Founded by immigrants, America has been called a “debtor” nation because we owe so much of our language and culture to other nationalities. At times, the many and diverse personalities that have found their way to our shores have clashed. And yet, like gold tested in fire (to borrow a Biblical phrase), out of those differences has emerged a great nation. That diversity is reflected in the Latin phrase found in our nation’s seal: E Pluribus Unum, or “Out of the many, one.”
So, too, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is great because it’s made up of people of many cultures, many races, many walks of life, many points of view. Our diversity, like that of the nation’s, reflects our strength. Even our Catholic faith commands us to embrace diversity because the very word “catholic” means “universal.”
While trying to communicate across these many differences may be challenging, the reward is a stronger, more resilient organization. Vincentians should see the face of Christ in each other as much as we see Him in those we serve.