Presenter Information

Thomas McKenna C.M., S.T.D.


Thomas McKenna explains how Vincent de Paul “integrat[ed] the life of faith with so-called secular existence” and “examines his way of blending a spiritual vision with the hard-nosed world of finance and business.” For McKenna, this blending is the key to Vincent’s saintliness. He knew that human welfare had to include “spiritual and material aspects.” He used his business acumen, which is described in detail, to support his many ministries. These were intended to align society with the kingdom of heaven. Vincent focused on improving the lives of the poor because Christ was to be found in them, and they were to be first in the kingdom. McKenna discusses the questions that Vincent’s life raises in us, especially in our perceptions of the poor and how business should work. He also looks at the way the lives of the saints can influence modern faith. He says it is important to tell the stories of saints’ lives so that people can imagine themselves participating in the saints’ worlds. They can draw their own lessons from such an exercise.