Home visits have been entwined in the Vincentian Family’s service from its inception. Upon founding the first Confraternities of Charity in 1617, Vincent instructed the members to go ‘two by two’ to visit the sick and disadvantaged. This practice was extended to both the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity. Indeed, Vincent inverted typical convent living, telling the Daughters their convent was to be the home of the sick. Continuing this spirit, Frederic Ozanam made home visits the ‘principal work’ of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Fr Robert Maloney thus demonstrates how home visits came to define the Vincentian Family’s service. This raises the question: how to conduct a home visit? Fr Maloney reflects on both the wisdom of the Gospels and Vincent in this regard. The themes of listening, friendship and honesty emerge, as does the need to work towards empowering individuals to foster systemic change in their lives. By implementing these lessons, the Vincentian Family today follows in a centuries-long tradition of effective and intimate service to the poor.
Read the article: Robert Maloney CM, Home Visits in the Vincentian Tradition
- Jesus warned of ‘seeing without seeing’ – how can we avoid this?
- How can we better empower individual through our home visits?