Mrs. Begley, fourth Grade Teacher at Saint Elizabeth Seton School, is leading a group of committed fourth Graders to find a deeper and joyful way to live their Christian faith and the Vincentian mission. We constantly look for ways to help our students grow in their relationship with God and the Blessed Mother, as well as incorporate Saint Vincent’s charism of serving the poor and needy, with humility and selflessness.
A commissioning ceremony with 14 of our students took place during morning assembly. When joining this national VMY group, a promise is made to serve those most in need. Two sets of words summarize the purpose of VMY: “To Jesus with Mary” and “To Live, to Contemplate, and to Serve.” Through this journey of Christian living, each young person is given the opportunity to envision his/her life as part of God’s project, as a call to mission and as a testimony of Christ’s presence in our hearts and in our midst.
The Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY) Group came about following the apparitions of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré, in July of 1830. Its purpose: “To form members to live a solid faith following Jesus Christ the evangelizer of the poor. To live and pray like Mary, with simplicity and humility, taking on the spirituality of the Magnificat. To arouse, animate and sustain the missionary spirit of the association, especially through missionary experiences to those who are poorest and to youth.”
Our 14 students made a beautiful promise before faculty, staff and the school:
“We thank you Jesus for loving me and sending your mother Mary to journey with us on earth. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and before our school, we promise to continue to live as part of the VMY, in the spirit of Mary’s ‘yes’. We want to live in the world with our whole heart, caring for those who suffer. We want to recognize God in all of creation – especially in people who are poor. We want to serve others with a loving and humble heart. As a sign of our promise we welcome the VMY pin as a link of hope between Mary and us. May Mary support us in our call to walk each day toward Christ and our sisters and brothers who are poor.”
A VMY pin was presented that is now worn daily as a symbol of their promise. Our VMY group meets twice a month and service projects have already begun. Early next year they will lead a school-wide service project and plan to show others how best to serve those most in need in our community.