Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buzzword Compliant or Kool-Aid Drunk?

The National St. Vincent de Paul Council and its subsidiaries have an honorable history of addressing serious social problems at their roots, within the family, using a holistic approach long before the concept of a “holistic” approach was in vogue. If ever there was an organization engaged in a compassionate and genuinely helpful response to poverty, this would be it.


Last spring, the National Council elected a new president, Sheila Gilbert, who launched her vision to “End Poverty Through Systemic Change.” “Systemic change” – like “holistic” – is one of those trendy terms that people sometimes use simply because they like the “mouth-feel” of hip-speak. Using such words feels “cutting edge” and “in the know” – “buzzword compliant,” as employers say ironically of a jargon-laced resume that is all too obviously short on real experience.

Or, perhaps, the St. Vincent de Paul Society is going the route of other “Catholic” charities – giving up some or much of its charitable work in exchange for political activism and a worldly viewpoint.  (more...)

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