Monday, December 11, 2017
Victor Martell - St. Vincent de Paul Society
This past October 1st, as required by the bylaws, a new president took office in our beloved St. Vincent De Paul Society, to lead its destiny in the Archdiocese of Miami, from Broward to Monroe, during a three-year term.
Her name is María Pilar Pérez de González, someone I know, and who has often worked side by side with me. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to this country in 1963 with a strong Catholic upbringing. Having gotten to know the work of St. Vincent de Paul, she embraced it wholeheartedly and felt the Vincentian vocation, joining our ranks 14 years ago. Although she worked as a teacher in the bilingual program at Miami-Dade Public Schools, she always took the time to work on behalf of those who lack everything.
She has demonstrated great dedication to her work in our Society, carrying out duties as vice president for the Conference of St. Kevin Parish, Miami; director of Vincentian formation in English and Spanish for 12 years; and district president for South Miami, with 15 conferences under her care. She was married to Diego González, now deceased, a Vincentian from the Dominican Republic, of whom I have many great memories. He was always willing to help, especially with paperwork, because he was an accountant who never denied me the audits that I requested from him.
As someone who loves teaching, María never stopped improving herself, and obtained several master’s degrees and recognitions at work. One of her achievements, which she is very proud of, is a master's degree in ministerial theology from Barry University. This increases her knowledge and ability to communicate with new Vincentians, who need a solid formation to address the different situations they will encounter while helping the needy.
Many of us hope that the new administration, now under the leadership of a mother, wife and exemplary teacher, will help us to strengthen the right hand of our Catholic Church. Vincentians visit the homes of those who need bread at their table, but we also provide the spiritual bread that strengthens their souls so that, taking the hand of our Lord Jesus, they will have strength to face the misfortunes of life.
Onward, María, with your new challenge! And remember the words of St. Vincent, our mentor, that the poor are “our lords and masters” yesterday, today and forever.