Diocese of Austin Council
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Leadership Formation
James Davis RN MSN MAHCM
1. The National Strategic Plan for education and
formation and leadership development
2. Hay Vincentian Leadership Project Survey Findings
3. The genesis of the Vincentian Pathway
4. Components of the Vincentian Pathway
5. Implementing the Vincentian Pathway
6. Revitalizing and Expanding Vincentian Spiriuality
7. Challenges and Solutions
He rose from supper, took off his outer
garments. He took a towel and tied it
around his waist. Then he poured water into
a basin and began to wash the disciples
feet…. Do you realize what I have done for
you? You call me teacher and master and
rightly so, for indeed, I am. If I therefore,
the master and teacher have washed your
feet you ought to wash one another’s feet. I
have given you a model to follow.
John 13:4-5; 12-14


#9. …If we wish to lead a dignified and
fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others
and seek their good. In this regard, several
sayings of Saint Paul will not surprise us: “The
love of Christ urges us on.” (2 Cor 5:14)…
#10. …For here we discover a profound law
of reality: that life is attained and matures in
the measure that it is offered up in order to
give life to others. This is certainly what
mission means.

Development of a “program that emphasizes
unity, increases membership, offers
formation and opportunities to develop
leadership at every level of the Society.”
1.
2.
3.
4.
Summarize the formation activities within
the Society and to define Vincentian
leadership development
To better understand memberships’
perceptions and expectations of their own
leadership skills and abilities
To identify areas for skill development and
training
To offer recommendations of content and
delivery systems for an integrated
Vincentian leadership development program



Spiritual Formation: Primary strength is our
faith. Members feel called
Ministerial Formation: View ourselves as
advocates for the poor “visible sign of the
Church…developing their selves in the
ministerial formation
Human Formation: Operating within a
network of charity, members view themselves
as part of a community.


Articulation and identification of
organizational values and leadership
principles: Members not seeing the
connections between spiritual values and
leadership principles
Standards, Guidelines and Accountability:
Members identified the need to identify and
communicate standards. Folks having a hard
time figuring out how all of this fits together
and aligns them.


Communication: Desire to be nonjudgemental, frank and honest, live the
values, but uncertain how to communicate
frankly and candidly during times of change
especially. Conflict management and
negotiation requested
Top Five: Communication, Team Building,
Adapting to change, Coaching and Mentoring
Conflict Negotiation and Resolution

Training and leadership development should
be based on four pillars:
◦ Vincentian Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching
◦ Vincentian Heritage
◦ Vincentian Mission of Social Service
◦ Vincentian Leadership
“The de Paul Leadership Project suggests a leadership
development and formation program designed to
build on the strengths of the Society and to assist the
membership with seeing, understanding and
experiencing the unified whole of Vincentian
spirituality, heritage, mission of social service and
leadership and it’s relationship with Society Works”

Jesus modeled a life whereby service and
leadership were two sides of the same coin.
Therefore since Vincentians are called to
service, we are also called to lead, whether or
not we are in a formal position or titled to do
so. In short, leadership is influence. When
we influence others we are leading in some
way. Consequently, we ask: “What is the
Vincentian way of leadership?” The Vincentian
Pathway is a way of asking and answering this
questions. The term “pathway” was chosen
because our lives are a continuing journey of
growth.”


A Resolution to approve the Vincentian
Pathway - A Process for Ongoing Formation
as a Vincentian…Growing in Vincentian
Leadership:
The Society has long recognized the need to
develop skills, attitudes and training to help
members fulfill the roles and responsibilities
necessary to provide efficient, effective and
efficacious service to those in need.


All levels of leadership in the Society
recognize the need to continue to enhance
the development of competencies among the
members to meet the ever changing needs
and diversity of persons served.
All Vincentians are Servant Leaders, grounded
in Vincentian spirituality, friendship, and
service.


The Society envisions a membership engaged
in spiritual formation and steeped in the
Servant-Leadership model of St. Vincent de
Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, Blessed Frederic
Ozanam and Blessed Rosalie Rendu.
This is a Pathway which begins with Ozanam
Orientation, Serving in Hope and Invitation for
Renewal and allows members to design and
implement the formation and training most
important for their roles.


Spirituality: To provide an ever deepening
understanding and appreciation of the
founding charism, mission, vision, values and
Rule of the Society.
Friendship: To find mutual support, growth in
vocation and the experience of living the Rule
together. Through Conference and other
Vincentian meetings to share the challenges
and blessings found in home visits and direct
contact with those in need.




Service:
To bring hope and tangible aid to those who
are suffering or in need.
To discover and strive to correct the root
causes of this suffering through education,
advocacy, and systemic change.
To reflect the face of Christ and the love of
God to those we serve.



Servant Leadership:
To familiarize all members with the
characteristics of Servant Leadership
To develop individuals who fill the ministry of
leadership in the model of Christ and Vincent
de Paul

#188. The Church has realized that the need to heed
this plea is itself born of the liberating action of grace
within each of us, and thus it is not a question of a
mission reserved only to a few: “The Church, guided by
the Gospel of mercy and by love for mankind, hears the
cry for justice and intends to respond to it with all her
might. In this context we can understand Jesus’
command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them
something to eat!” (Mk. 6:37) It means working to
eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to
promote the integral development of the poor, as well
as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real
needs which we encounter.
Servant Leadership
(Rule: Part 3, Statute 11)
Leadership positions in the Society, at
any level, are always to be accepted as
service to Christ, the members and the
poor. Servant leadership is done in
imitation of Jesus who said: “For the
Son of Man came not to be served but
to serve, and give his life as a ransom
for many.

Presidents as Servant Leaders
(Rule: Part 1, 3.11)
Following Christ’s example, the Presidents at all
levels of the Society endeavor to be servant
leaders. They provide an encouraging
atmosphere in which the talents, capacities and
spiritual charism of the members are identified,
developed and put to the service of the poor and
the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The President
of the Conference or Council will have special
responsibility for promoting Vincentian
spirituality.


The four components of the Vincentian
Pathway are inter-related and as we are
challenged and grow through one
component, we will find challenge and growth
through the others.
This process will develop our Vincentian
vocation and prepare us for the many and
different Servant Leadership Roles that God
may call us to assume throughout our
Vincentian life.

This is a tool to be used by the Conference President
and Spiritual Advisor to guide Vincentians through
their formation journey. Since 2000, Formation
materials and programs have been created through
Goal 1 of the Strategic Plan.

Discovering, Developing, Deepening and
Discerning our Vincentian vocation
SPIRITUALITY
□
Vincentian Reflections Used at Conference Meetings
□
□
Ozanam Orientation Part III: What is our Vincentian
Spirituality
Serving in Hope
Module I: Our Vincentian Vocation
□
Rule
Part I: Chapter 2
□
Manual
Chapter 3: 2 Vincentian Spirituality
DISCOVERING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DISCOVER our Vincentian Vocation:
FRIENDSHIP
□
Ozanam Orientation
Part I and Part II
□
Serving in Hope
Module VI: Our Vincentian Conference
□
Rule
Part I: Chapter 1
□
Manual
Chapters 1:1 Vincentian Family and
1.2 SVdP
□
Vincentian Celebrations Annual Commitment, Funerals
and Wakes
DISCOVERING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DISCOVER our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVICE
□
Ozanam Orientation
Part VIII: Home Visit
□
Serving in Hope
Module III: Our Vincentian Heritage
□
Rule
Part I: Chapter 4
□
Manual
Chapters 3.1 Fund. Principles and 3.5
Vincentian Prayers
□
Vincentian Celebrations
Liturgy and Prayers for
Founders
DISCOVERING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DISCOVER our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVANT LEADERSHIP
□
Ozanam Orientation
□
Vincentian Leadership: Conference President I-VII
□
Rule
Part I: 5-6; Part III: Statute 11-21
□
Manual
2.1 Conferences
□
Vincentian Celebrations: Commissioning Ceremonies:
President and Officers
Part IV-VII
DEVELOPING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEVELOP our Vincentian Vocation:
SPIRITUALITY
□
Serving in Hope
Module II: Our Vincentian Spirituality
□
Rule
Part III: Statute 1,2,4,9
□
Manual
Chapter 4: Vincentian Saints and
Blesseds
□
Turn Everything to Love
□
Faces of Holiness
Chapter 1,2,6
Faces of Jesus and Mary
DEVELOPING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEVELOP our Vincentian Vocation:
FRIENDSHIP
□
Serving in Hope
□
Rule
Module V: Our Vincentian Rule
□
Part I: Chapter 3; Part III: Statute 3,
5,6,7
Manual
Chapter 1.3 Rule and 2.5: Spiritual
Advisors
Turn Everything to Love Chapter 3,5,7
□
Faces of Holiness
□
Faces of Vincent de Paul and Louise
de Marillac
DEVELOPING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEVELOP our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVICE
□
Serving in Hope
Module IV: Our Vincentian Mission
□
Rule
Part I: Chapter 7; Part III: Statute 8
□
Manual
Chapter 3.3 Sacred Scripture
□
Turn Everything to Love
□
Faces of Holiness
Chapters 8-11
Faces of Frederic Ozanam and
Rosalie Rendu
DEVELOPING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEVELOP our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVANT LEADERSHIP
□
Vincentian Leadership: Council President Chapters 1-6
□
Rule
Part III: Accountability—Statute 22-31
□
Manual
Chapter 2.3,2.4
□
Youth and Young Adult Chapter 3-5
□
Turn Everything to Love Chapters 12-15
DEEPENING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEEPEN our Vincentian Vocation:
SPIRITUALITY
□
Diversity/Multicultural
Session 1,2,3
□
Voice of the Poor
Session 1,2
□
Systemic Change
Prologue and Chapter 3
□
Social Justice Teachings Life and Dignity; Call to
Family and Community
Vincentian Servant Leader Listening and Empathy
□
DEEPENING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEEPEN our Vincentian Vocation:
FRIENDSHIP
□
Diversity/Multicultural
Session 4,5,6
□
Voice of the Poor
Session 3,4,5,6
□
Systemic Change
Chapter 4-6-9
□
Social Justice Teachings
□
Vincentian Servant Leader
Rights and Responsibility;
Solidarity
Healing, Awareness and
Persuasion
DEEPENING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEEPEN our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVICE
□
Diversity/Multicultural
Session 7-10
□
Voice of the Poor
Session 7-9
□
Systemic Change
Chapter 12,13
□
Social Justice Teachings
□
Vincentian Servant Leader
Option for the Poor; Dignity of
Work
Conceptualization, Foresight,
Stewardship
DEEPENING
The Vincentian Pathway helps us to
DEEPEN our Vincentian Vocation:
SERVANT LEADERSHIP
□
Governance: Council/Board
Chapter 2-7
□
Diversity/Multicultural
Session 11-12, Appendix 1
□
Voice of the Poor
Session 10
□
Social Justice Teachings
The Care for God’s Creation
□
Vincentian Servant Leader
Workshop (DVD)
DISCERNING
All Vincentians are called to be servant
leaders, and there are skills required of
all Vincentians as conference members
and when working on a committee.
Some Vincentians are called to
DISCERN a formal leadership role at
some time in their journey. There are a
set of skills that must be considered
and supported for those willing to
serve in formal leadership roles.
DISCERNING
• On the National Website, www.svdpusa.org, on the
SVdP Members Information Site home page, there is
a tab for Programs and Tools. Click on Pathway
Toolbox and you will find a description of the
resources available to fulfill the competencies
needed for each leadership role. This is not an allinclusive list of resources available. As more
resources become available the Pathway Toolbox
will be expanded.
DISCERNING
• When you get to the Vincentian Pathway Toolbox
page, you will find the following paragraph:
• WALKING THE VINCENTIAN PATHWAY: This web
page provides a resource list for the Vincentian Pathway
program. There are four phases to the Vincentian
formative journey: discovering, developing, deepening
and discerning. The first three phases define the
journey of all Vincentians. Phase IV, discerning, is that
part of Vincentian formation in which we explore and
prepare for our roles as leaders within the Society. To
find the resources needed to help Vincentians through
discovering, developing and deepening, click here.
DISCERNING
• When you click on “click here” you will
get a list of resources – the same list as
shown on page 8 of this document.
The difference is that, when you click
on one of those resources, you will be
linked directly to where you can
download or purchase the item listed.
DISCERNING
• The next paragraph on the Vincentian Pathway
Toolbox page is the following:
• The resources for phase IV, discerning, are identified
below. You will find a list of competencies that each
resource supports. Click on the name of the competency
to see the supporting resources. The name of a
resource, a brief description, and information on how to
get this resource will appear on another page. The
resources listed may be books, publications, seminars,
webinars, and links to other web sources. The resources
referred to here are for development of skill sets related
to various roles of Vincentians. This web reference will
grow as resources become available.
VINCENTIAN FORMATION RESOURCE MATERIALS
Order On Line: WWW.SVDPUSA.ORG
Catalog and Order Form also available on web page
Phone: 314-576-3993, ext. 210
A VINCENTIAN GUIDE TO DIVERSITY/MULTICULTURAL ISSUES
FACES OF HOLINESS
GOVERNANCE: COUNCIL AND BOARD
OZANAM ORIENTATION (offered at the Council Level)
SEEDS OF HOPE
SERVING IN HOPE (English and Spanish)
SPIRITUAL ADVISOR MANUAL
SPIRITUAL ADVISOR TRAINING: (Members Information site-Documents)
THE MANUAL (English and Spanish)
THE RULE
TURN EVERYTHING TO LOVE
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT HANDBOOK
VINCENTIAN CELEBRATIONS
VINCENTIAN LEADERSHIP: CONFERENCE PRESIDENT
VINCENTIAN LEADERSHIP: COUNCIL PRESIDENT
VINCENTIAN SERVANT LEADER—WORKSHOP DVD AND DOCUMENTS CD
VINCENTIAN REFLECTIONS (also available on svdpusa.org)
VOICE OF THE POOR
Serving in Hope
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Are your Councils/Conferences:
Desiring to grow in spirituality?
Wanting to renew?
Then SERVING IN HOPE is the answer!
MODULE I: Our Vincentian Vocation
MODULE II: Our Vincentian Spirituality
MODULE III: Our Vincentian Heritage
MODULE IV: Our Vincentian Mission
MODULE V: Our Vincentian Rule
MODULE VI: Our Vincentian Conferenc
Discerning

A-Basic Competencies
.

E-Treasurer and Board
Members
o
A1-Leadership
o
A2-Meeting Skills

F-Spiritual Advisor
o
A3-Basic Fundraising

G-Board Member
o
A4-Teams

H-Council Presidents
o
A5-Systemic Change

I-Council Spiritual Advisor
o
A6-Management Skills

J-Development/Fundraising
o
A7-Personal Development

K-Communication

B-Conference President

L-Voice of the Poor

C-Person Responsible for
Recruitment

M-Diversity Committee Chair

N-Strategic Goal Leader

D-Secretary
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• What is the role of the Spiritual Advisor in
your conference?
– Encouraging Vincentian growth in “every”
conference member.
• What is the role of the President?
– Allowing the needed time to “form”
Vincentians during a Conference/Council
meeting
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• Members of the Society are united in
the same spirit of poverty and of
sharing. They encourage one another
to live a profound spiritual life and
spirit of prayer. For this purpose, the
role of a Spiritual Advisor is very
important.
(Rule: Part 3, 3.13)
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• Following Christ’s example, the Presidents at all
levels of the Society endeavor to be servant leaders.
They provide an encouraging atmosphere in which
the talents, capacities and spiritual charism of the
members are identified, developed and put to the
service of the poor and the Society of St. Vincent de
Paul. The President of the Conference or Council
will have special responsibility for promoting
Vincentian spirituality.
(Rule: Part 1, 3.11)
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• The Vincentian Pathway itself integrates current
formation that begins with the “Ozanam Orientation,”
“Serving in Hope” modules, and “Invitation to
Renewal,” as well as new and emerging materials to
support ongoing Vincentian formation.
– Help Conference members understand this
process is intended to recognize the individual
journey as well as the community journey and to
strengthen current formation.
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• Frame the Conference Discussion in the
context of the resolution:
• SVdP National Strategic Plan includes development of a
“program that emphasizes unity, increases membership,
offers formation and opportunities to develop leadership
at every level of the Society”. The Vincentian Pathway
IS the selected program.
Implementing the Pathway
Conference by Conference
• All levels of leadership in the Society recognize the need
to continue to enhance the development of
competencies among the members to meet the ever
changing needs and diversity of persons served. This
development must be grounded in the spiritual formation
of Vincentians based on the charism of the Saints, and
guided by Servant Leaders in the tradition of St. Vincent
de Paul
• The Vincentian Pathway design is based on the
feedback from focus groups conducted by the Society
with the help of consultants from Vincent on Leadership:
The Hay Project at DePaul University
Implementing the Pathway Conference
by Conference
• The Vincentian Pathway itself integrates current
formation that begins with the “Ozanam Orientation,”
“Serving in Hope” modules, and “Invitation to
Renewal,” as well as new and emerging materials to
support ongoing Vincentian formation.
– Engage the group in discussion regarding
how best to implement in the Conference.
– Land on a plan and timeline and begin.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Why are we doing this now, how does it
fit in?
– The strategic plan points the Society specifically
towards the ongoing transformation that will be
necessary to optimize the changing needs of the poor
and continue to attract and retain
Vincentians. Commitment to the Catholic Social
Justice Agenda impels the Society to adopt cutting
edge strategies to impact poverty at all levels within
communities. This requires ever more diligent
spiritual formation and educational support for
Vincentians.
The Joy of the Gospel: EVANGELII GAUDIUM,
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
By Pope Francis
• #199. Our commitment does not consist exclusively in
activities or programmes of promotion and assistance;
what the Holy Spirit mobilizes is not an unruly activism,
but above all an attentiveness which considers the other
“in a certain sense as one with ourselves”. This loving
attentiveness is the beginning of a true concern for their
person which inspires me effectively to seek their good.
This entails appreciating the poor in their goodness, in
their experience of life, in their culture, and in their ways
of living the faith.
Frequently Asked Questions
• How does this support and exemplify the “Systemic
Change” agenda the Society has identified as
necessary to transform lives?
– Transforming the lives of the poor and vulnerable through
systemic change requires the willingness of Vincentians to
continue to transform personally and as a community. The
significant cultural changes needed to support individuals and
families moving out of poverty calls Vincentians to influence
society at many levels from person-to-person to the
legislature. The core person-to-person work at the heart of the
Conference must continue to evolve to attend to the increasing
diversity and plurality of those served. This requires the next
level of vigilance in personal formation. Personal and
Community Spiritual Formation was at the heart of Ozanam’s
intention.
Frequently Asked Questions
• How do we actually use this document?
– The Conference Record is intended to support the
President/Spiritual Advisors as they plan for ongoing
formation. It will help to identify what has already
been done, and what is needed, based on the specific
issues and demands within each Conference. It will
also increase awareness of available resources and
stimulate Vincentian leaders to identify additional
needs.
The Joy of the Gospel: EVANGELII GAUDIUM,
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
By Pope Francis
• #210. It is essential to draw near to new forms
of poverty and vulnerability, in which we are
called to recognize the suffering Christ, even if
this appears to bring us no tangible and
immediate benefits. I think of the homeless, the
addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the
elderly who are increasingly isolated and
abandoned and many others.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Is there a formal reporting responsibility based on
the document?
• Use of the Conference Record supports a working plan
for ongoing formation and can be used to keep
Vincentians aware of the Conference expectations and
offerings. It can also be used to help the President and
Spiritual Advisors summarize, evaluate, and make
changes to the Conference Formation plan as needed.
Discussion
Challenges
And
Solutions
Blessed are the leaders who have not sought the high places, but who have
been drafted into service because of their ability and willingness to serve.
Blessed are the leaders who know where they are going, why they are going,
and how to get there.
Blessed are the leaders who know no discouragement, who present no alibi.
Blessed are the leaders who know how to lead without being dictatorial; true
leaders are humble.
Blessed are the leaders who seek the best for those they serve.
Blessed are the leaders who develop new leaders.
Blessed are the leaders who march with the group, interpreting correctly the
signs on the pathway that leads to success.
Blessed are the leaders who have their head in the clouds but their feet on the
ground.
Blessed are the leaders who consider leadership an opportunity for service.
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SVDP Diocese of Austin Council- Building Spirituality Within with