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:
Results of the international competition to promote quality education
On June 14th, 2022, Brother Willian Alves, International Vice-President for Youth, Children and Adolescents, introduced the international competition “Young Vincentians: Committed to quality education to fight poverty”.
The idea of holding the contest came from brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General International, and had the full support of all the Board members, since the strengthening of Vincentian youth is one of the strategic objectives of this mandate.
The objective of this contest was to select social projects with a focus on quality education as an effective means of combating poverty, to be implemented in Vincentian countries.
The participation period began on June 15 and ended on October 15 of this year. During this period, 43 projects were received in which young people from the following nationalities participated: Brazil, Nigeria, India, Kenya, South Africa, Honduras, Guatemala, Philippines, Chad, Ghana, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, Malawi and Haiti.
The competition jury appreciates the participation of the 43 young people who submitted their proposals and congratulates them for the very creative and ingenious projects they developed.
Among the projects received are the following: training for teachers and volunteers, creation of educational spaces, preservation of endangered languages, educational camps, library habilitation, early stimulation for educational disorders, among many others. Each Vincentian territory is encouraged to follow up on the projects submitted and review costs and budgets so that they can become reality.
The winners of the contest are:
Juliana Joseph. Haiti. America 1.
Cecilia Monterroso. Guatemala. America 2.
Andrea Flores. Honduras. America 2.
Juliana Rosa. Brazil. America 3.
Iohannes Henrique. Brazil. America 3.
Felipe Porto. Brazil. America 3.
Irene Mutinde. Kenya. Africa 1.
Polit Edward. Nigeria. Africa 1.
Gijon Cox. South Africa. Africa 2.
Felix Manjate. Mozambique. Africa 2.
Arum Sharmila. India. Asia 1.
Philip Cortes. Philippines. Asia 2.
Many thanks to all participants and congratulations to our winners!
The laureates will attend the International Youth Meeting of the Vincentian Family and participate in World Youth Day, July 29 to August 6, 2023.
International Competition Jury.
To all the members of the Vincentian Family
Dear brothers and sisters,
May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!
This Advent letter is an invitation to pray, meditate, and interiorize the “Evangelical Counsels” as a means to pursue our journey with Saint Vincent de Paul, a “Mystic of Charity.” Jesus is the center of our being, our action, our aspirations. For us Christians, He is the focus, model, and the One to put in first place in our own lives, regardless of whether our vocation is to married life, single life, or some form of Consecrated life. Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience are indisputable and vivid signs in Jesus’s life, for He was poor, chaste, and obedient.
Usually when we speak of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, we link them to persons in Consecrated life. They follow a specific path, confirmed by the vows they make. However, the Evangelical Counsels are part of the response to the universal call to holiness for every Christian, but always according to her or his specific vocation, given by Jesus Himself.
Jesus remains the prototype of the three Evangelical Counsels. Although He had it all, He lived poorly. He was chaste, allowing Him great freedom in His relationships. He was obedient, expressing with great clarity that His mission on earth would develop according to the Father’s plan and surrendering totally to His Father’s will to the last second of His earthly life, to the cross where He exclaimed before returning to His Father’s house: “It is finished” (John 19:30).
The foundation for the Evangelical Counsel of Poverty is the life of the Son of God:
Jesus Christ, who having all things, had nothing. He was the Master and Lord of the whole world. He made the goods that are in it; yet, He willed, for love of us, to deprive himself of their use; even though He was Lord of the whole world, He made himself the poorest of all men and even had less than the smallest animals.
Our common call as Vincentians to serve the poor urges us to witness to the world our configuration to Christ that began with our baptism and deepens until our return to the Father’s house. As Vincentians, our priority is not the accumulation of material goods and financial resources for our own selfish reasons, for we always bear in our minds and hearts that the poor are “Our Lords and Masters” who have a claim to our resources. Considering how we can assist them helps us to live the Evangelical Counsel of Poverty through a sober and simple way of life. The Vincentian mission places us in the world of the poor. Vincentian poverty fosters a community of service and solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
It also presupposes patterning our life on the example of the poor Jesus, who evangelized the most abandoned. Saint Vincent, following a long Church tradition, distinguishes between interior and exterior poverty, both of which are necessary. Without an external manifestation, “spiritual poverty” is not credible. Without spiritual motivation, “material poverty” may often be evil.
The Evangelical Counsel of Chastity likewise concerns all Christians, obviously those who vow it but also persons who are married and those who are single. As Vincentians, who are regularly in touch with the poor, we must not help them only materially, but also spiritually, approaching the person in a holistic way, sharing the value of chastity with them as we evangelize. The poor will come to understand Christian relationships by how we live in accordance with the Gospel values, serving as light and salt for humanity.
Chastity involves interior and exterior continence, according to one’s state in life, so that a person’s affectivity and sexuality are lived out with deep respect for others and for oneself. Celibacy presupposes the renunciation of marriage and the sexual expressions proper to it.
For Vincentians in Consecrated life, these two elements of the vow—chastity and celibacy—are external manifestations of a total dedication of one’s life. They should be perceived as an undertaking of a “particular responsibility: the service of the poor” and not as a rejection of familial responsibility. The demands of a radical following of Jesus lead Vincentians in Consecrated life to offer themselves completely for the cause of the Kingdom.
For Vincentians in general, the Evangelical Counsel of Chastity helps us to grow in an intimate relationship with Jesus. As generous self-giving to others, chastity promotes our evangelizing and charitable mission to the poor, an expression of generativity and creativity. Like poverty, chastity encourages a community of service that can be effective only through friendship and fraternal relationships.
We are called to develop freedom and mutual support through healthy friendships and prudence, leading to apostolic zeal. We need to recognize our own weaknesses, our need for humility, and our reliance on Jesus’s indispensable support. Saint Vincent affirms, “Humility is a very excellent means for acquiring and preserving chastity.” There are moments when fidelity to Jesus entails sacrifice. Saint Vincent recommends serious sacrifice (mortification) of the interior and exterior senses, and knowing how to avoid ways of expressing affectivity and sexuality that are not in keeping with the celibate life. Because our humanity has its strengths and weaknesses, we must speak about difficulties sincerely with Jesus and with other people who can support us, like our confessor and spiritual director.
The third Evangelical Counsel is Obedience. It speaks to persons who are open to Jesus’s message. Despite doubts and uncertainty, they surrender to Jesus and trust Him, persuaded that, in the end, the path He is suggesting we follow is the best. As Saint Vincent reminds us, “You will have God’s blessing in actions performed through obedience.”
Obedience involves Gospel values and attitudes including humility, simplicity, meekness, dialog, the gift of listening in married life, in single life, or in Consecrated life. Even when speaking to consecrated persons, Saint Vincent often evokes the example of lay people’s obedience and deference:
I knew a Councillor of the court… Although he was a Councillor and up in years, he never did anything without seeking advice. If no one else was about, he would send for his valet, ‘Come here, young Pierre. I have to attend to a certain business matter; what do you think I should do about it?’ His valet would answer, ‘I think you’d do well to act this way.’ ‘Fine, Pierre; right you are. I’ll follow your advice.’ And he told me that he felt God blessed matters in such a way that any business he carried on in that fashion was successful.
When two or more persons cannot agree among themselves, especially in serious issues, it is the Evangelical Counsel of Obedience that brings them to a state of inner peace and reconciliation that they could not imagine. As Christians and Vincentians, we strive not to have the last word, or be right, but to place ourselves in the role of a servant, the one who serves and not the one who is served.
May our meditation and interiorization of the Evangelical Counsels help each of us to respond to the universal call to holiness and thus experience great blessings.
How blessed are those who give themselves to God in this way to do what Jesus Christ did, and to practice, after His example, the virtues He practiced: poverty, obedience, humility, patience, zeal, and the other virtues! For in this way they are the true disciples of such a Master. They live solely of His Spirit and spread, together with the fragrance of His life, the merit of His actions, for the sanctification of souls for whom He died and rose again.
My Advent prayer for all the members of the Vincentian Family is that you “continue to fear and love Him [Our Lord] well; offer Him your difficulties and your little services, and do only what pleases Him. In this way you will continue to grow in grace and virtue.”
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM
 Vincent de Paul, Correspondence, Conferences, Documents, translated and edited by Jacqueline Kilar, DC; and Marie Poole, DC; et al; annotated by John W. Carven, CM; New City Press, Brooklyn and Hyde Park, 1985-2014; volume XI, p. 210; conference 130, “Poverty,” 6 August 1655. Future references to this work will be indicated using the initials CCD, followed by the volume number, then the page number, for example, CCD XI, 210.
 CCD XI, 162; conference 111, “Chastity,” 13 November 1654.
 CCD VI, 574; letter 2431 to François Villain in Troyes, 25 October 1657.
 CCD XIIIb, 282; document 160, Council of 20 June 1647.
 CCD V, 554; letter 2013a to Joseph Beaulac, .
 CCD IV, 402; letter 1512 to the Sisters of Valpuiseaux, 23 June 1652.
The World Day of the Poor will be celebrated on 13th November.
Father Motto has prepared an excellent reflection which will be very useful for all members of our Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and for all the other branches of the Vincentian Family. It is not lengthy, but is a very profound and knowledgeable piece. Going from the Introduction to the Conclusion, it is divided into three, very well-written parts: Jesus and the poor; Vincent and the poor; Ozanam and the poor. At the end, there is a list of 10 suggestions for a more focused way of living the World Day of the Poor, serving those who suffer in more practical ways. I know that we are presently living through a health crisis, but the suggestions can be implemented without anxiety, always respecting safety protocols.
Father Motto’s text is incredibly rich, but at the same time, easy to understand, full of examples with scripture quotations or references to major writers, not just Catholic and Vincentian, linked to human history. It is pleasant, encouraging and, above all, very comforting to read Fr Andrés Motto’s words. He always teaches us to live our Vincentian charism with prayer and action, like St. Vincent and our leaders and founders, through Ozanam. We can never lose sight of our servants, our loved ones, our friends and our masters -the poor- who open to us the gates of Heaven.
May this WORLD DAY OF THE POOR help us achieve the aims proposed by Pope Francis in this world, helping us to build a more fraternal, fairer civil society, since the poor you will always have with you (Mk 14:7).
Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira
16th President General
The President General will represent the SSVP, and will carry out a parallel institutional agenda.
The annual meeting of the Vincentian Family Executive Committee (VFEC), chaired by Father Tomaz Mavric, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission (CM), begins today (November 7) and takes place until next Friday, November 11.
The event takes place at the Mary Immaculate House, with the presence of the main Vincentian branches. Representing the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) will be the 16 th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, accompanied by brother Ricardo Tavares, International Coordinator of the Vincentian Family Department at the Council General.
Several topics are on the agenda, amongst them: evaluation of the work of the existing Vincentian commissions and task forces, discussion on the 2023 budget, analysis of the projects on homelessness, Vincentian action with the refugees in Ukraine and the organization of the 2 nd International Meeting of the Vincentian Family Leaders. Holy Masses will be celebrated every day, and on Wednesday there will be the traditional Papal audience.
In addition to the Vincentian Family gathering, the President General will have a busy parallel agenda at the Vatican, focusing on the canonization of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam. There will be visits to dicasteries, congregations and pontifical councils with which the SSVP has institutional relations, as well as interviews with the Catholic press and audiences with ambassadors and clerics. President Lima de Oliveira will visit the St. Peter’s Conference and intend to meet with representatives of the Order of Malta.
For these institutional meetings, brother Renato will be accompanied by three Vice-presidents of the Council General: Sebastián Gramajo, Antonio Gianfico and Juan Manuel Buergo Gómez. We ask for your prayers for the success of all these activities in the Eternal City.
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.
Save the date: the SSVP General Assembly in Rome is coming soon
The highlight will be the election of the 17th President General
The Council General International is finalizing preparations for several activities June 12 to 18, 2023 in Rome (Italy). The most important activity: the General Assembly. The events will take place at the Hotel Casa Tra Noi.
As soon as the program is approved by the International Board of Directors, it will be disseminated to all National Councils. All activities will be broadcasted live on Ozanam TV as it has been the practice since the beginning of this mandate.
It will be a week full of events, according to the following agenda:
The theme of the Assembly will be: “Fraternity, communion and mission: in the footsteps of the seven founders”. The highlight of the agenda will be the election of the 17th President General International. Those present will also have the opportunity to participate in the papal audience, which always takes place on Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square.
During the event there will also be: renewal of the Concordat, modernization of the International Statutes, granting of the “Charity in Hope” medal and cooperation agreement with the International Order of Malta, and the launch of three documents (“Global Report”, “How to rejuvenate Vincentian Conferences” and “Handbook for National Youth Committees”).
“We are working hard to make these events in Rome the best ever. The moment of the presidential election is something important, a unique moment in the life of our Confederation, and we hope that everything will be carried out in an atmosphere of simplicity, unity and harmony. We will take advantage of the presence of national presidents to offer them a special formation focused on strategic and priority issues for the future of our Society,” said Secretary General, sister Marie-Françoise Salesiani-Payet.
We ask for your prayers for the success of all these events that will be promoted by the Council General in the Eternal City. We thank the National Council of Italy for the logistical support they always kindly give us.
Paris, October 25th, 2022.
In accordance with the Electoral Rules governing the conduct of this election (a copy of which may be found below) the latest date for the receipt of nominations was 15 October 2022.
By that deadline, valid nominations for five candidates had been received. The next stage in the agreed electoral process is for the Electoral Board to contact each of the candidates nominated, validate the personal information given and ensure that it complies with the requirements of the International Statutes.
At this stage, none of those nominated can be regarded as an eligible candidate. This must await the final declaration of the Electoral Board which will announce the names of all eligible candidates at the same time. Until then the names of those nominated must remain confidential.
It would be most unfair to those nominated if the name of one was identified and promoted by supporters when the names of the others are not public knowledge. We strongly urge all SSVP members to respect the Electoral Rules.
May we draw attention to the prohibition on canvassing, approved at the General Assembly in 2016 (an amendment to Basic Requirement 11, fifth paragraph).
We kindly ask that this statement be widely disseminated within our Confederation.
MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORAL BOARD:
Thomas Joseph Pandian, Vice-president General
Marie Francoise Salesiani-Payet, Secretary General
Larry Tuomey, Treasurer General
Dear Brother and Sisters,
Greetings in the name of Bl. Frederic Ozanam!
Last year on September 9th, the feast day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, The President General International, Renato Lima de Oliveira, on behalf of the Council General International has announced the results of the 5th International Literary Contest “the First Conference – International Thematic Year of Jules Devaux”.
Accordingly, that the prize money INR 40,170/- (equivalent amount to EUR 500) was handed over to Sis. SELVI ANITA MARY on last Sunday (23/10/2022) at the end of the Holy Mass at St Mathias Church, Ashok Nagar by the Parish Priest & Spiritual Advisor Rev Fr Arul Xavier Raj. The President of National Council, Bro. Jude Mangal Raj and President of Madras Central Council Bro. Lawrence and on behalf of St Mathias Conference handed over a Poetry Greeting card. An equivalent amount of INR 40,170/- is granted to St Mathias Conference by CGI, which shall be used for educational scholarship to college students.
The SSVP India, once again congratulates Sis. SELVI ANITA MARY who brought honours to SSVP India and also requests every member to take part in and make a contribution to the greater good of SSVP.
Every year, on October 17th, humanity reflects on the “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty”, an initiative declared by the United Nations in 1992 in recognition of the work of the Servant of God Joseph Wresinski, a French priest who gathered approximately 100,000 people in 1987 at the Human Rights and Liberty Square in Paris to defend the excluded.
Last week, Pope Francis addressed the Redemptorists who were in Rome to participate in the 26th General Chapter of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. He stressed in depth the theme of poverty, emphasizing that it is necessary to renew the mission and to be more audacious for those most in need. The Pope made it clear that poverty is not the result of destiny, but rather a consequence of selfishness. For him, the poor suffer injustice, indifference and aversion.
In the message, the Pontiff recommended that we should not be afraid to take new paths and get our hands dirty in the service of the most needy. The Holy Father stressed that charitable work must aim at humility, unity, wisdom and discernment. And that the renewal of the Church goes through a process of conversion of heart and mind and above all through a true “change of structures”.
At the end of His message, the Pope asked the Lord to be faithful and persevering in the mission, without ever forgetting the poorest and most abandoned whom we serve with humility and charity. In the same week, in another sermon, the Pope appealed to governments around the world to implement public policies for the development of people focusing on the creation of work and not on welfare programs that perpetuates misery.
“Where men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated. To unite to ensure that these rights are respected is our solemn duty.”
Servant of God Joseph Wresinski (1917-1988)
Catholic group to take on malnutrition by partnering with Catholic church by producing vegetables on church land that are idle
The Philippine Agriculture Department on the occasion of World Food Day on Oct. 16 pledged to supply vegetable seeds to be planted on Church land by members of the Kalinga ng Diyos Foundation (Care of God Foundation), which is dedicated to curbing hunger in the archipelagic country in Southeast Asia.
“The Catholic Church owns vast tracts of land that are, sad to say, lying idle. Members of the foundation would be shortly approaching the parish priests to lease Church-owned land. The Catholic Church would still own the lands. The foundation would just borrow and use them for the humanitarian project. In fact the foundation is ready to shoulder any expenses as long as they were “reasonable,” he added.
In 2019, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor issued an appeal to the Catholic Church to let its land be used for humanitarian purposes as “an act of Christianity and act of Christ in serving those who are less fortunate and neglected.”
In this perspective, it may be appropriate to recall the recent statement on twitter by our Beloved Pope Francis,
“Poor People are not “outside” our communities. They are brothers and sisters whose suffering we share. In order to alleviate their difficulties and marginalisation, so that their lost dignity might be restored, and to ensure their necessary social inclusion” - Pope Francis
Should SSVP think on the above lines and look into such opportunities to serve the needy, especially the vulnerable, whom God loves more? It's possible to organise brainstorming sessions at the national level to find these ideas, work on them, and then present them to the leadership for approval with necessary guidance. Of course, extreme caution must be taken to protect SSVP from any negative effects given that this a global organisation which has special place in the Church in UN, the global forum.
The complete information about the initiative is available in the link below.
The event was an initiative of the National Council of England and Wales
At the invitation of the National Council of England & Wales, the 16th President General International, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, gave the online presentation: “PGI’s mission around the world; six years mandate”. The event took place on September 29th and brought together dozens of brothers and sisters from England & Wales.
The national president, sister Helen O’Shea, who is also president of the Governance Department of the Council General International, highlighted the importance of permanent and updated training for SSVP members: “The more we know about the international action of our Society, the more we will strengthen our action at the local level”.
In his presentation, brother Lima de Oliveira presented the general objectives of the International Strategic Planning (2016/2023), showing the achievements in each segment since the beginning of his mandate. The highlights were: the seven founders, formation, youth, governance, canonization, new headquarters, institutional action, ombudsman, expansion to new territories, global solidarity and communication.
After the talk, several Vincentians asked questions to the President General on various matters. “These webinars are an excellent opportunity to bring the members of the Society together to reflect on current issues and highlighting specific themes. We want to congratulate the National Council of England and Wales for creating this Vincentian formation program. I remember with joy my visit to Newcastle, Leeds and London in June 2018 when I saw firsthand the quality of the work of the SSVP in favor of the most needy”, emphasized Renato Lima.
The idea of offering this kind of training in webinar format emerged in March 2020 when the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed by the British government, forcing people to stay at home for a long period of time in an attempt to contain the pandemic. Since then, topics such as Vincentian spirituality, loneliness, health, and helping refugees, among others, have been addressed.
The formation lectures always take place on Thursday evenings, and are transmitted over the internet by “Zoom”. The upcoming webinars will be as follows: October 6 – “Visiting Prisons”; October 13 – “Accompanying beneficiaries through a cost-of-living crisis” and October 20 – “Re-integrating ex-offenders: SSVP Approved Premises”. Please Participate! More information: email@example.com (Brian Roxburgh) or www.svp.org.uk
Click here to read the presentation given by President Lima de Oliveira, in English language only.
“My heart is big enough to love much”. This quote from Amélie Ozanam, née Soulacroix, could represent what her life was like, which is chronicled in this book written in collaboration by Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée, historian and coordinator of the work, by Magdeleine Houssay, descendant of Frédéric and Amélie, by Father Leonard de Corbiac, editor of the correspondence between Amélie and Frédéric, and by Francisco Javier Chento, editor of Frédéric Ozanam’s work in Spanish.
Amélie is presented in the book as a woman full of life, cheerful, creative and charming, who married Frédéric Ozanam, the main founder of our beloved Society of Saint Vincent de Paul at 20 years old.
Amélie, with her tender and comforting love, her attention to others, her deep and generous faith and her interest in political, social and religious current affairs of her time had a profound influence on the character and thinking of her husband to whom she remained faithful until beyond his death.
This detailed biography is accompanied by a selection of Amélie’s letters, many of them unpublished, allowing us to discover a woman who expresses with simplicity and frankness her thoughts, the joys andsorrows of her daily life.
On August 14th, 2020, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Amélie Ozanam, and in recognition of her figure and the importance of women in our Society, the Council General International proclaimed that this date would henceforth be the celebration of the International SSVP Women’s Day.
The book is currently available in French and English. You can obtain the book here.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Happy Feast of St. Vincent De Paul!
September is the one of the important months for the Vincentians. On 8th September, we celebrated the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and on 9th September we celebrated the feast of BL. Frederic Ozanam, the founder of Society of St. Vincent De Paul.
Today, on the 27th September as we celebrate the feast of our heavenly patron St. Vincent de Paul and it is Vincentian Day.
St. Vincent de Paul Says that affection should be proved by deeds as it is not sufficient to have charity in our hearts and in our words but it should be translated into actions, to that extent giving our life, if need be, as our Lord has given HIS. Then is charity perfect and become fruitful.
Effective charity, Pandemic charity and justice are the essence to be face to face with the poor in spirituality.
Let’s visit and serve to the needy with the true Vincentian spirit in the their environment.
I wish all of you lead the Vincentian reflection in the society. Let us open our hearts to the poorest and most abandoned in the spirit of St.Vincent de Paul ad Blessed Frederic Ozanam.
Let's always remember that humility is the basic virtue of the spiritual life.
I wish all of you a fruitful Vincentian Day.
May God bless you all through the intercession of ST.Vincent de paul.
Bro. Jude Mangal Raj
To the members of the Vincentian Family throughout the world
Dear sisters and brothers,
May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!
We are fast approaching the Feast of Saint Vincent that officially falls on 27 September, but, given the reality of a country, the celebration may be held on some other day to allow the greatest number of persons to attend.
We are seeing the return to in-person gatherings, which bring us joy and encouragement, since we are able again to witness as family, as persons of faith, participating in the Eucharist and other celebrations that a year ago were still hampered by the pandemic. This is an additional reason for us to put all our efforts and talents into making this observance of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul a memorable one after these past few years of very limited gatherings or their prohibition.
In fact, the whole month of September is called a Vincentian month. Depending on the structure and program of the Vincentian Family in a given country, different events, gatherings, and initiatives may be offered throughout the month. These might include days of recollection for youth who are discerning a vocation to the consecrated life, as well as formation and charity initiatives to deepen our Vincentian spirituality and charism. We also invite others, who may not know Saint Vincent de Paul and the other Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, to get to know our Vincentian spirituality and charism through our words and deeds.
The title of this year’s letter for the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul is, “From a Vincentian Family Structure toward a Vincentian Family Movement” and “Vincentian Centers of Spirituality and Formation around the world.”
Not so long ago, the international leaders of the different Vincentian Congregations of Consecrated Life and Lay Associations began to gather every year to build closer relationships and collaboration, as belonging to the same spiritual and charismatic group, even though each one retained its own specificity and uniqueness. This group began to be called “the Vincentian Family” and was symbolized by a tree with many branches. The central part of the tree with is roots is our common Vincentian spirituality and charism, and each branch represents an individual Congregation or Association. That is why we often use the word branches, having in mind the beautiful symbol of a tree.
The Vincentian Family, this lovely tree, has being growing throughout the years, and continues to do so. Upon discovery of new Congregations and Lay Associations that are living and carrying out the Vincentian spirituality and charism, we invite them to join the Vincentian Family, adding new growth to this ever-larger tree.
Uniting groups, no matter their origin, in collaborative service is part of the Vincentian tradition. Consider the introduction to the regulations for the Ladies of Charity at the court:
The Company of the Ladies of Charity will be instituted to honor that of Our Lord and His Holy Mother and the women who followed Him, furnishing what was necessary for Him, His company, sometimes the crowds that followed Him, and poor persons. It will do so by being a patron of and assisting the Companies of the Charity of the Hotel-Dieu, the Foundlings, the convicts, the little girls of Mesdemoiselles Poulaillon and de Lestang, the poor young women serving in the Charities of the parishes, the women at the Madeleine, and all the good works instituted by women in this century.
Recently, in many countries of Central and South America, so-called Vincentian Confraternities have started to emerge, such as the Confraternity of Vincentian Lawyers, Vincentian Teachers, Vincentian Translators, Vincentian Specialists in the area of Communications, etc. They bring together other persons who live the same spirituality and charism and feel part of the Vincentian Family. The service of the poor unites them.
The structured groups of Women’s and Men’s Congregations, and Lay Associations presently number 165. In addition, many other people, attracted and inspired by the person of Saint Vincent de Paul and the other Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, do not belong officially to any of its branches. They are drawn to the Vincentian spirituality and charism through books, articles, the internet, radio, television, and social media. They would like to further their knowledge of the Vincentian way of thinking, speaking, and living, thus becoming active participants in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul, having the right to be called “Vincentians.” Already, a large number of persons who do not belong specifically to any group, because of their way of living out their lives, serving, thinking, speaking, and acting, embody the Vincentian spirit and charism. Here I see the further development of the Vincentian Family and this wonderful Vincentian Tree into what is becoming a so-called “Vincentian Family Movement.”
What instruments can we use or are we already using to offer to the structured groups, as well as those persons who do not belong to any group within the Vincentian Family, spiritual encounters and courses in Vincentian formation, involving them actively in different initiatives and projects within the Vincentian Family?
In many parts of the world, this is already a reality or is slowly becoming one. Teachers; professors; families of students in Vincentian schools, colleges, universities; alumni of these different institutions; hospital and health center workers; other members of the staff with their families; social workers; parishioners from Vincentian parishes, and individuals, through the different means of communication or otherwise, are getting to know the Vincentian way. The international website of the Vincentian Family, famvin.org, already has many materials in the area of formation in Vincentian spirituality and charism. Likewise, other websites within the Vincentian Family offer similar formation resources through social media to anyone in any part of the world.
Many Women’s and Men’s Congregations are forming the lay staff in their respective institutions to continue the Vincentian spirit and charism. When the time comes that the sisters, brothers, and priests leave a school, college, hospital, health center, etc., the lay collaborators will be ready to continue the education, health, and social service in the Vincentian tradition.
In addition to all the above-mentioned persons, there are many other groups or individuals living out the Vincentian spirituality and charism but not always linked to the Vincentian Family, this beautiful tree! How can we help them?
This is the second part of this year’s title for the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, to organize “Vincentian Centers of Spirituality and Formation” in the different countries in the world where the Vincentian Family is present. In some countries, such Vincentian Centers of Spirituality and Formation already exist, or different branches offer courses in this area already.
Contacting the already-existing centers would allow us to learn what materials are available on the level of the whole Vincentian Family. We then can invite other countries and areas to open Vincentian Centers of Spirituality and Formation where they do not exist, sharing together the abundant materials already prepared for such centers.
Saint Vincent stressed the need to be formed in order to form others, telling a confrere:
I praise God for the number of priests the Bishop of … is sending you. You will have plenty of them if you take the trouble to form them in the true spirit of their state, which consists especially in the interior life and the practice of prayer and the virtues. It is not enough to teach them chant, ceremonies, and a little moral theology; what is important is to form them to solid piety and devotion. To do that, Monsieur, we must be the first to be filled with the above, for it would be almost useless to instruct them on these things without giving the example. We must be full reservoirs in order to let our water spill out without becoming empty, and we must possess the spirit with which we want them to be animated, for no one can give what he does not have.
In the month of November, the Vincentian Family Executive Committee is going to discuss this topic during its annual meeting in Rome.
I would like to encourage all the international, national, and regional leaders of the structured branches of this beautiful tree called the Vincentian Family to invite as many members as possible of the Confraternities and the collaborators who do not belong to any specific group to participate in the different events that will be organized in the various countries throughout the month of September.
Please send us pictures and videos of the various celebrations you organized throughout the Vincentian month of September, or short articles about them, to these two email addresses, and we will try to share the information through different means of communication.
May Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Saint Vincent de Paul and all the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, intercede before Jesus for us all!
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM
 CCD XIIIb, 441, document 199, Regulations for the Ladies of Charity at the Court (Between 1640 and 1649). CCD refers to the collection, Vincent de Paul, Correspondence, Conferences, Documents, translated and edited by Jacqueline Kilar, DC; and Marie Poole, DC; et al; annotated by John W. Carven, CM; New City Press, Brooklyn and Hyde Park, 1985-2014; volume XIIIb, p. 441 (hereafter, CCD, followed by the volume, then page number).
 CCD IV, 570; letter 1623, to a Seminary Director.
The three day The National Council of India AGM started in a grand manner at Kollam
This August gathering was adorned by Special Guest Bro. Peter Keshwar, National President of South Africa and our beloved Spiritual Advisor Rev. FR. AROKIA JEYAKUMAR, Board Members, Managing Committee members, Regional Committee and the Presidents of all the Central Councill across India.
The International Board of Directors met in Paris on September 10 to discuss a number of important issues for the International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. The event was held in the Ozanam Room, which is located in the Motherhouse of the Lazarist Fathers (Congregation of the Mission) in the Vincentian capital of the world.
This time, the 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, invited 12 young people, members of the International Vice-Presidency for Youth, Children and Adolescents, to attend the meeting. These same young people were gathered in a workshop held from September 7 to 9, at the same location.
The meeting started with opening prayers, followed by special intentions, such as the end of the war in Ukraine, the canonization of Ozanam, young people, and the election for the presidency of the General Council. Fr. Andrés Motto (CM) presented a beautiful spiritual reading on the theme “Poverty, faith and prophetism”. The minutes of the previous meeting, held on June 5, 2022, were approved, as well as the economic and financial reports.
The President General reported on the latest activities carried out, letters sent, his participation in recent events and scheduled missionary trips. Following this, the other Board members presented their reports, and proposed some new actions. One of the highlights was the “All Africa Assembly”, which took place in Nairobi (Kenya) last June, which obtained excellent results based on the seven resolutions approved by the 41 national presidents.
During the meeting, a fixed annual allowance was approved for the institutional activities that the General Council conducts at the United Nations in New York, with the support of the Archdiocesan Council of New York. Also voted was a “Memorandum of Understanding” to be signed with Depaul International, a Vincentian Family member very present in Ukraine. The MOU will help the SSVP in the humanitarian action that is being done in that very suffering region of the planet.
It was also approved that the 2nd Workshop of Territorial Delegates for Formation will be held in Madrid (Spain) on November 3 and 4, with the aim of modernizing the global Vincentian formation. The winners of the Contest “First Conference – Le Taillandier” were announced. The complete story has already been published on the General Council’s web site. The Board also approved the proposed text of the new Brazilian Rule, with the President General’s favorable vote, which will receive final approval on December 15, when the Permanent Section meets.
Another important issue was the General Assembly to be held in Rome, June 12-18, 2023, when two documents will be introduced: “Global Report” (containing information about the SSVP in all countries) and the “Guide for the Rejuvenation of Vincentian Conferences”. During the assembly, a unique moment in the history of SSVP, the election for the 17th President General will be held, in addition to voting on
minor updates of the International Statutes of our Confederation. There will also be a meeting of the Portuguese-speaking countries two days before the Assembly.
After these activities, everyone went to the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, where the body of the Father of Charity rests, for the celebration of Mass (valid for Sunday), presided by Father Andrés Motto, International Spiritual Advisor.
“I was extremely happy with the results of the meeting of our Board of Directors, which took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and fraternity. Many subjects were discussed and approved, with freedom among all the members. The presence of young Vincentians stirred us all, and I want to register here my satisfaction in having them with us, asking intelligent and very appropriate questions. I am sure that future Presidents General and many national presidents will come out of this crop of young
territorial delegates”, exhorted President Lima de Oliveira.
Accompanying us at the Board meeting was the Ozanam TV team, which was in Paris to record the Christmas message of the Council General International for 2022, and also to produce a short documentary about the International Thematic Year of Jules Devaux (2021), whose tomb could only be visited in September 2022, due to the pandemic.
According to the International Rule of the SSVP, the Board of the Council General must meet at least three times a year (article 3.16.1). The next session will be held in virtual format on December 3. For 2023, in view of the end of the current mandate under the leadership of brother Renato, only one meeting will be organized on February 25, with the others in September and December, by members of the new Board.
The day before, September 9, everyone was deeply moved. Members of the Board of Directors and the territorial youth delegates attended the Holy Mass in the Church of Saint Joseph of Mount Carmel, where the crypt of Blessed Antony-Frederic Ozanam is located. The celebration was presided by Father Jacques Germaix (Congregation of the Religious of Saint Vincent de Paul – RSV), followed by a prayer at the tomb. The event was coordinated by the Central Council of Paris, whose president is the dynamic brother Jérôme Perrin.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1 – What’s the theme?
2 – What purpose?
Receive a proposal for a Social Project focused on Quality Education. Just general ideas.
3 – Who can participate?
Young Vincentians (from the SSVP) from 18 to 35 years of age
4 – Does the Project need to be ongoing?
5 – Does the project need to be implemented by the youth?
6 – What is the maximum deadline for registration?
The General Council has extended the deadline for submitting projects to October 15, 2022.
7 – What do you need to send?
Application form filled in and the idea of the Social Project prepared.
8 – Is there a Project template that can be followed?
Yes, in annex 2 of the Notice
9 – Where can I get the Notice?
By the link: https://www.ssvpglobal.org/cultural-contest-vincentian-youth-committed-to-quality-education-tofight-poverty/
10 – Where to send the application and the Project?
By email firstname.lastname@example.org
11 – What will the winner of the Contest win?
The prize will cover the travel expenses of the winner to attend the International Youth Meeting of the Vincentian Family in the city of Felgueiras, Portugal, on July 29, 30 and 31 and August 1, 2023, and the participation in the World Youth Day in the city of Lisbon, Portugal, from August 1 to 6, 2023.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion.
The basilica, named the Martyrium, and the shrine, named the Calvarium, were destroyed by the Persians in 614. The Church of the Holy sepulcher which now stands on the site was built by the crusaders in 1149.
However the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened.
The entrance antiphon for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is: "We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through him we are saved and made free."
Courtesy : https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/
On the feast day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, the CGI is pleased to announce the results of the international contest for Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandie thematic year, and also that 2023 will be devoted to Jules Gossin.
The President General International, Renato Lima de Oliveira, on behalf of the Council General International, is pleased to announce the results of the 6th International Literary Contest “the First Conference – International Thematic Year of Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandier”.
Contest Results Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandier 2022
The SSVP’s Council General International will also grant an equivalent amount to the Conference to which the author of the work belongs. The money granted to the Conference will be fully allocated to social work, activities or projects carried out by the Conference, represented by its President.
We congratulate all the participants and all those who have helped to organise this Contest. “The Organising Committee is impressed with the contents and presentation of the works, which are improving year after year. The Council General welcomes the interest aroused within the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in the Thematic Year project, which aims at further delving into the work produced by each of the seven young founders. The key goal is to ensure that the knowledge shared by everyone concerning the emergence of the first Conference and the subsequent development of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has an impact, that the history of the founders is known, that it is spoken about, that it is of value as an example, especially for the young people who are attending Conferences today. The seven founders collectively created our Society.For this reason, with respect and consideration, we remember the legacy bequeathed to us.“, said our President General, Renato Lima
We would like to remind you that the upcoming 2023 International Thematic Year will be devoted to Jules Gossin. Those fellow members who are interested in taking part of the contest, which will be launched on February 8th, 2023, can start preparing their submissions.
Today, August 22, 2022, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, the contemporary saint, forerunner of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a role model as son, father, husband, professional and Catholic. Along with the SSVP, the Catholic Church and the Vincentian Family will also commemorate this major date for universal history.
In 1833, Ozanam, alongside six other French colleagues, founded the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris. His teachings, writings, speeches and books still exert an influence on mankind. The scope of Ozanam’s work is impressive, proof of which are the dozens of books on him written by experts, followers and devotees. We, as conference members of Saint Vincent de Paul, strive to be a mirror of Ozanam and, as friends, we keep on helping those who suffer and pursue our personal sanctification.
The case leading to his beatification was the miracle that took place in Brazil in 1926 (the cure of a child suffering from malignant diphtheria). Since then, his cause for sainthood is taking steps forward with other cases and testimonies being analyzed. Currently, the Council General International is striving to achieve his canonization, which, with God’s grace, will surely occur in the near future. Another possible miracle, also in Brazil, is being analysed by the Vatican, after many years with no news regarding the process of canonisation. In the last six years, the Council General has worked hard so that the Holy Church may proclaim Ozanam a saint.
However, far beyond a new miracle for Ozanam’s canonization, it is vital to increase a devotion to him, especially amongst us, fellow members, and also among the families assisted and the beneficiaries of our special works. Ozanam should be brought into our daily lives, praying for his intercession in simpler things such as employment, health, family, education and financial issues.
“Ozanam is the glowing light illuminating our Society. Along with the other founding fathers, he worked towards peaceful and effective solutions to social issues, bringing Lord’s Gospel everywhere, especially to the hearts of the most humble and vulnerable. Ozanam is a real example for all of us in this century. Let us pray that Ozanam’s legacy will inspire the world today. His canonization will certainly be a milestone in the SSVP’s history,” stressed our President General, fellow member Renato de Lima.
Click here to read the homily of St. John Paul II on Ozanam’s life, work and legacy.
Third anniversary celebration of Amélie Ozanam’s Birth
This year is the third edition of the International SSVP Women’s Day, set up in 2020, on 200th birth anniversary of Amélie Ozanam.
This day is celebrated in tribute to each and every SSVP woman who have taken part, and still do so today, in the ministry of Conferences, bringing their love to their neighbours and their faith to the most needy.
Amélie Ozanam, especially recalled on this day, is a clear example and a role model of selflessness, service and unconditional love for God and the mission of the SSVP, always supporting her husband to make his dream come true with his colleagues: to build a wonderful network of charity. Thanks to her, we have preserved much of Frédéric Ozanam’s legacy: his writings and documents.
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: email@example.com. Enjoy your reading!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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