Father Bruce Krause, CM shares this meditation on the Vincentian charism:
There is a myth as strong as the American Dream itself that each of us is self-made. Perhaps that is why the “Marlboro Man” was so popular for many years because it projected just that kind of image. Rugged, handsome, independent, and self-made.
There may be some women who fit this description as well. Perhaps, the women astronauts, or Olympic stars, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Martha Stewart (before her fall in stature).
In truth, though, we are all greatly influenced by others, including the way we grow in living out the Vincentian charism. I truly do not believe that I would be here today were it not for the influences of Irma Strother, a math teacher in grade school, John Kuykendal (college professor), my parents, Fr. James Salway, CM, and Vie Thorgren. A quick glance at Vincent’s life reveals much the same. Monsieur de Comet, the De Gondi Family, Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle, St. Francis de Sales, St. Louise de Marillac, St. Jane de Chantal, and many others had a profound influence upon Vincent. Certainly what was true of Vincent is noticeable in the lives of other venerated members of the Vincentian Family.