The Vincentian Ethos and Charism
VLM follows a 400 year tradition begun by St. Vincent de Paul who, in a gentle yet effective way, worked among the most neglected people of seventeenth century France.
He also trained missionaries according to his principles of respecting the dignity of the poor. These priests became known as the Community of the Mission (CM) or the Vincentian Fathers or, in some countries including Ethiopia, the Lazarist Fathers. Some of these missionaries were also sent to Ireland and Scotland to work with vulnerable communities including the deaf community and the Travelling community in Ireland.
The Daughters of Charity were founded by St. Louise de Marillac and have provided healthcare, education, support and kindness to people in need since 1633. From their faith-based perspective, these religious communities respond to the needs of the underprivileged regardless of race, religion or beliefs in some of the most extreme conditions across the world.
VLM volunteers are welcomed from all backgrounds, whether faith is a motivation or not. We believe that once someone is willing to commit to working with the Daughters of Charity or the Vincentian Fathers and are ready to serve those in need with dignity and respect, they are already living the spirit of this mission.
Our hope is that the volunteers will be open to the spiritual life of the communities where they will be hosted while on placement. Indeed, most volunteers returned touched, in some way, by their experiences overseas and with a greater understanding of the Vincentian charism in serving the poorest of the poor.