The Society was first introduced in India by the French Missionaries at Pondicherry during the Year 1852-53 as a non-aggregated Conference. The Society was officially started in India in 1863 when some conferences in Bombay were aggregated and the Bombay Particular Council was instituted. Thenonwards the Society continued to grow in India.On 09.11.1953 the Superior Council of India was established and instituted with the Council General International. The Superior Council of India was renamed as National Council of India on 06.08.1973. The National Council of India has its Headquarters in Mumbai and the present President’s secretariat is at Thodupuzha, Kerala with the election of Bro. Johnson Varghese as the 13th National President of India with effect from 28th February 2015.
The National Council of India is registered under the Income Tax Act 1961with exemption under Sec 80G, FCRA under the ministry of HomeAffairs and Societies Regn. Act and Bombay Public Trust Act 1950.
List of National Presidents with their Tenure:
Since the establishment of the National Council, the following Vincentians have been the National Presidents:
|S. No||Name of the National Presidents||Period|
|1||Bro. J. B. Fernandes||1953||1961|
|2||Bro. J.I.A. Pinto||1961||1962|
|3||Bro. Alfred D’Souza||1962||1968|
|4||Bro. Bennet D’ Souza||1968||1974|
|5||Bro. Frank Silveira||1974||1982|
|6||Bro. Abraham Kuriaype||1982||1987|
|7||Bro. Bennet D’Souza (Incharge)||1987||1988|
|8||Bro. P. G Jacob||1988||1993|
|9||Bro. G. Thangaraju Nadar||1993||1998|
|10||Bro. P. V. Alexander||1998||2003|
|11||Bro. T. Joseph Pandiyan||2003||2009|
|12||Bro. V. M. J. Balasamy||2009||2015|
|13||Bro. Dr. Johnson Varghese||2015||2021|
|14||Bro. S. Jude Mangalraj||2021||Till Date|
List of Members of National Council Of India:
List of National Council Events in India:
Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! My dear members of Saint Vincent de Paul Conferences around the world, I first wish to ask for the abundant blessings of Our Lord Jesus Christ on you and for our Blessed Lady to be alongside us, particularly for those in need whom our Society helps, whether in special works or in the action of the Conferences.
I am very pleased to be writing to you all again, members of the Vincentian Conferences around the world, and the many branches of the Vincentian Family, for the seventh time since I was elected the 16th President General of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, with this Circular Letter for 2022, the themed year of our co-founder, Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandier.
It has been the custom since 1841 for the Presidents General of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul to write Circular Letters addressed directly to the members, covering important matters on the Vincentian agenda, or for support in improving the work of the Conferences, special works Social and Councils. Indeed, the Presidents General’s letters are very valuable training & formation materials for all our members.
It is a very special, unique and magic moment for me to write the Circular Letter. It involves days and days of inspiration, consultation, prayer and drafting texts, which are closely intertwined with the wishes, longings and requests of the SSVP for the world. Some content comes from the connections I make during international journeys, but, above all, it comes from the free, fraternal and democratic dialogue I have with the members.
Writing the Circular letter is a gift from God in my life. Knowing that this text will be remembered, after many years, even though it is a snapshot of the present time, and that it will be used for research by many people, is a huge honour and privilege. Weighing my words, rewriting the sentences over and over, criticising myself freely, in order to create a solid, but also light text, whose balance is not always easy to find.
I hope that everyone can reflect on the chapters of this circular letter, and provide comments, criticisms and suggestions by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your reading!
Blessed Souls Day
"But the Soul of the just are in the hands of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them" - Wisdom 3:1
Death is not the end, but a new beginning for our heavenly journey.
The Council General International is extremely pleased to announce that has been discovered a treasure: a copy of the book Impressions, Memories and Regrets, written in 1836 by co-founder Pierre-Emmanuel-Félix Clavé (1811-1853).
The publication was found by sister Pattie Hughes, while researching Clavé in the library of the State University of New York at Stony Brook (United States). Pattie is a member of the United Nations Department within the Council General and became more interested in Clavé’s life and work when an international essay contest about him was held in 2020.
“From the moment the President General asked me, I started looking for possible references of this book in American universities. For several months, I made frequent contact with numerous libraries. And God heard our prayers! With the help of friends working in Stony Brook, we were able to locate Clavé’s book of poems, a true rarity and, above all, a historical document for our beloved SSVP,” stressed sister Pattie.
The book of poems has 180 pages and was printed in Paris on January 20, 1836. With 17 chapters, the work portrays remarkable moments in Clavé’s life, such as his first communion, childhood and youth memories, sentimental affairs, bitterness and hopes, besides a part dedicated especially to the Virgin Mary and faith in Christ.
Clavé’s book of poetry was highly praised by Ozanam, and also by an academic critic who expressed himself thus in the magazine “Catholic University”, published by the Catholic Institute of Paris in 1836: “The book before us gives us more than hope. Few hands have offered such a brilliant literary beginning. This little book will be reread at various times, and many of its verses will remain in the memory of the heart”.
Besides this publication, Clavé is the author of several other books, among which we can highlight: The Question of Mexico (1845), The Island of Cuba and Commercial Freedom in the Colonies (1847) and The Extraordinary History of Pope Pius IX (1848). Clavé was also a collaborator to the Paris-based “Two Worlds” Magazine, one of France’s most famous publications, which exists to this day.
“Clavé was a very cultured, studious and polyglot man. The more we know his biography, the more we discover the virtues of this man of God, who founded the Conference of Charity in 1833 with Ozanam and other friends. Clavé was an honorable person who never renounced his faith, despite all the insults and calumnies he suffered. He was a man of great valor, full of the Holy Spirit. Without him, the SSVP would not be the same,” emphasized the 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.
The copy of the book found in New York has already been sent to the international headquarters in Paris (France), and another one to the Council General’s office in Brasilia (Brazil). There is also another copy available at the National Library in Paris. As there is no copyright on this work, everyone can read this very interesting book of poems written in French by cofounder brother Félix Clavé. Just click below:
Source: SSVP Global Website
Registration until June 10th. Only 30 vacancies available.
A praiseworthy initiative, fully supported by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP): The Congregation of the Mission (CM), whose Superior General is our beloved Father Tomaz Mavric, has announced a MASTER’S DEGREE IN VINCENTIAN STUDIES, an online course taught by experts, whose academic accreditation will be granted by the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain).
In the letter submitted to all Vincentian branches, Father Tomaz explains that there are only 30 vacancies for the first edition of this Master’s degree, from September 2021 to July 2023, which will be taught in Spanish. Candidates shall hold an official university degree, with a Spanish B2 level (CEFR). The Master’s degree amounts to 800€, which can be paid in monthly installments. The deadline for applications is June 10th, 2021. New editions will be offered for the upcoming years in other languages (French and English).
“We would like to praise this initiative launched by the CM, because every financial effort in education is welcome when it comes to enhancing the Vincentian work. We must fight so that both children and young people from vulnerable families have access to education; moreover, we must fight for boosting the education of members of the Vincentian Family, who need the know-how to better serve those in need,” said brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General of the SSVP.
The course seeks to provide “a path that will enable them to study Vincentian history and spirituality”, and the tools for a more committed Vincentian service to the poor. The studies program throughout the four semesters of the course includes the following topics: “Life and work of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac”, “Origins of Vincentian establishments”, “Christology”, “Vincentian Theology and Spirituality”, “Theology of Holiness”, “the Vincentian Charism” and “Social Doctrine of the Church”.
“This is a golden opportunity to deepen their understanding of our spirituality and to share it with the various Vincentian groups. In the Church, such treasures should not be buried in the ground, but should be made known to everyone. This Master’s degree in Vincentian Studies is an opportunity to do just that”, Father Tomaz emphasized. The Course Coordinator is Father Corpus Delgado, from the International Secretary of Vincentian Studies (SIEV). For further information: email@example.com
Conditions to apply: https://www.ssvpglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/info-master-en.pdf
Crónicas vicentinas 5 (The Vincentian Chronicles 5), written by our 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, has just been launched. The fifth book of this series is only available in Portuguese.
Since 2006, when the first book was published, the author has specialized in chronicles, a style of writing which consists of analysing everyday life by means of short texts. The books are primarily resources to enhance the SSVP members’ formation.
The book is made up of 84 articles on spirituality, divided into seven chapters that make reference to the seven founders of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul:
The articles can be read as a spiritual guide at Vincentian meetings in Conferences and Councils, and can also be used by the Vincentian Family. The foreword was written by the President of the National Council in Brazil, brother Cristian Reis da Luz.
“I would like to thank my friends who have always prompted me to share my Vincentian experiences by means of chronicles, especially to the Brazilian brother Gesiel Júnior, who has always believed in this literary project,” emphasized President Lima de Oliveira.
The first edition will be entirely distributed in Brazil; subsequent editions, to other Portuguese-speaking countries of the world: Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor and Cape Verde. The book is not under copyright, so it can be translated by National Councils at their discretion.
In Brazil, all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to an elderly care home which has been operating for over 100 years, located in Luziania, near Brasilia, where the President General lives.
On May 16th, 2021, the CGI’s International Territorial Vice Presidents (ITVPs) took part in a special formation initiative on the “13 Houses” Campaign, organised by the FamVin Homeless Alliance.
The purpose of this event was to provide more information about the aims of the initiative, and its progress in various parts of the world, to make the SSVP’s Territorial Vice Presidents aware of the spread and impact of the projects carried out in the various countries.
This initiative for homeless people is intended to improve (and transform) the lives of 10,000 homeless people worldwide, via projects carried out in each of the 156 countries where the Vincentian Family operates. This campaign was inspired by the action of Saint Vincent de Paul, who built 13 houses around Saint-Lazare, the mother house of the Congregation of the Mission (CM), to care for abandoned children. One of the pillars of this initiative is the collaboration among the various branches of the Vincentian Family in planning and implementation of the projects.
During the presentations, Vincentian Family coordinators highlighted the importance of the SSVP’s action in this initiative, as it is the largest branch of FamVin. The Territorial Vice Presidents were asked to foster SSVP participation in every country, especially to identify projects which are underway or already completed, and which have not yet been reported to the general campaign coordinators.
In addition to the requirements needed to implement the projects, photographs were shown of the various actions carried out around the world, many of them with the effective participation of the SSVP. Throughout the presentations, the Territorial Vice Presidents could also ask questions and clarify any points about the initiative and the details of its funding.
At the end of the formation session, the 16th President General International, Renato Lima de Oliveira, thanked the organisers for preparing the presentations, and ensured them that the SSVP is fully involved in this global Vincentian Family initiative, expressing his wish for the Society to carry out projects of this kind in every country where it is present.
“The SSVP is the largest and most influential branch of our Family. We need you to ensure this project moves forward. You have the tradition, the knowledge, capability, resources and an incredible number of members who will help the Vincentian Family reduce the number of homeless people throughout the world,” said the Vincentian Mark McGreevy, leader of the Alliance.
Article written by Julio Lima, ITVP, America 3
Installation of XIV National President - National Council of India
This year, the Council General requests Conferences to give greater visibility to Vincentian Charity
The WORLD DAY OF THE POOR will be held on 15 November 2020 on the theme “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7, 32), drawn from the message written by his Holiness Pope Francis (link to the message is provided below). The World Day of the Poor, established by the Vatican in 2016, is celebrated on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Pope Francis published his message and called on people to “stretch forth their hand to the poor”, and warned against “cynicism” and “indifference” of those whose hands are outstretched to accumulate money by the sale of weapons and drugs. “In these months, when the whole world was prey to a virus that brought pain and death, despair and bewilderment, how many outstretched hands have we seen!” said Pope Francis, drawing attention to the actions of solidarity throughout the world to help those most affected by dire poverty.
Pope Francis also commended the outstretched hands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, volunteers or priests, who have given of themselves day and night amidst the pandemic and have defied contagion and fear to offer support and consolation. He also criticized those who prefer to keep their hands in their pockets and to remain unmoved by situations of poverty in which they are often complicit.
Pope Francis laments the frenetic pace of life that leads people, who turn a blind eye on poverty, into a “whirlwind of indifference”, but praises the “generosity that supports the weak […], a condition for full human life”. Pope Francis also acknowledged that the Church certainly has no comprehensive solutions to “the silent cry of so many poor”; it’s possible, though, to do much more for the poorest.
Even in times of pandemic, we, as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, can celebrate the WORLD DAY OF THE POOR in a creative and efficient way. One suggestion would be to get closer to lay ecclesial movements in each parish, with fund-raising campaigns for Conferences (food and hygiene kits, which are essential in these times).
Another idea would be to offer a greater visibility of the SSVP on the parishes’ and dioceses’ media, while liaising with companies, the government and the mass media, and showcasing the social work of Conferences and Special Works. At the end of the Mass, on 15 November, it would be worthwhile for the Conference President to disseminate the Vincentian mission, vision and values, prompting new members to join the Conferences.
“In any case, the most important thing is to be witnesses of Christ’s love for the most needy, living out the Gospel message, in community, serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice and empathy. Simply with our good deeds, we can do a lot for the poor”, stressed our fellow member Renato Lima, the 16th President General.
As we ponder on 2020’s WORLD DAY OF THE POOR, amidst this health crisis, it must be acknowledged that global extreme poverty is on the rise, with people becoming unemployed and mental health cases increasing significantly. The pandemic has also been a hard blow for the world economy and countries’ wealth, having a devastating impact on families, particularly on young people. The education world has also been turned upside down, with millions of children missing out on school.
Faced with this hostile context, the WORLD DAY OF THE POOR is a great challenge for all of us, as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Let us pray that the Good Lord will protect us and help us overcome these difficult times. “Sharing with the poor means mutual enrichment. If there are unhealthy social structures that prevent them from dreaming of the future, we must work together to heal them, to change them.” (Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, 2013, no 195).
Our founders taught us that we need to reassess our actions by better reallocating our resources, avoiding hoarding, relaxing our internal rules and mobilizing our human and material heritage, to serve the poorest with joy and no complaints, and love them without judgment, bringing the “Gospel of Hope” to everyone.
Message of Pope Francis for World Poor Day
Source: CGI Website https://www.ssvpglobal.org/the-ssvp-and-the-world-day-of-the-poor/
The “Corrientensis” Resolution dated November 13th, 1920
The Bishop of the Diocese of Corrientes (Argentina), Msgr. Luis María Niella (photo), submitted a query to the Holy See, concerning the relationship of the Ordinary with SSVP Conferences, and the appropriateness for them to be independent from its authority, since he found no basis for this in the new Code, and because there was a debate about the administration of SSVP assets in Corrientes.
The Council’s Sacred Congregation issued a decree recognising the autonomy of the SSVP’s decisions and the rights of association. This resolution, called “Corrientensis”, dated November 13th, 1920, is now 100 years old.
The text goes as follows: “Insofar as an association does not owe its existence to the Church, nor is recognised for legal purposes by the Church, neither can it be governed or led by the ecclesiastical authority, but only by the laity appointed in its own statutes. Among these associations, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (or Vincentian Conferences) stands out in recent times for its renown and its example”.
With the 100th anniversary of this recognition by the Holy See regarding our autonomy in government and administration, it must be acknowledged that there is a close and healthy relationship between the Conferences and the Church. The SSVP liaises with and is part of the Church, through its identity, charism and organisation, as stated in Art. 5.2 of the Rule. “The Society is legally autonomous as to its existence, constitution, organisation, rules, activities and internal government. Members freely choose their own officers and manage the Society’s activities and assets with full autonomy, in accordance with their own Statutes and the legislation in effect in each country.”
Today, with great pleasure, the International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, represented by its Council General International, is very close to the Church life. The SSVP is a member of two official bodies at the Vatican, with a seat and a vote on each: “Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life”, and “Dicastery for Service of Integral Human Development”. We are also in permanent touch with the “Dicastery for Communications” and the “Congregation for the Causes of the Saints” for our fellow members, whose exemplary lives are being examined for canonisation, including our beloved Blessed Frédéric Ozanam.
Our President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira, states that “the autonomy recognised by the Church should be regarded as an asset when it comes to electing officials, to preserving our heritage and to observing the procedures, rules or regulations of our institution. As for doctrinal, spiritual and liturgical matters, we shall blithely abide by the decisions taken by the Church and the Holy Father. In view of all this, our autonomy entails responsibility, balance and cooperation.
The Council General requests that this text should be widely disseminated in each country for reading and reflection by each Conference of the Society.
Sources: CGI Websire
Easter Message by Bro. Dr. Johnson Varghese, President, National Council of India
The 65th Annual General Meeting to be held on 16th - 18th, August 2019 at Muvattupuzha, Kerala. This time Kothamangalam Central Council is the host CC for the meeting. With lots of preparation and understading, AGM is going to be taken forward for the betterment of the SSVP in India
1st Young Vincentian Leaders Workshop held at Chennai on 8th - 9th December 2018