I was particularly inspired by Sister Paule's presentation on St. Vincent De Paul and Blessed Fredrick Ozanam. When Sister shared the story of the napkin, it was a sharp reminder that we need to serve the poor and respect them. I believe that as V.O.P. Vincentians, we are in a position to do this in "a special way”. We, as advocates, try to have the "ears" of the "Rich" (Legislators), in response to the stories the poor share with us, try to change the legislators minds and hearts and to see the poor as their fellow Idahoans, who are suffering due to the legislation that is not passed. (Increase in minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, among others).
We also shared with the Council a presentation on predatory lending alternatives for the people we serve, who are caught in a debt trap. We provided handouts to the conference presidents to share with their conferences, inviting then to come to the July meeting and possibly vote to go forward with the proposal.
I hope we can visit our senators and representatives while they are in town, during the summer recess. They seem to have no idea of the everyday impact of the bills they support on the people we serve.
We are not issuing bulletin inserts during the summer, but we plan to re-start in the fall and hopefully stir interest and even some indignation among our fellow Catholics, as well as educate them as to the issues that affect us all but especially the poor. The Pope’s new encyclical should stir some interest.
Contributed by Kelly Anderson