Generation Success: Reflecting on our mission this St. Vincent de Paul Feast Day

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
“Action is our entire task,” was one of St. Vincent de Paul’s favorite sayings. He believed firmly in the virtue of action. Rather than only distribute alms, he demonstrated how to be truly in service to the poor. He taught the Church how to open its doors and help underserved populations, including abandoned children, the sick, prisoners and refugees. He dared to enlist the help of women, who responded with enthusiasm.  

St. Vincent was a trailblazer, a true change agent of his day. Throughout his 80 years, he envisioned the underserved rising above to a higher socio-economic status. He believed education was the vehicle for providing that mobility. Four hundred years later, DePaul University continues to carry forward his legacy by educating the next generation of trailblazers. 

In the beginning of September, DePaul’s Office of Multicultural Student Success launched a new initiative dedicated to supporting first-generation college students. Called Generation Success, the program aims to ease the transition to college, providing a cohort of first-generation freshman students and their families the tools and resources necessary to thrive at DePaul.

With a focus on community building, Generation Success creates an individualized plan for each student in the 25-member cohort. A peer mentor, staff and faculty member – who all were the first in their families to attend college – are assigned to each student. Together, they define first-year goals and mitigate any challenges that may arise along the way. Family members will receive quarterly updates about their students and will also have access to a program point person who can answer any questions.  

This Sept. 27, we will honor the anniversary of St. Vincent’s death by gathering as a community to pause and reflect on our Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission. Generation Success is one example of how we carry forward the trailblazing legacy of our namesake. It’s one action on the path to creating an inclusive and engaging experience for all students, a priority in DePaul’s strategic plan. 

This year, the university has planned many Feast Day activities to celebrate St. Vincent, as well as to reflect on your own call to action. Details are provided below, and I invite all members of our university community to attend. 

Thank you for all that you do, and happy Feast Day.

Feast Day events

Annual St. Vincent de Paul Prayer Breakfast
Friday, Sept. 27
8:30 a.m.
Lincoln Park Student Center, room 120 A/B

In honor of the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul, please join the Division of Mission and Ministry for the university’s annual prayer breakfast. The event gathers the university community to reflect on DePaul’s rich mission and heritage in our contemporary context. Ruben Alvarez Silva, associate director of the Steans Center of Community-Based Service Learning will be the keynote speaker. We will also pay tribute to a cherished long-time community partner who will be joining us from Colombia.

Feast Day Mass & lunch - Lincoln Park Campus
Friday, Sept. 27
12 p.m.
St. Louise de Marillac Chapel 
Lincoln Park Student Center, First Floor

A special liturgy will be celebrated in honor of the feast day of Vincent de Paul. Lunch to follow in Suite 104.

Feast Day Mass - Loop Campus
Friday, Sept. 27
12 p.m.
Lewis Center Chapel, First floor

A special liturgy will be celebrated in honor of the feast day of Vincent de Paul, followed by a lunch reception in the DePaul Center, 11th floor, North Café.

Vinny Fest!
Friday, Sept. 27
2 – 4 p.m.
Ray Meyer Fitness Center

This festive carnival builds community and celebrates St. Vincent de Paul’s Feast Day. Games, photos with St. Vincent, prizes and food are a few of the planned festivities. 

Feast Day BBQ
Sunday, Sept. 29
6 p.m.
St. Vincent de Paul Church Lawn

Sunday Night Mass
Sunday, Sept. 29
8:30 p.m.
St. Vincent de Paul Church