear from you!


Phone: 773-325-7129

Email: hpw@depaul.edu

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul


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