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Journal of the Irish Province of the Congregation of the Mission

From the first Issue...

To use the name “Vincentian” implies a wish to share the ideal, the thought patterns, of Saint Vincent. Regular contact with Saint Vincent through his writings is the normal way of doing this. In this first issue and in succeeding ones members of the Province will have a twice yearly renewal of their awareness of Saint Vincent. It is to be hoped that this will aid them both in personal piety and in preaching.
There are many ways of being a good member of the Congregation of the Mission. While this is already illustrated in the various com- munity houses of the Province, each with its own individuality, in the life in Saint Justin and of the Beati of the Congregation there is a com- mentary on our Common Rules that has been tested by the authority of the Church. To enable us to draw value from their experience, aspects of their lives will be brought to our attention in later issues of Colloque.
The Irish Province had an existence before its affiliation to the Congregation of the Mission. Its history has always shown an interesting variation from the common norm. Solid pastoral drive and imaginative administration have been matched by electric clashes of personality and perversities that are humorous only in retrospect. From the archives of the Province Father James Murphy has drawn a selection for the current issue and has promised to make this a regular feature of Colloque.
This journal is intended to be a means of communication within the Province. We hope that we will be able to add in later issues a Forum in which people can set out their ideas, particularly about the Province and its works. Those who wish for a platform should contact the Editor.
I would like to thank Father James Murphy and Father Thomas Davitt for their patient help in the development of this first issue.

From the 2008 Editorial...

For the first time, almost all of the articles in a Colloque are from sources other than confreres of the Irish Province. Perhaps it is a significant change and I encourage confreres to take up the baton of those like Sean Farrell (who recommended the excellent article by Alison Forrestal) and Pat Collins (who introduced the VIA to Colloque): if there are articles you come across which might be of interest to Colloque readers, please send them on; or if you know people who have an interest in any aspect of Vincentian Studies, encourage them to write for us. It takes the pressure off the confreres of the Irish Province but, far more signifi- cantly, it makes us aware that the Vincentian charism is something in which we share with others, rather than something that we possess and then share out. It reminds us also that Vincent (like Louise and others) is a powerful figure, inspiring people in many walks of life and in ways that may be very different to those we have known.
Dr Forrestal came to know Vincent principally as a figure in 17th century history and has come to admire him and his endeavours in various ways; her article in this journal looks at Vincent and govern- ment. In this, she is linked with other students of history, like Susan O’Brien and Ruth Manning in England, who have traced the influence of ‘vincentian’ approaches in nursing and other fields.
Pat Collins was very taken by the work of VIA (Vincentians in Action) and their methodology for reflection, which is based on an article by Fr Weisner.
Many years ago, I read Sr Jean Miller’s booklet of reflections on writing out the names of all the sisters of the English Province. I have always admired it and was delighted when Sr Sarah King-Turner gave permission to publish it. It is a reminder that our history is composed not merely of data but of real people who have walked this way before us and with us. Perhaps, each of us has our own list of names; those who have inspired and challenged us.
Peggy Brewer’s letter to me was a private one but I was very taken with her reflections on attending a Catholic Eucharist as a member of one of the Churches of the Reform and asked her permission to reprint it.
There are a number of obituaries in this edition but that of Fr John Doyle is still to come. The editor begs your indulgence in this; time has been at a premium these past months and some things escaped his atten- tion (and, apparently, his computer’s confines!)
The astute reader will note that Colloque 55 is dated as the Spring 2008 edition; this is because there was no edition at all in 2007. If Colloque is to continue, we will need confreres to write articles or to search out other articles which may be of interest to our readers.