DePaul Welcome Fr. Novak from Ukraine
At the invitation of the CEO Depaul Irleand, David Carroll, members of the Vincentian Family attended a Mass celebrated by Fr. Vitaliy Novak CM, a missionary of the Congregation of the Mission living and working in Ukraine. He is President of the Board of Depaul Ukraine an organisation which is part of the worldwide Vincentian Family. The Mass took place in Backlane chapel.
During Mass Fr. Vitaliy reflected on todays gospel (Luke 6: 6-16) which was about Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. He spoke about how we Vincentians are called to make the same response to this man as Jesus did. We are called to straighten the way for others by offering them kindness and compassion in their suffering. He said that the Vincentian Family is always called to respond to need wherever and whenever we encounter it. He spoke about the Pharisees seeing the law as paramount-, ‘the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him’. But Jesus, ‘knew their thoughts’. He reminds us that charity and mercy are the law that matters most, reaching the heart of the poor and suffering person who is crying out for healing.
When asked about how he kept going he said that at first they were trying to do everything to respond but added that he soon realised that he and his co-workers could only do so much. He quoted St. Vincent de Paul, saying that it is important not to burn out because then they would be able to help no one.
St. Vincent de Paul said, ‘It is a ruse of the devil, by which he deceives good people, to induce them to do more than they are able, so that they end up not being able to do anything. The spirit of God urges one gently to do the good that can be done reasonably, so that it may be done perseveringly and for a long time’
He also said that Vincent de Paul worked in a war situation throughout his entire life and in the midst of this founded organisations like AIC (Association Internationale de la Charite-Ladies of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission also known as the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity to organise help and relief for the weak and suffering people of his time.
The Vincentian Family are called to do the same in Ukraine. Collaboration is still at the heart of the Vincentian Family Movement in Ireland as we continue to work together to bring the good news of Christ to those who are experiencing poverty.