DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Vincentian personalism

Vincentian personalism during times of uncertainty

Vincentian artwork
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
The circumstances of the current COVID-19 crisis have challenged and affected each of us, our families and loved ones in profound ways. This situation invites us to a response rooted in the core values that have long been at the heart of who we are as an institution and a university community. We are DePaul, with a mission deeply rooted in the spirit and life example of St. Vincent de Paul.   

Fr. Memo
Rev. Guillermo Campuzano, C.M. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)

In our university mission statement, we say: “the DePaul community is above all characterized by ennobling the God-given dignity of each person." During these times of uncertainty and crisis we must recall this fundamental commitment in our approach. Vincentian personalism, therefore, is a way in which we can make this commitment real in our work and relationships. 

We speak, as Vincent did, of being a community gathered together for the sake of a common mission. This crisis invites us to compassionately navigate the balance between our need to care for ourselves and the need for all of us to care for each other. Please consider all the communities that you are a part of here at DePaul—whether student organizations or clubs, faith and service communities, academic departments, the various colleges, office teams, residence halls, campuses, etc. They are resources for you, and you are a resource for them. Let us count on each other, stay connected, and be supportive and considerate of one another. Now is a time to be creative and to remember, as Vincent did, that love is inventive to infinity.

When we speak of community, we are considering also our commitment to the service of others and to broader society. This crisis has made evident how interconnected we are as a global human family, and that our actions impact those beyond us in ways we cannot always see. We especially consider those who may be marginalized or forgotten, and those whose voice may not be heard. Our Vincentian question, What must be done?, emerges from an ethical heart of service and speaks to our desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world. We are called today to move beyond “me" to “we."

We move forward aware that this crisis may continue to unfold unpredictably and for an indefinite period. Be aware that as we make plans and seek to act, we will often make these decisions with imperfect and incomplete information. In the face of such uncertainty we must remember that for Vincent de Paul wisdom meant prudently taking action step by step, deliberately and with care.

Know that our thoughts and our prayers are with all of you. Also know that our staff are available remotely to be of help and service to you. We trust that as a DePaul community we will come together to meet the challenges of this crisis with creativity and a shared purpose. We look forward to continuing to stay in communication with you in the coming days.