January 25, 1617 is the day Vincent de Paul named as the founding of the Congregation of the Mission – the order of priests he started to reform the clergy of 17th century France and who eventually went on to found DePaul University in 1898. This day was Vincent’s turning point, when his dream of retiring at age 29 to take care of his family shifted to a new vision of serving the spiritual and physical needs of those most vulnerable and marginalized. This turning point happened in Folleville, France, while Vincent was working for Madame de Gondi, the woman who first asked him what we now know to be the Vincentian question: “What Must Be Done?”
That moment transformed his heart and purpose. It called him to respond to the needs of his time and place, and began a legacy rooted in service and human dignity that lives on today in a global Vincentian community of more than two million people.
Because of Foundation Day, DePaul University is part of a history, mission, and family that goes back much longer than our 125 years. As we move forward together as a community, may we all be ignited to continue this mission with purpose!
Read a Foundation Day message from Rev. Guillermo Campuzano, C.M., Vice President of Mission and Ministry here.