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Spirituality of Systemic Change?

Guillermo Campuzano, CM DePaul University

The journey continues in the footsteps of our founders

same spirit

Charismatic Hermeneutics


B. Frederic Ozanam

From our Founding Spiritual Experience To a Spiritual Vincentian Movement To a School of Spirituality

Spirituality of Systemic Change

To Drink from our own Wells
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

A New Spirituality to Face the Challenges of the XXI Century

A member of the familyAn outsider speaking

VINCENTIAN Institutional Crisis in the USA
- When does suffering lead to life? Our When - Where is life calling us to go? Our Where - Are we still willing to go (do we have the energy) where life is calling us with urgency? Our How

Where, When, How of the Vincentian Family Today?

Vincentian Family

Systemic Change Charism Spirituality

An Experience of the Spirit (MR 11)

The beginning of the spirituality of systemic change can be in ACTION but it always implies a deep conversion! Mark 1:15

Spirituality is our door to enter into the heart of reality

Spirit / Spirituality

soul (anima) of the identity essence of our being energy of the mission starting point and source of life


Possesses the necessary elements for us to become whole/holy

Implications of Having a Shared Charism

Spiritual affinity Need for collaboration (VC 54) Relationship and Service (CfL 55) Common conscience and determination Communal sense of belonging Common Faith Experience

Vincentian School of Spirituality (SC)

1. A common experience of the Spirit. 2. A methodology: a proper way to read and interpret reality key to our Vincentian Spirituality 3. Elements of diverse/common identity 4. A doctrine 5. A Life Style 6. A specific way to develop our mission: using all our economic, structural and human resources to GO to the POOR of today.

This is my faith this is my experience

(SVDP Letter to Fr. Codoing in Rome - II, 282).

A school of spirituality presupposes a particular emphasis on the mystery

it is a reordering of the great axes of Christianity in order for us to understand and act accordingly in the present time
(G. Gutierrez)
What is this particular emphasis of the Christian Mystery in our Spirituality of Systemic Change?

In search of an ETHOS global homewhere the POOR has also a space

In Greek ethos means existential human dwelling a place that is our habitat where we feel at home! Our own humanness (culture) is our ETHOS Our world is our ETHOS too our common dwelling. To understand this from a systemic perspective in clue for our discussion

Systemic Change is a specific way in which we -VF- want to transform our human ETHOS our world so that ALL can feel at home in this human dwelling with a minimum of peace and justice! We believe that through SC we can contribute (locally and globally) to articulate a minimum consensus to save and regenerate our common home, today crucified due to ecological devastation, international systemic injustice, violence we are called today to ensure a future for this inextricably linked binomial:


REGENERATE Earth - Humanity

1. The cultural-social fabric

-pluralism2. The religious fabric

interreligious dialogue and collaboration in a

post religious world 3. The Ecological Fabric

theological and anthropological ecology and ecological theology and anthropology

Spirituality of SC More than something that is already happening is a possibility to update our identityto overcome our crisis before it is too late

1. We need to overcome our doubts and fears towards this concept: it is impossible to build a spirituality of SC if we do not assume its meaning and challenges 2. If we want the poor to embrace this spirituality toowe need to be attentive that SC is not, in any way, an oppressive or colonialist practice

3. We need to overcome a romantic understanding of SC to avoid calling everything we do SC -with a simple make up of our old works and ways- I honestly dont think that breaking the cycle of poverty is that simple, and we need to understand the negative implications for the one who tries to break these cycles. We can lose friends and reputation! 4. To assume prophetic courage to act, think, pray, and live together in a new way always connecting VF and SC

Closing points to enlarge the context to avoid the (personal and institutional) pre-text John 5: 1-14

1. Spirituality and Faith

Faith: primal urge to give our hearts away, to
trust, to invest, to embrace, to love (William
Lynch, Images of Faith)

Opposite: fury, fear, suicide/death

(H. Richard Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism and Western Culture)

Adult faith is not stable, but in permanent revolution. Keeps involving heartbreak, and thus the movement towards other/Other in a self/giving way

2. Metanoia
Without METANOIA the only thing we will do is a simplistic make-up of our mission to perpetuate our old practices and our oppressive ways If we do not see with new lenses we wont be able to understand where we are called to go

3. Prophecy God talking to the Heart

1. Connection between the primal force (spirituality) of the prophet and his-her imagination 2. Imagination constructing images of what the world should be like, creative, moving, shapes experience, 3. Chief characteristic: can penetrate reality The IRONY -the world will disappoint us, but it is worth investing in-

4. I stand with Francis

From Francis of Assisi to Francis of Rome Recovering the Utopia of the Poor The meaning of this papacy for our Charism his own challenges to our life style in the USA and Canada The Spirit of Vatican II: from 33 years of Hermeneutics of Retrenchment to 6 months of the Hermeneutics of Mission/Reign of God- to retake the voice of the Spirit for all of us the Church of todayThe option of JUSTICE: The Poor Young People

1. Identify concrete seeds of hope in your life, community, congregation in relation to this binomial: Vincentian Family and Systemic Change 2. How can the Vincentian Family effectively contribute to save and regenerate our - existential dwelling ETHOS: humanity/earth 3. Discuss some of the essential elements of the Vincentian School of Spirituality from a Systemic Change perspective